Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Gentlemen, Start Your Computers!

The summer of NASCAR racing on TNT is upon us once again and this time things have changed. While it is true that the same on-air bunch will return, this year there will be something very different for the fans. Gentlemen, start your broadband computers!

TNT is unleashing a wickedly smart concept that is going to open some eyes among tech-savvy fans. Beginning this weekend, TNT and NASCAR.com are teaming-up to deliver fans directly into the race broadcast as never before.

The concept is called RaceBuddy. That is the handsome gentleman pictured above. This page on the NASCAR.com website is going to be a very busy one this summer. Here are the reasons why.

The TNT gang will be offering an opportunity to use your broadband computer as an active companion to the cable TV telecast. This new offering will include four video feeds that will contain different angles of the race and will include one in-car camera feed that fans can vote to switch during the event.

In addition, fans can forward videos and pictures along with questions to the actual TNT crew before, during and after the event. The idea is to get the fans as interactive as possible during the race in the same type of way that many fans now visit other chat rooms or websites. This time, it will be Larry McReynolds in the infield who will be reading the email and responding. That is pretty darn interactive.

The most interesting part is that RaceBuddy is free of charge for all the video, audio and interactive applications. Race fans have not heard those words in a while.

The RaceBuddy concept will also include lots of new website opportunities for fans to chat and post and network. There will be several contests and prizes offered during this series, including one with CNN's popular morning host Robin Meade. There is a video on the website that explains that contest, and good luck to all.

During the Daytona race in July, TNT will once again roll-out the "wide open coverage" concept that featured long-form original advertising in a second video box on the screen while keeping the race video active. While the network still has to leave for the local cable system commercials, last season fans missed less than five laps during those interruptions.

On a Tuesday afternoon conference call, the TNT gang sounded like they had a new focus and energy. Bill Weber expressed his desire to create an atmosphere this season that feels like a conversation between fans. Wally Dallenbach wanted to see if Kyle Busch can continue his good racing luck and Kyle Petty was happy to switch gears and step back into the TV booth.

Changes beginning this weekend also include a resurrection of Wally's World as a viable feature and not a useless TNT promo session. Dallenbach and Petty will both steer cars onto the track and try to explain the challenges facing the drivers with the COT cars during these six races. This could turn-out to be a useful feature once again, as one of Dallenbach's strengths used to be talking about the track while having some fun at the same time.

This season pit reporter Lindsay Czarniak has also been given a feature that will appear somewhere in the ninety minutes of the pre-race programming. Lindsay on Location will allow this veteran news reporter to uncover and explain a unique or little-known story from each of the six summer venues.

Pride of NASCAR will return to offer a feature on the veterans of the sport, beginning at Pocono with Bobby Allison. An accident at this track changed his life forever, and it will be good to check-in with him again about his activities. The final feature will be called NASCAR Future Stars. It will focus on the up-and-coming drivers with an eye on the Sprint Cup Series.

TNT's own Marc Fein will again handle the infield hosting duties, which mostly consist of keeping an eye on McReynolds. Ralph Shaheen, Matt Yocum and Marty Snider round-out the veteran crew covering pit road this summer.

For those fans like myself who have never joined NASCAR.com's Trackpass or purchased the Sprint Race View, this broadband computer experience during the race will be new.

In response to the last season's issues involving post-race interviews, TNT will continue to partner with NASCAR.com and use TNT's on-site announcers to handle the online post-race show on NASCAR.com. Yes, you heard me correctly.

This season, when the TNT broadcast is over, the full crew of announcers will switch-over to NASCAR.com for a post-race show that will once again be offered to fans free of charge. Now, when time is tight on TV, the rest of the top finishing drivers and those involved in race issues will be talking live on NASCAR.com immediately after the race. How about that?

Certainly, all of these new concepts are a lot to digest, but they have one good thing in common. They are all intended to increase the interaction between the fans and the sport. When the racing action settles down at Pocono, fans will now have an online opportunity to check-out other cameras, forward questions to the TV crew and socially network with each other.

RaceBuddy seems like a super concept coming along at just the right time. TNT needs to seize the positive momentum from Fox and work hard to make the summer races something unique for the fans. So far, it seems they are off to a very good start.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are on the right side of the main page. Thank you for taking the time to stop by.


stricklinfan82 said...

