My plea to NASCAR.COM and TrackPass (RaceView) Developers

It’s probably a good thing I waited until today to write this; otherwise, it would have been full of many colorful words. :) This is a follow-up to my last post. I tried to run NASCAR.COM’s RaceView during the Michigan race this past Sunday and all I got was either a window with “loading” at the bottom or just a solid white window. This occurred in both Firefox and Internet Explorer. I opened up the Java console in both Firefox and IE and it just had a Java error of a Null pointer assignment:

java.lang.NullPointerException
 at com.sun.opengl.util.JOGLAppletLauncher.start(JOGLAppletLauncher.java:385)
 at sun.plugin2.applet.Plugin2Manager$AppletExecutionRunnable.run(Unknown Source)
 at java.lang.Thread.run(Unknown Source)
Exception: java.lang.NullPointerException

Yes, I did try to reload several times. So I gave up and just started PitCommand to listen to Dale Jr’s audio. I did have to start it in IE first before the audio would work in Firefox and I just didn’t care to investigate this further. I was frustrated and missing the race. Before you ask, I do meet their minimum system requirements.

Now, I don’t mind troubleshooting problems; however, I do not want to do it during the actual race! It totally ruins the fan’s experience. How can you expect fans to search knowledge bases and forums, reinstall Java, plug-ins, audio and video drivers, and do whatever else might be potentially involved? It boggles my mind that there isn’t a race simulator that we can test these applications with during the week. If I was a NASCAR website/TrackPass developer I’d scream for this. I am quite sure the website team has no desire to fix the software during races either (I only hope they at least have some internal system to do this). Normally I wouldn’t give a flying fruitcake about it, but I am paying more for TrackPass than I am for my webhosting here that my blog, among several other sites, is on. The IndyCar RaceControl works (yes, they do loose timing and scoring sometimes but that’s an issue at their end when it happens) and it’s free.

This will probably be my last season to subscribe to RaceView. If the preview works during next year’s Daytona 500 then I might reconsider; otherwise, I’ll just stick with the scanner.

I welcome any comments about other’s experiences and how you got it to work, if you did.

21 thoughts on “My plea to NASCAR.COM and TrackPass (RaceView) Developers

  1. MarkRH Post author

    Thought I would follow up here and mention that I did manage to get it working during the Bristol race. Think I spent the first 200 laps of the race working on it in both IE8 and Firefox. A combination of what the NASCAR.COM website folks did (this is an assumption as I don’t specifically know what if anything they did) and what I did got it going. I would like to thank @NASCAR for alerting the website folks of my difficulties. I’ll most likely post another article with what I did.

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  2. irgeek

    same crap today b4 Texas. I am a Java programmer and portability is what makes the language great but seems these guys r getting shoddy with advertising hooks that depend on IE extensions and such, or just sloppy code. My nullpointer exception today is because it is looking for a text properties (settings) file that the forgot 2 deploy, or set permissions wrong. Rookie mistakes. I won’t pay for it next year. thx

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  3. JerryW

    I am having the same problems on a new Windows install with brand new Java and Octoshape loaded. It doesn’t work in either IE8 or Firefox. This is my 3rd computer to try on. They have already auto drafted my 79.95 on Feburary 1, 2011. I have emailed support, but no reply back.

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  4. JoeG

    I tried using Raceview during the Bud Shootout but couldn’t get the video to work. I thought it was because my computer didn’t meet the minimum specs (3 year old HP laptop). I called a couple days later to cancel, but they already charged me 79.95 for the new year. I yelled at them for about 30 minutes trying to get a refund, but they refused. I even emailed them but got a BS stock answer. I bought a new computer the next week, with new Windows7, Octoshape, Firefox, Unity, WMP installs – exceeds all the minimum requirements. Still no video during the Phoenix race. And now the audio only works sometimes for the drivers (no problems with the Officials radio, but who wants to listen to those idiots). I tried everything they suggest in their help info on both IE and Firefox. At this point, I give up on Raceview. I got the subscription changed to 6-months for Scanner (about $15) and they will refund the rest. Damn NASCAR.com and their crappy product. Now I’m stuck with the horrible TV coverage.

