New Egypt, NJ (Mar. 4) -- New Egypt Speedway is poised to begin the first campaign of the new millennium on the cutting edge of high technology: track owner Rick Grosso, Sr. announced today that the Central Jersey track will implement the AMB ...
New Egypt, NJ (Mar. 4) -- New Egypt Speedway is poised to begin the first campaign of the new millennium on the cutting edge of high technology: track owner Rick Grosso, Sr. announced today that the Central Jersey track will implement the AMB TranX260 scoring and timing system for the 2000 season, making New Egypt the first clay oval in the Northeast to move from manual to completely computerized scoring.
"We’re a new facility, and we’re always looking to raise the bar in all areas, for both the fans and the competitors," Grosso said. "The computerized scoring system is just another step in that direction."
The AMB system -- the same scoring and timing technology used in Formula 1, Winston Cup, NASCAR Craftsman Truck series, CART, IRL, SCCA, World of Outlaws and AMA racing -- is based on a personal transponder that sends out a signal consisting of a unique serial number. When the transponder passes over a detection loop buried beneath the track at the start-finish line, the number and the exact time of passing is transmitted to a computer in the scoring tower. Scoring is instantaneous, and officials have access to the information immediately. The ChronX software will line up the starting grid after a yellow or red flag situation, calculate results, record individual lap times of all competitors, and print out qualifying and race results. The system, which is capable of detecting a pencil width’s difference at 160 mph, has proven its reliability and accuracy in racing events around the world since 1981.
About the size of a personal pager, each TranX260 rechargeable transponder comes with a separate charger which operates through any standard power source. An indicator light on the transponder flashes sequentially to display the number of days left in the charge. Five hours before the battery becomes fully discharged, the flashing signal will change from green to red. This change of color is also detected by the scoring and timing computer, allowing track officials to warn a driver of a low-charge situation and eliminating the possibility of transponder failure during an event. Mounting position for transponders will be determined by track officials, and will be uniform for all cars.
"It will cost us over $45,000 to get the system up and running, but we feel it’s a solid investment in New Egypt’s future," Grosso informed. "With this kind of accurate and immediate scoring, our competitors can be assured that their successes on the speedway will be correctly recorded, and our fans will be rewarded by less delays in the program." Utilizing both the AMB scoring system and one-way scanner communication to the drivers, officials will be able to relay restart positions directly to the racers even before the wreckers hit the track after a caution flag, which should speed up the show considerably.
The cost of each AMB TranX260 transponder, with charger and mounting bracket, is $300. Competitors in the Modified division will be required to purchase a transponder outright at the speedway; or they can arrange to pay for a unit over a period of 12 weeks, at $25 per event.
Sportsman and Street Stock drivers can also purchase transponders under those same terms. So as not to burden teams with very limited financial resources, the track will also offer a $15-per-event rental fee to competitors in the support divisions only. All transponders come with a three-year warranty from AMB and the full support of AMB staff.
"We’ve talked to other short tracks that have the system in place, like Skagit and Irwindale, and they told us it’s fantastic in every way," Grosso said. "We’ve also polled about 25 of our own drivers, to get a feel for what they think, and their response has been very positive."
New Egypt is planning to install and test the system on Saturday, March 25, weather permitting. An open practice session is scheduled for that day, with gates opening at 9 a.m., a Rookie Sportsman orientation class at 10 a.m., and track time from 12 to 5 p.m. Spectators will be admitted free to the grandstands.
Competitors who have questions about the AMB TranX260 scoring system can contact race director Jim Swanson at (732) 928-3057.