I'm not going to bother with the computer stuff but it sounds like a cool thing for those that will. My main conern in this area is that the interactive stuff doesn't distract the attention of the TV broadcast away from the race. We better not be seeing Johnny from Colorado sending a video question to the TNT booth while the race is going on. Save the interactive stuff for the computer, keep the TV broadcast focused solely on the race.

I went out on a limb a few weeks ago and predicted that with 10 months to carefully study Fox and ESPN and read the viewers comments for every Cup and Nationwide race held during that time, that TNT would produce the best 6 race broadcasts of the entire season. I sure hope I'm not in store for a letdown.

Good luck TNT, I'm rooting for you.

SophiaZ123 said...


Thanks for the advance info on TNT's plans for this season. It's great to hear in detail what's happening and that the guys in the booth want to make things fun for the fans.

I have to second your comments...I don't want to multi task (it's all I can do to read and blog here during here sometimes) but cool for those who want "interactive"...but will it just be another hi tech TOY to take away is my fear.

THAT said, I am excited that TNT is trying to make things better this season...BUT please remember, not everybody has access to broadband and after a race, if they tape or DVR and the post race is online, could miss it.

Also, I am still slack jawed that this is


b. The site won't lock up and crash like nascar.com does often times from what I hear..and especially on the free weekends. And will Buddy Boy become TNT's "Digger" deal..complete with shirts, hats, stuffed animals, Malibu Condo and race car set...and etc, LOL. (Next season Digger may have gal pal Diggerette...sponsored by Nicorette...well, you can see how this all can snowball..but I meander once again.

Still, I am glad TNT wants to make the race fan friendly but how about making sure we just SEE THE GREEN FLAG racing and the FINISH LINE!

I am already looking forward to the Daytona race !! :-) I LOVED last years showing of that.

Kudos for trying new things as long as we dinosaurs who want to just "watch the race" on tv can do so if we so choose.


Karen said...

SophiaZ123 said...


I have to second your comments...I don't want to multi task (it's all I can do to read and blog here during here sometimes) but cool for those who want "interactive"...but will it just be another hi tech TOY to take away is my fear.

I couldn't agree with either of you more. By the end of the night, my neck has a crick in it from turning my head back and forth from TV to computer and my arm aches from sitting here with my hand on the mouse the whole time with my head turned toward the TV, being as I'm in my home office on a desktop.

Plus, JD, isn't the streaming going to be behind several seconds from the TV broadcast so we'll have to slow down our DVR just to stay in step? Way too much hassle for me to enjoy the race. It does take my eyes away from the TV screen, thus the racing.

Cypress said...

Very little of this excites me the way it seems to excite JD.

Larry Mac answer viewer questions on the air? Eh, is really any different than the questions Myers throws off at Hammond/DW on Fox? Eh, I guess it's more interactive because it's "from fans" but my guess is that the questions will pretty much be the same. After all, of literally millions of viewers and thousands of emails, producers will still screen the questions and you have like a lotto chance of getting one on the air.

All this stuff about texting a driver during caution or getting to video-ask a question to a driver sounds like a distraction the drivers have to tolerate more than an innovation.

The chance to interact and network with fans is a plus, but I'm not sure how many fans will want to get devoted to the site if the plug will be pulled after TNT's six races, the way they pulled the plus on their NASCAR website last year (per your column)

The part the sounds kinda exciting is the four video feeds for free. I'll believe that they can handle the traffic and bandwidth when I see it - they could be swamped. Still, given the relatively low/grainy quality of most online streaming live video, I'm not sure I want to sit at my computer screen (as big and beautiful as it is) to watch four buffering feeds. And if I bring my laptop in front of the TV, well, four videos on one laptop will not be large.

In my opinion, if you cut through the fancy press releases and the enthusiastic press conference call you find only a few things to be really excited about with RaceBuddy (anyone else hate this name and the cartoon dude with the glasses?).

I'm prepared to be impressed and I certainly hope I am wrong, but this doesn't really excite me.

bevo said...


Did they say anything about server loads or how they plan to handle so much traffic? What about the time lag with the telecast? So many times the folks who come up with features neglect to consult with the nuts and bolts guys. I'm afraid it might turn out to be an epic failure when it launches.

Anonymous said...

