Timing and scoring officials serve as the heartbeat of IndyCar

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – John Koskey spent 22 years at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and knows his job as Senior Director of Technology in Race Control is critical.

“We collect all kinds of data here and push it literally around the world to people.”

Timing and scoring have been involved with IndyCar and IMS since the beginning, and the current staff of 14 is housed in the pagoda’s second floor, overlooking the Yard of Bricks. Being the nerve center carries a big responsibility for fans and teams alike.

“And more in a sense today than it used to be,” said Koskey, who grew up at 30th and Lafayette Road, near the iconic track. “Several years ago, we just did timing, and now we distribute all the racing data that goes to the app, our website and race control.”

His staff and equipment supply all the lap times, speeds and myriads of information teams need for their own cars as well as their competition, but they also monitor everything that happens at the track with camera eyes fixed on every inch of the oval.

Trent Ellis mans the timing and scoring stand at the Yard of Bricks. It supplies the computer network for pit lane and the paddock area.

“Here at the pit stand, we have a diagnostic screen,” said Ellis, on the job for less than two years. “We see all the connections and make sure that everyone is connected correctly, and if anything goes down, we respond accordingly, so we put out a lot of fires.”

They also have to stay ahead of the ever-changing technology while also giving a nod to their predecessors.

“The very first race was the first automation,” said Koskey. “They had a cable that went across the street from the track, the wheels of the cars would press on that cable and pull a time stamp, and there was a guy writing that down. When it broke during the race, that guy had to run out and put the cable back up. Amazing how innovation plays a role, even from the first Indy 500.”

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