Fans looking for alternative ways to watch the 2011 NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup received good news Wednesday morning.
ESPN and NASCAR announced nine of the 10 Chase races would be available on NASCAR.com's RaceBuddy program, as well as for the first time ever on ESPNWatch.com and the free ESPNWatch application.
"Enhancing the viewing experience and improving the sport's digital and social presence for our millions of fans, at the track, at home and everywhere in between, is a goal we never lose sight of," said Marc Jenkins, NASCAR's vice president of digital media.
"Being able to offer this series of interactive products during the Chase will further engage our fans with a robust digital presence that will forever change how the championship points battle is consumed," he said.
NASCAR.com's RaceBuddy will feature a two mosaics with eight in-car and stationary cameras streaming live video from the track.
The RaceBuddy feature had previously been used during TNT broadcasts, as well as select NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events, but this will mark the first time it will be available to fans during the Chase.
"Feedback from fans has been that they wish RaceBuddy were available for additional races outside the TNT portion of the season, so we're proud to be able to bring them ‘ChaseBuddy' and extend the interactive and immersive experience of RaceBuddy to nine playoff races," said Matthew Hong, senior vice president and general manager, sports operations, Turner Sports.
This will also mark the first time that ESPNWatch will feature live coverage of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. NASCAR Nationwide Series race telecasts and the news program NASCAR Now will also be available to watch on the free application, available on smartphones, computers and tablets.
"Our mission is to serve sports fans anytime, anywhere, and with WatchESPN and our new partnership with NASCAR and Turner, we can now extend that mission by making our NASCAR programming available to race fans wherever they might be," said Julie Sobieski, ESPN vice president, programming and acquisitions. "I can't think of a more perfect time to launch this than the beginning of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup."
The Chase races will air on ESPN at 2 p.m. ET, with the exception of the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 15 (ABC, 7:30 p.m. ET) and the final three races of the year, all of which will air on ESPN at 3 p.m. ET.