None of this does anything for me. All I want from my announcers and reporters is that they are knowlegeable and play it straight with their reporting. Often, I wish they would just shut up and let us watch and listen to the cars! Its as if silence in the booth is a no-no.I'm not the least bit optimistic about TNT covering Nascar. Sounds like putting lipstick on a pig!

Anonymous said...

Wow, strange that some folks are not looking forward to using the computer to add to the viewing experience. I for one want all the info I can get during a race.

Funny 2 saying they will not use it(TNT webcast) are 2 of the people who post on here the most!! They are on the computer, but will not use a site to enhance their veiwing of the race???!!!

Anonymous said...

JD- Man I just want to watch the race.I am so tired of all this crap the networks keep shoving down our throats.I could care less about anything that is not going on-on the track.Weber "a conversation with the fans" -give me a break--what has happened to this sport can be blamed on the networks "covering" the events.

Anonymous said...

I'm one to try anything...so I will be sure to give the "Buddy" a try. The race is soooo much more than the cars going in circles..every new toy we can use is better.
I go to about 5 races a year and could not imagine going without my scanner....keeps you updated and on top of the "stories within the story. I see not using the things available to the TV & Computer veiwer, like going to a race without my scanner.
Today you learn to use new technology or get passed by in business & life!

Anonymous said...

Funny 2 saying they will not use it(TNT webcast) are 2 of the people who post on here the most!! They are on the computer, but will not use a site to enhance their veiwing of the race???!!!

I agree. Personally, I'll use as much info as I can get if I'm not at the track. And when I am, I use a scanner--this is the same thing.

Anonymous said...

If TNT & NASCAR are going to provide the BUDDY for free, I have no problem with them promoting and using it during the TV coverage. I think they are trying to offer the fan a better viewing experience, if it stinks....we just stop using it.

Anonymous said...

TNT's plans sound interesting. It will be cool to see if they can turn things around compared to last season.

Anonymous said...

How much computer is this going to require? My system was pretty nice when it was new 3 years ago, but its video card isn't up to the modern version of a high-demand application.

This isn't going to be very relevant if only people with high-end gaming systems can use it.

Vince said...

I applaud TNT for trying some new things. As a computer professional who has to deal with bandwith issues daily, I have my doubts that they can pull off what they want to do online without their servers crashing and burning or the bandwith "pipe" just being so overwhelmed that everything comes to a screeching halt. Also the lag in what we're seeing on the computer vs what is live on TV could be an issue.

But again I look forward to the new online offerings. I'm happy it's free. But wonder if the reason it's free is because we will be their beta testers of this concept. If I remember correctly, Nascar.com's TrackPass and the like were free for the first year or two also and then they were changed to being fee based. After most of the bugs were worked out. Time will tell.

Rockin Rich said...

Okay, this is from a guy that is a 30 year former IBMer, that still does some technology consulting for school systems, and uses a computer probably 3-4 hours a day.

I am not interested in being distracted by the computer while I am watching a race. Most of the time I am watching with some other guys in what I call our "GarageBar". It is as much a social event as it is being absorbed in the race. Also trying to keep up with manipulating a computer would be a big distraction for me.

Even when I finish watching a race at home, I am really absorbed in watching the action. I think trying to mess with a computer at the same time would take away from that.

During the final year of the PPV In-Car Camera on cable, (2006 I think), we had it running on a second TV next to the TV the race broadcast was on. The opinion of the group was that it didn't add much to the enjoyment of the race despite being able to switch to several different cars as the race progressed. We wouldn't have renewed the service even if it had not been moved to satellite.

We would like to have access to the scanners, as that is useful during the race, assuming that the scanner chatter is in sync with what we are seeing at the time as it is at the track.

I am not slamming those that like the "challenge" of multi-tasking while watching a race. I am just saying it isn't my style, or of interest to the guys I watch races with.

Of course, the name of our gathering place may be a clue as to why the guys sometimes have a little trouble following multiple visual and information inputs! We do use the second TV for NFL football in the Fall, and that sometimes leads to interesting disagreements about what has just occurred in the race, or the game.

That said, I will probably take a look at the TNT offering at some point just to get a feel for the experience. Who knows, I could end up eating my words, (like that's never happened before!).

glenc1 said...

