On Wednesday, NASCAR announced 2015 plans for RaceBuddy, the official online compliment to NASCAR’s TV coverage for the past six seasons. The new TV deal that begins at Daytona will result in NASCAR expanding the service to include coverage of every Sprint Cup race on the schedule for the very first time. NASCAR’s press release also indicated that RaceBuddy will continue to be available for most XFINITY Series races, but did not indicate which ones would be unavailable.
For NASCAR, RaceBuddy is a crucial aspect of their digital footprint.
“RaceBuddy is a great example of the unique content and user experiences available to fans across our digital properties,” said Colin Smith, NASCAR’s Vice President of Digital Media. “Expanding RaceBuddy’s availability to include the entire NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is just one of many enhancements fans can expect at NASCAR.com and on the NASCAR mobile apps in 2015.”
As in past years, RaceBuddy will continue to be free to all users and not require a pay-tv subscription. Viewers can access the service by going to nascar.com during the event and clicking on the link to RaceBuddy. Those who choose to use the NASCAR Mobile app can get a lot of the same features of RaceBuddy on their smartphone or tablet, but they will have to pay $24.95 for access (the app itself is a free download, but you have to subscribe to advanced features to get RaceBuddy capability).
RaceBuddy was originally developed by nascar.com in 2009 for use with Turner Sports’ Summer Series races (at the time, Turner Sports managed nascar.com as well). At the time, the service consisted of streaming in-car cameras, an exclusive RaceBuddy pit reporter (Jim Noble) who provided exclusive reports before and during the race, a battle cam (a camera that would zoom in on battles on track, regardless of where they were, position-wise) and an exclusive post-race show that ran after TNT’s TV broadcast ended. Eventually, Truck RaceBuddy (or “TruckBuddy”) was developed to compliment Camping World Truck Series broadcasts on SPEED.
RaceBuddy was eventually made available to all of NASCAR’s TV partners after NASCAR took over their digital rights. Prior to this season, RaceBuddy was only available for races that aired on cable. As a result, the service has never been available for Sprint Cup points races during the FOX portion of the schedule. The Daytona 500 will be the first FOX points race with RaceBuddy capabilities.