Thursday, March 25, 2010

SPEED Introduces TruckBuddy For Martinsville

We have been moaning a lot this season about the fact that the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series have no online video applications. Last summer, RaceBuddy from TNT was tons of fun and injected a brand new user experience into NASCAR racing.

Although the folks from Turner Interactive said they were talking with FOX and ESPN, only SPEED has made a move to increase the online interactivity for the fans. The formal announcement is expected on Thursday, but the CWTS version of RaceBuddy will be called TruckBuddy and debut at Martinsville.

The link for TruckBuddy can be directly accessed by clicking here. The website, which is owned and run by Turner, is the launching pad for all of the online NASCAR applications. These folks have come a long way, but it is a shame that things are progressing so slowly with this technology.

The TruckBuddy application will have four live race video streams, a dedicated backstretch camera, two in-truck cameras and one pit road cam. It will also feature the ability to chat live using several different social media applications including Facebook and Twitter.

NASCAR fans are notorious multi-taskers. At the track, team radio scanners and Sprint Fan Viewers are all over the place. Fans are using cell phones to take pictures and people are texting and tweeting before, during and after the race. We like to communicate!

The RaceBuddy application has some more gizmos attached like a battle cam for the best racing on the track and several team audio links, but for the truck series and Martinsville, this is a solid start.

It should be interesting to see if veteran tweeter Michael Waltrip joins the TruckBuddy conversation on Twitter from his perch in the TV announce booth for SPEED. Other announcers on the team like Krista Voda and Adam Alexander are still getting the hang of using Twitter as an easy way to communicate directly with the fans.

The only downside of this project is that for right now TruckBuddy is a one race deal. Hopefully, some good fan feedback and strong use of the program during the race will help SPEED, Turner and the sponsor Dodge to add more races down the road.

TNT has already committed to bringing RaceBuddy back for the six race summer package. This was a huge hit, especially when TNT added a dedicated pit reporter and began to figure out that many NASCAR fans already watched the race while online.

It is ESPN that really needs to look into RaceBuddy. They have the final seventeen Sprint Cup Series races and having all these bells and whistles for viewers to play with is only going to strengthen the ratings. No one turns off the TV with RaceBuddy. It simply is an addition to the television experience.

Thanks to Dodge for using their Ram brand to sponsor TruckBuddy this Saturday and keep it free for all fans. That is the best part of the experience. There is nothing to pay, nothing to join and no big program to download. The official news release from Turner and will come out Thursday, so we will attach it to this story so everyone can see the details.

Are you one of the fans that will try TruckBuddy? Do you already multi-task online during the races? Maybe you could tell us what you would like to see added to this online application for the summer Cup races and beyond? Take a moment and leave us an opinion.

To add your comment, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by, the entire NASCAR TV schedule for the weekend is posted on the TDP homepage.


longtimeracefan said...

Good news. Will definitely check TruckBuddy out. If it works, it will be a major step in the right direction.

Donna DeBoer said...

LOVE the RaceBuddy app!! Will definitely be using this!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait! It's going to be awesome. Sad that it's a one opp but I hope the fans tune in and help show that we WANT it.

A shame that FOX didn't want to do RaceBuddy :( but I hope BSPN gets on board!

Always multi-tasking and will be again on Saturday. Pick 'em Ups Buddy is going to be fun :).

I really like it because you can make it YOUR race. You can pick what view you want and not miss a thing if TV is off on commercial or acting like there are only 2-5 drivers in the race or for bumper cam overload. Also if BSPN decides to use it, it'll be great for when they're showing full screen nonsense.

I also like that they turn it on early so you can watch some of the at-track activity! It was fun last year watching the trick Red Bull helicopter :).

Thanks indeed for Dodge for sponsoring Pick 'em Ups Buddy! And thanks to those who bring it to us during TNT!

Mary said...

Great news! Don't miss anything if you have it on the computer too!

JoeS said...

Too much going on....on Saturday afternoons in the spring to watch the race live.

KoHoSo said...

I wonder if Fox chose not to use Race Buddy because they are still mad over that promo animation where he sealed Digger in his hole last year? >:-)

This is great news and I hope that it is a sign of more to come.

GinaV24 said...

Good news indeed. I will give it a try. I loved racebuddy, so I'd love to see this become a part of all race broadcasts.

JohnP said...

I guess I'm just a little different concerning this issue. I have messages on my land line phone at work, on my business cell phone, my personal cell phone, my home cell phone, work email, personal email to keep up with during the week.

When it comes to race time, I simply want the tv broadcast to be good enough that I don't need to multi-task. At the track I get multi-tasking. Been there, done that. Wife listens to the drivers scanners, I listen to the radio broadcast and we share info when we can. As in, when can yell to each other over the noise. Both wear headphones so communication is not easy with each other.

But, on Sunday, it's a day to get away from it all, relax, drink a couple beers, grill some burgers and hotdogs, have some company over, watch the race on the tv I have on the deck. It's not about being glued to a computer screen all by myself.

But hey, that's just me. All I want is a quality TV production for the race. Simple as that.

OSBORNK said...

JohnP makes a good point. Many of us multi-task aimply because the TV coverage is so inadequate to keep us informed about the race. I would love to be able to watch a race and be kept up to date without looking at other places for information. Seems like it was more like that BC (before computers).

Anonymous said...

This is great news! I enjoyed RaceBuddy last season.

diane said...

I'd be happy with just some online live timing and scoring for Trucks.

Anonymous said...

That TruckBuddy thing sounds great! I never miss the trucks, but I don't have internet access and don't know how to use a computer so it's just going to be the race on Speed for me.


oh nothing. Just the same blabbering stammering jabbering bunch of nonsense from the folks
calling the truck race.
And do they think that andbody cares who is running 16th ? or
anyplace else for that mater. It
is sheer punishment listening to
it all ...
I will make this my last post
on the topic. I wonder if Nascar
itself CARES ABOUT the TV product.
I do know that not a soul at
nascar will talk on the phone.
OH .. did your hear ? Bill
Weber is doing his MAGIC ACT in
a venue someplace.
""" as we GO THRU THE FIELD "

EARL said...

BEYOND ALL BELIEF !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Moose135 said...

I tried, but could never get TruckBuddy to load - went to the page, and everything else loaded, but all I got was a black box with the icons for In-car, etc. but nothing would load.