I'm with Rockin Rich--I'm on a PC all day, I enjoy watching the TV for the races, not being on the PC. And yeah, I do the multiTV or PIP during football season. I have friends who have the PC attached to the gigundus screen for their gaming and whatnot, I just have no interest. No wonder America is growing in size (and I don't mean population...) But it's not just that, I don't NEED all that extra information--there's nothing better than being AT a race, and none of that would come close to recreating it. Occasional statistics might be interesting to me (such as who has the fastest car at certain places on a track) but not for a million pieces of info that will be meaningless after one blown tire. Part of the fun of racing is its unpredictability. And yeah, I don't have a problem with its being available to those who want it, I just wish they put as much energy into giving us the info we need on TV in a timely, informative fashion.

GinaV24 said...

Since I have used trackpass on Nascar.com to follow my driver for several years now, it will be interesting to see how the new TNT interactive stuff works. Considering how horrible a job they did last year, maybe they will improve on their coverage this year. Pocono is a race better watched on TV than in person since it's so big that it's hard to see the action from the seats. (That of course assumes there will actually be ANY racing action.) I'll give TNT and Racebuddy a whirl and see how it goes. I can see the concerns about bandwidth and such, because trackpass has had its own share of problems with that, although not so much this year. Anyway, it's worth a try

Thornton, Colorado said...

Once again, I don't need "extras". Just show the da** race! They will be so busy turning this into Grand Theft Auto, that viewers will be turned off immediately. Imagine the pre race is going to have at least 5 minutes of hyping this gadgetry.
Somewhere along the lines, people with too much money, and not enough common sense got some media power, and the rest of us "fans" suffer.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Hey guys,

Great comments. The TNT video feed is going to use flash technology to try and avoid any delay.

Turner Interactive in Atlanta runs a lot of websites and just got the contract to take-over NBA.com recently. They have all the capacity to handle this with no problem.

For those of you trying to keep the TV and the computer separate, I am afraid it is a losing battle.

So many NASCAR fans are already on the computer during the race that this is a very attractive feature for a network like TNT to add.

There is no commercial element to RaceBuddy like Digger, TNT just decided to use a cartoon-like character to give the new concept a name, they do a lot of cartoons at Turner and had easy access to create this.

If you watched the NBA on TNT you saw this approach almost exactly and it went over very well with the viewers.

So, basically the TNT guys and NASCAR.com feel they have all the technology ready for folks who use the computer as a companion piece for the TV.

I think if you want to focus on the TV portion of the race, the computer stuff will be no hassle.

Broadasters from Major League Baseball to SPEED's sports car guys take email questions during an event and have done so for several years.

I really can't remember when new technology like this was rolled-out for free. Perhaps, it will bring a younger crowd over to NASCAR when they discover the added extras during these six races.

PS - it would not surprise me to see this NASCAR.com partnership spread to other NASCAR series.


Dan said...

I know this type of tie-in is the future, but right now it doesn't do much for me. The cynic in me is thinking that this "expanded" broadcast is nothing more than a ploy to reduce the number of people that Tivo the race. The only way to take advantage of all TNT is offering is to watch the race live. That means suffering through all the commercials and promos. The idea might have potential, but for me, it's not nearly enough make me sit through a live broadcast.

red said...

well, since i'm already on the laptop during the races, i will try this newest wrinkle this weekend. one of the features i'm frankly looking for is something that will allow me to . . . diminish my reliance on network broadcasters. i'm hoping this new feature will ADD hard information to my experience, not add fluff. i may be in the minority but, when i can't be at the race, i want all sorts of info: intervals, lap times, positions and lead changes, technical info, who's running what line where on the track -- all that stuff.

i'm very leery of any "ask the expert or driver or commentator" feature during the race as it has the potential to seriously pull attention away from the race and that's the biggest mistake any broadcast can make in my world.

if the internet presentation is going to be used for the "soft stuff," i'll absolutely return to my current way of watching a race at home: tv on, laptop on, several windows open simultaneously on the laptop and a radio nearby so i can mute the tv broadcast and listen to mrn.

i'm not a fan of the name or the cartoon image but, to borrow a phrase: "what . . . ever." i'll disregard that piece of tackiness if it brings me more solid information that adds to, doesn't detract from, my race watching at home. so, yes, i'll give it a solid shot at least this weekend. and, knowing how glitches happen, i'll likely be on-board for the next 4-6 races with this newest technology.

glenc1 said...

