Tools of the Trade
Tools of the Trade
Of course, I’m stating the obvious to anyone that really follows NASCAR: the drivers and their teams are extremely competitive. After being around a number of the teams, I can see there is a friendly “love you bro” banter around the garages and on pit road. However, make no mistake about it, at the start/finish line, it’s all about Victory Lane and every team is looking for an edge to stay in the hunt for the Cup.
In so many ways, all of the technology tools that we have at our fingers tips allow us to do our jobs better and faster. One of the more pleasant surprises I saw early on in this NASCAR season is not just how much fun the fans are having with the FanVision controller, but how our product is being used throughout the NASCAR racing industry.
It all started in Phoenix. Shortly after arriving in the desert, I received a text from the @2Spotter for Brad Keselowski. As I said in last week’s blog, Joey the Spotter (as he’s know around the industry) had heard I was the guy to talk to about getting a FanVision controller to use during the race weekend. It seems his boss (the driver of the Cup #2 Miller Lite car) insisted Joey get his hands on a controller ASAP. After meeting with Joey and a number of other spotters, I could see that our product was helping them be better at their craft. Well, that was not just my opinion; it was the men on top of the tracks stating this as fact.
Also in Phoenix, I was visited by some men (and a woman) that are on the front lines after a car hits the wall of the tracks. As I stood by the FanVision trailer talking to some fans, I was approached by a group of people with ball caps and a steely-eyed glaze that got my attention. A man that towered over me asked if I was Kevin from FanVision? I reached out to shake his hand and nervously said, “Yes sir, that’s me.” I then shook hands with a man that had a grip that told me this would be a great guy to have my back if I were ever in a bar fight. You see, this group of racing pros I was now meeting were the metal fabricators that rush to the racetrack walls after a crash. They were sharing with me that they had mounted a controller in each one of their trucks. I asked them how it was helping them with their work? They then told me after a collision with the wall, they go to the Video Instant Replay ASAP, as that will help them learn what to expect to see when their trucks arrive on the scene. In other words, the controller is “standard equipment” in their trucks.
Sunday morning at Auto Club Speedway I met with a person on a team that is instrumental with race weekend team management. As we all know, the rain-soaked Daytona 500 was a challenge to just about everyone on the scene 6-weeks ago. However, this seasoned veteran of NASCAR team logistics shared something that amazed me. It seems after Sunday and Monday in Daytona, some of their computer equipment on top of the pit box had issues with providing accurate (and important) race data including timing. Rain will do that to electronic equipment. However, they did not learn about this issue until Phoenix. Like Joey, this NASCAR pro was one of the first to contact me about getting a couple of controllers for his team to use. This is the cool part. What I learned was that with critical equipment not working on top of their pit box, they turned to the controller to keep them dialed in on timing and statistics, which are paramount on the management of information they need to communicate with their driver.
That was a very proud moment for me. Like I said in my blog last week, I love my job.
Welcome to the Inside, NASCAR Nation…above the track…on the track…and on top of the pit box.
Remember, winners don’t wait for chances…they take them!