Nascar Team In US Wins Races With Microsoft Teams

Hendrick Motorsports, a NASCAR team, took its team’s deliberations off the racetrack and onto the virtual world after NASCAR reduced the team size allowed on the track on the race day. This 2018 policy saw Hedrick Motorsports turn to Microsoft Teams to reinforce its winning streak in the NASCAR CUP Series.

Hendrick Motorsports has hundreds of workers at the headquarters in North Carolina working towards a successful race day. On race day, the pit crew and the at-track rosters must communicate efficiently with the rest of the team situated in the shop in North Carolina. For instance, engineers at the hub analyze race strategy data and send real-time information to the engineers on the track for implementation. With virtual technology, the features at the disposal of the team include Azure cloud, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

The technology that brings all of these players together ensures the preparations before the race withstand the intensity of race day. If team members need to adjust the strategy, fast transfer of information ensures there is data to support the change, and all team members can participate in the discussion. Through Azure Boards, the team managers create work items and notify the crew through the messaging feature. This way, the team member is aware of the essential tasks assigned in real-time as the race continues.

The at-track roster assigns roles to each member of the three teams, and the fans and the media can tell each team member apart because of the uniform and the badge. Therefore, the discussions happening on the Microsoft Teams during race day must synchronize so that the people on the ground see a team on the track, not a confused crew affected by NASCAR’s limit on the race-day crew.

Additionally, the team managers on the standardized at-track roster can share all the details of the tasks for the crew members to access on their phones. Video and audio meetings and the recording feature enhance communication and reference for teams that need to remember technical tactics and strategies. Additionally, a team member can share a screen with the crew for online discussions or for the team in the office to see what is happening on the ground during race day.

Using this technology, the IT team uploads data to a virtual cloud for analysis and sharing in various file formats with engineers on the track. The stock car racing team can upload and download documents from a phone or a computer. Real-time coordination enhances location sharing to see the pit crew or at-track roster crew and receive notifications of each member’s arrival at a designated location on the track.

NASCAR prohibits teams from collecting telemetry to preserve the thrill of the race. However, NASCAR released the telemetry data in 2019 so that engineers from various stock racing teams can compare the driving, speed, and other data to create better strategies for their stock cars. By providing this data for engineers to analyze, there is no limit to how teams can use technology to improve their performance in the coming years.

So far, it is clear that it is possible to run a successful stock car race from a state-of-the-art engineering lab away from the track as long as the crew on the racing track communicates with the strategists in the lab, virtually.