To be honest, whenever those Q&A things come on, I can't hit the remote fast enough. I really don't care what Joe in Peoria is asking. I don't care if it's sports or American Idol. Biggest waste of time in the universe to me during a broadcast (an analysis show is different). The job of a reporter is to *anticipate* the questions the general public wants to know--if they did their jobs properly, we wouldn't need 'Joe' to ask the question...

Weren't features of Trackpass offered free its first season, and then after they lured people in, they started charging (although they added stuff, I think?) I just remember people being angry later, as if they thought they were 'entitled' to all that for free. Frankly, I never go to NASCAR.com unless it's a link, too much visual junk to find anything worthwhile. To me it's like a book. Some people want to read, and some people want to look at the pictures. Nothing wrong with either, just a different approach.

Lou,Kingston,NY said...

Hi JD, I am back.LOL
Anyway just some wandering comments I made as I read the blog and comments.
Laptop always on during races. Lets see FREE and INTERACTIVE, will check it out. I just watched Robin this morning and she did mention the contest and her as the prize.lol. Glad Wally's back. Lindsay on Loc..., JD , could this be like Wendy's real deal? I enjoyed those segements very much. Live post race on NASCAR.com, sounds good. Currently watch the Jack Dan... post race. Will there be a conflict for them. I do enjoy the post race online. Love to hear about the new tech race stuff. Hope some of it works out. Yea, and to think I used to get my racing stuff in 1970 from Hot Rod mag. So yes, in general I do look foward to the next 6 races. ESPN rasied the bar, and we as fans now get to see it rasied further.

Anonymous said...

To Anon @ 7:06.....

What an interesting concept! Try it, if you don't like it, turn it off. Who would have thought of that? LOL

Daly Planet Editor said...


Ms. Czarniak is going to be finding an off-beat story from the track itself, this will not be a pre-produced feature done during the week. She is a full-time reporter, so the results could be interesting.


What if you wanted to know something or were upset by something and sent an email that was then answered or addressed on the telecast? I just have trouble seeing how this is a bad thing. I watch the Florida Marlins games, and the email has become an integral part of the game telecasts. Give it a try.


The best way to stop folks from doing the "DVR Dance" with the races would be to install side-by-side ads on all three Sprint Cup TV partner broadcasts. Maybe NASCAR and the sponsors will wake-up to the fact that full-screen ads are just a two minute opportunity for fans to do something other than watch that channel.


Anonymous said...

Lou,Kingston,ny - I hate the Jack Dan postrace. Everytime I have watched it there have been so many facts that were stated wrong that I was screaming at the computer. The hosts are not very knowledgable. At least with the TNT version, it will be the actual TV announcers who presumably watched the race, LOL!

haus20 said...

I do not use a computer to enhance my stick & ball experience, but I do enjoy using the computer during races. I enjoy knowing how my driver's lap times are compared to the leader or the guys around him.

I don't always use it, but the reality is that with 43 cars in the field, some drivers will not be covered as much as the others no matter how great the coverage is. This is a way for me to keep up with my driver at my convenience.

Ken-Michigan said...

I guess I'm gettin' old or something, but the computer stuff just doesn't do anything for me when I want to watch the race.

Lately the ONLY things I watch the computer for during the race is JD's blog AND with all the timing and scoring issues with FOX, I turn on the computer for a better "up to date" scoring reference.

Ken-Michigan said...

Attention Producers:

Why won't anyone try this.....

Lets coordinate the broadcast so you can have a NASCAR official IN THE BOOTH with the On-Air team.

I truly think this would be a huge hit with every single fan.

I'm not saying that this official needs to have a microphone for every lap, but simply to EXPLAIN the different calls during the event. ( PGA Golf has done a similar set up over the years with the networks to explain the rules of the game )

Think of the confusion it would clear up at a race :

Let the NASCAR person explain a debris caution, where is it and show us.

Show us and explain when and where a car was speeding on pit road.

Point out WHERE the scoring loops are on the track... etc.

Each and everyone one of us can think of a time when we WISH we had an explanation of why something was called the way it was OR wasn't called at all.

If you really want to encourage NEW FANS to join the NASCAR army, those NEW FANS need to know how YOU (NASCAR) is calling a race. Plus you would be satisfying alot of us 30 year fans along the way as well.

It may be too late in the game for TNT to add this, but ABC / ESPN..... lets try it.

You will not believe the positive feedback, IF YOU TRY IT !!

Desmond said...

