The Talladega Superspeedway covers 3,000 acres, and is a Super Bowl®-sized NASCAR event that attracts 150,000 on-site spectators and millions more watching at home.
NASCAR manages over 1,200 races every year on 200 race tracks in Canada, the United States, and Mexico, and each location poses its own challenges in terms of radio traffic and interference. These challenges are magnified when systems must be deployed quickly, every week, over a wide geographic area. Pit crews, drivers, officials, and all other members of the internal and external organization must have a communications system that supports flawless connections, every time. When seconds count, there is no room for missed or delayed communications; speed and voice clarity are everything. NASCAR recently realized that their older system was just not keeping up, and there’s no doubt that providing secure and reliable communications for an event like this can seem overwhelming. Each NASCAR event involves up to 40,000 people, with approximately 80 officials presiding over two races, each with 43 cars, and each with teams of up to 30 people. In addition to NASCAR drivers, maintenance personnel, and pit crews, each race requires spotters, timing and scoring groups, as well as fire and rescue units. Also working on-site are emergency personnel, food vendors, ticketing and parking attendants, television and radio crews, and public relations representatives. Because NASCAR stages many regional events, several outside organizations need to be integrated into the communications loop. The sheer number of radios and talk groups that have to be moved and set up very quickly is enough to tax any radio system, and NASCAR’s old system was clearly over-taxed. NASCAR examined all options during a six-month intensive study. Digital radio seemed to be the best route to achieving the key requirements surfaced in this study, which included NASCAR’s need to:
• Coordinate large numbers of radios
• Ensure absolute audio clarity
• Maintain consistent, reliable communications
• Have a radio that was durable enough to withstand a rough environment
After assessing all the options, NASCAR determined that Motorola’s MOTOTRBO professional digital two-way radio was the right system for their needs.MOTOTRBO digital radio precisely met each of
NASCAR’s four requirements.
To coordinate large numbers of radios, the MOTOTRBO system is engineered to maximize use of the radio spectrum. The power of MOTOTRBO is leveraged by NASCAR to bring together multiple talk groups who work all over the property and need to be in full communication at all times. MOTOTRBO is also used to connect spotters, emergency medical technicians, crews in the garage and pit areas, as well as security and all other service and support personnel required to help each race run smoothly.
MOTOTRBO’s ability to work in either digital or analog mode makes it possible to seamlessly integrate older radio systems that may not yet have migrated to digital. To ensure absolute audio clarity, MOTOTRBO’s noise-canceling technology enables headsets for racing officials to perform at higher levels. Added to inherently clearer digital communications, the noise-canceling capabilities of MOTOTRBO technology supports sharp and clean communications in even the harshest environments. If MOTOTRBO users can communicate clearly at a noisy racetrack, it’s easy to see how well these digital two-way radios would perform in most workplace environments. “ We have to make sure we’re communicating quickly and concisely. Through MOTOTRBO, we’re able to do our jobs a whole lot better
than we have in the past.”
To maintain consistent, reliable communications, MOTOTRBO’s digital technology makes possible extended battery life so that all users can easily connect throughout an 8-to-12-hour workday and then keep communicating, even when races run longer than scheduled. The MOTOTRBO system is
also less susceptible to static and interference, and when second-by-second communication is demanded, digital provides the proven reliability NASCAR needs. Durability is ensured with MOTOTRBO radios that deliver the highest quality of communications, even in harsh environments where they’re frequently dropped and exposed to dust, rain, grease, oil, and solvents. MOTOTRBO is designed to meet U.S. Military Standards C, D, E, and F, as well as IP57 for submersibility in water. When properly equipped with a Motorola FM-approved battery, MOTOTRBO radios have been certified by FM Approvals in accordance with Canada and U.S. codes to be intrinsically safe.