Saturday, August 9, 2008

RaceBuddy Will Be Missed At The Glen


It has been two races since the change-over to ESPN from the TNT gang. Lots of good things are going on and the racing from Watkins Glen should be some of the best of the season. There is, however, one thing that could make it a little bit better. That is RaceBuddy.

This summer, along with the six Sprint Cup races on TNT, viewers were given a bonus. NASCAR.com made RaceBuddy available through that website for all six events. Free to NASCAR fans, RaceBuddy was an online companion to the TNT coverage.

Featuring four cameras, scanner audio and many interactive features, this broadband computer application proved to be tremendously popular. It gave fans who did not have DirecTV’s Hot Pass or NASCAR.com’s Sprint RaceView an opportunity to see several different camera angles during the live race.

RaceBuddy had one in-car camera view that changed several times during the event. The way it changed was by a popular vote of the users online. It also had a battle-cam that focused on the best racing on the track, regardless of position. The third feature was a speed-shot angle that was also changed during the telecast. It gave fans a nice view of the car roaring by on various parts of the track.

Finally, RaceBuddy had a free-roaming pit camera. Positioned at the end of pit road, this angle let viewers see the cars coming into the pits and getting service that did not make the TV broadcast. It also showed the crews cleaning-up and the always interesting moves of the NASCAR inspectors on pit road.

This week at Watkins Glen, RaceBuddy would be great. It is tough for one TV network to keep all the things going-on during a road course event updated on just one channel. ESPN has to focus on the leaders, the pit stops of the top cars and try to get commercial breaks in every couple of minutes.

RaceBuddy allowed the NASCAR fan a bigger video window into what was happening around the track and in the pits. Fans could see cars that perhaps would not be on the TV telecast once the green flag dropped. In today’s Sprint Cup TV coverage, it is all about the stars of the sport and the leaders of the race.

While this RaceBuddy application was created by the minds at Turner, it does not have a specific network attachment. RaceBuddy was free because the commercial sponsors of the sport stepped-up and put their money into this online extra for the fans

Perhaps, NASCAR fans may one day see RaceBuddy as an online companion to the Fox and ESPN race coverage. Until then, Watkins Glen and the remaining fourteen Sprint Cup races in this season will just go it alone.

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15 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Daly Planet Editor said...

Just drop me an email anytime on any issue and we will solve any problem. The address is on the front page.

JD

Anonymous said...
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Newracefan said...

I've been missing RB, I find myself going onto NASCAR.com before each race just to check and make sure it's really not there.
With the crazyness of a road course a battlecam would be a real plus. Hopefully it will be offered for every race next season. Are you listening TNT

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- Could RB be something that someone could sell sponsorship for - like the Verizon RaceBuddy? Would it require approval by the race carrier ( FOX or ESPN)to have RB outside the TNT races?

Dot said...

I miss RB too. The battle cam was the best. In car showed only 2 drivers. Could never get the audio to work. Other than that, I'd like to see it all season.

Karen said...

I thought you once said that TNT had offered RB to other networks? Did I misunderstand that?

Sophia said...

Yep, I miss RB on the commercials for sure.

The audio for scanners stank (with the auto lotto number calling out the car numbers...and you could BAREFLY make out the chatter) But the great video was worth it.

I will NEVER forget the exquisite sunsets from that one night race!! Totally cool and the back of the pack racing....good video can often make up for lack of information on the tv.

Course it would be nice to HAVE IT ALL but I will take good camera action over anything else.

But I must say, I am MISSING the TNT boys in the booth, and FUN they seemed to be having.

And once again, with God as my witness, I even enjoyed Bill Weber. :)

Proof that networks can change!!

I griped about the extra multi tasking RB would bring.....but...once I got it loaded (no easy feat from NASCAR.com IIRC but savvy folks here gave us the link) it was great. Seeing guys come to pit during commercials and such...


WAH!! I want my TNT !!

(Well except for the excess promos and THAT TOO is wherre RB helped)

Between tired Punch and yapping Rusty Wallace...gonna be a long summer.

TNT should REALLY pick up the season later in the year so they can cover the Brickyard. Though NOBODY could've saved this years race.

Yes, JD, would be cool to have RB back at the Glen.

:)

red said...

i ,too, have been missing racebuddy and i agree that it is tailor-made for road courses! i admit that i initially thought racebuddy would just be a gimmick and would have no value for me as a race fan: i was seriously wrong! the ability to watch the battle screen for mid-pack racing, the pit stop camera, the in-car camera and the race itself while the network is in commercial enhanced my viewing.

for racebuddy sponsors: please know that i DID watch your commercials and i was not exasperated over their presence. you folks gave me racebuddy and the least i could do was pay attention to your commercials. if you were seeking a way to reach this race fan, you succeeded!

please, sir, may we have some more?!?

Ken said...

I suspect road courses are my least favorite races because it is so difficult to follow with the current TV coverage. RB would be a tremendous help. Anything that would make the race more interesting and easier to follow would be appreciated.

Adam T. Martin said...

RaceBuddy? Never used it. I'm enjoying the ESPN/ABC telecasts so far.

kontan said...

Bring Back RB!! Loved it! Could do without Bill Weber though...

Anonymous said...

I miss RB and I will miss this week-end of NASCAR by choice, it is not racing on a road course, it's more of follow the leader, and I can't see wasting my time to watch such garbage.

Adam T. Martin said...

Sorry Sophia. I haven't and will never enjoy Bill Weber.

However, RaceBuddy sounded nice.

Jo said...

I miss RB too. Its gonna be a long day Sunday. RB would be awesome!
How about RB built by Home Depot? Sounds like a good sponsor idea.

We need RaceBuddy!