I will try out RaceBuddy at least once during the TNT season. I have faith in the website to keep up with the demand.

I am also relieved to see that TNT will have additional postrace coverage on NASCAR.com and hope that it is as extensive as possible (many driver interviews, full-field standings, etc.). At the very least, there is some alternative in case TNT again leaves early for a movie.

glenc1 said...

I really don't think they're going to pick my question when I ask why they never showed a decent camera angle of what *really* happened in a wreck, or why they didn't question NASCAR's decision on something, lol. I've sent in Q&A for *other* types of shows, I just don't want them wasting time during my broadcast when they could be telling us something more worthwhile, like lap times, etc, or cover a driver they haven't mentioned. Yes, I do sometimes want to know what happened to someone, but I usually just find out later. It's not to the point where I'd pay for extra.

SonicAD said...

They actually did something similar last year... though it was just a couple cameras. I'm all for expansion of it.

Also, I'm really glad they decided to do the extended online post-race show again. TNT did it at Daytona and Chicago last year, and interviewed a lot of the drivers who were lower in the field. You can actually still access them, since they're part of the online post-race NASCAR.com does already. This is the thing I was hoping they'd continue most, so hopefully TNT will have an improvement all around this year.

JHD said...

Even with the Flash application, I'll have to see if this works. My home computer is an IBM that firmly believes it's a Commodore 64. I usually have the Trackpass scanner (and only the scanner) on during the race because using anything else will cause my computer to crash. One of these days, I'll rejoin the modern world at home....but I digress.

If this does work for anyone, and I will get to focus on drivers that aren't normally on my TV as opposed to showing different views of the same 5 cars I see on TV, then it'll be worth it.

haus20 said...

JHD, I agree with your hope that this allows for the ability to focus on some of the other drivers. If it does, it will be a successful venture.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Newracefan said...

I will play with Buddy to see what it offers, I already have Trackpass, Foxtrax and this blog running during a race so whats another screen or 2. Hopefully it works better than raceview I tried taht a few times and never could get it to load but Pitcommand always worked fine and I love listening to Jimmie and Chad and as long as I do not have to give that up I'm game.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
glenng said...

I don't use trackpass because of the cost. Last year I prefered the live leader board. It was a simple thing that updated the running order as the drivers would cross the start finish line. It gave information of the drivers speed, time behind the leader, points where they were running and so on.

This year however, the new format that nascar.com is using is like those cheep hotdogs that are sold at the track. Chopped full of peckers and lips. There are so many ads running. Several are animated. They just keep going and going.

I have a 6meg connection, which I know is not the fastest. But it's not shabby either. In a race this spring the "LIVE LEADERBOARD" was 30 laps behind in their data by the end of the race.

Just another example that more isn't always better.

Anonymous said...

Until Bill Weber is not on the
show ..there is simply nothing
postive about it. In fact it sounds like TOOO much stuff...
If Bill Weber could talk ina few
lower tones...AND NOT go on these
streaks of R A I S I N G HIS
V O I C E ..at the end of sentence
after sentence...but alas it will
never happen.
Kyle is a nice guy great driver
gives a ton to charity .. but talks
too much in the booth
good nite...

AndyPandy said...

I hope this system works well for all of you who will use it. I also hope that the TV broadcast is never tied to it so closely that the viewing experience requires an online component.

I'm another one of those IT guys (staring at a monitor 8 hours a day at work, 3 hours a night at home) and when it's race time, all I want is my big TV, surround sound system, and a couple of cold cans of Busch. Maybe some Doritos. I refuse to touch a mouse or follow anything on a small screen between the green and the checkers. I use the race as an escape from my usual routine, and a PC tie-in feels too much like work. However, for those who choose to take advantage of the technology, it looks like this may be a good step forward in the evolution of the product.

Lisa Hogan said...

Well said, andypandy! :)

Richard in N.C. said...

From a quick glance, NASCAR.com looked as cluttered and user-unfriendly as the last time I tried to use it months ago. To check on their level of commitment, I tried to see how easy it would be to leave a comment, and never found out. Even at ESPN it is basically intuitive, and for the borderline computer literate like me, resonably easy to leave a comment.
Since TNT is part of Time Warner, "free" would seem to be an alien concept.
Except for possibly trying to pick up some MRN broadcasts - like qualifying - that I cannot locate over the air, I'll probably continue to avoid NASCAR.com.