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  5. MarkRH Post author

    Actually, RaceView changed to an Adobe Flash application and does not use Octoshape, Java, or WMP anymore. In order to get the video to play, you have to install a new player that’s specific to their application. I haven’t installed that video player yet because I don’t really need it. That’s what the 52″ HDTV in the other room is for. :) As far as the audio goes, I have found that to force it to change audio streams I have to select the radio, then some other driver, and then the driver I want to listen to.

    Anyway, it worked fine for me with both IE8 and Firefox with this new Adobe Flash application without me doing anything this year. All you should really have to do is go to http://www.adobe.com and install the latest Flash player.

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  6. Catherine Tait

    I just spent the entire race trying to figure out what was wrong with Raceview. The “virtual video” wouldn’t work, so I spent three hours trying to find the cause of the problem. All radio communication was fine, but the video was either a blank screen, or it was in a constant state of buffering. I didn’t know if there was a setting I needed to adjust on my computer, or if there was a Raceview problem in general. The first two races worked fine with the video, but wondering what the problem is now is driving me crazy. I wish there was a help centre available for Raceview that had live support to answer these questions!

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  7. Matt_B

    My Reaceview works just fine in Firefox ….. try to listen to the audio for any driver, MRN, ect. no go. I have done everything that I can think of with still no results … Pit command AOK.

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  8. MarkRH Post author

    Pit Command has worked fine with Firefox 4 for me as well for driver audio and so on. However, I have been having audio troubles with RaceView in Firefox 4. So, if I want to use RaceView, I just load it with IE8. I just haven’t bothered to troubleshoot it yet because I don’t want to during races and then I forget about it until the next race LOL. I need to do some race replays and see what happens with FF4.

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  9. Cliff Eck

    The Michigan race was a total loss of features for me. I have two computers one with Windows 7 and Chrome, the other with IE8 and XP. Both have been able to get all features for everything until Michigan. I couldn’t access anything on either one and it would not even allow log in.

    The login works fine today and I can access all my account information so it couldn’t have been that. If there were some tech problems it would have been good of them to announce it in stead of letting me fidget with my computers the whole race trying to fix them.

    It looks like NASCAR Trackpass is getting as shoddy as NASCAR seems to becoming.

    BTW, I entered a ticket complaint. Within a few minutes I recieved a response that the problem was solved and the request was deleted. That just makes no sense at all.

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  10. Mark Headrick Post author

    I actually had no problems with either RaceView or PitCommand for the race with Firefox 6.0 and Windows XP Home/SP3. I do generally keep up to date with the latest versions of Java and Adobe Flash (which RaceView now uses).

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  11. Will Curtis

    Won’t work on my vista machines. Stops loading at 80.
    Worked on an old XP machine, but won’t play a replay.
    Put in a ticket with no response. Nascar really does suck. Even ARCA’s leader board is better.

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  12. Mark Headrick Post author

    I tried RaceView for awhile in Firefox 10.0.2 and had audio problems but so was everyone else. It was a problem on their end at the beginning of the shootout. I’ve never installed the video player so I don’t know if it actually would have worked or not. The scanner audio in PitCommand, which is still a Java application, worked just fine. I’m still using Windows XP Home/SP3 so I have no idea how it behaves in Windows 7.

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  13. Will Curtis

    Just worked fairly well for the Shootout on an XP Machine. Won’t even load on Vista machines. I now replays races from last year on the XP. At least MLB.TV has a forum. Nascar has nothing. They really don’t care.

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  14. Greg Hale

    I cannot get Scanner to allow me to login. I enter user name and password and when clicking login, the page refreshes and does nothing. This is in IE9, Chrome, and Firefox.

    Any suggestions?

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  15. Mark Headrick Post author

    Well, I was using RaceBuddy the whole time and watching/listening to Dale Jr’s in-car cam and audio so I never tried logging into the scanner or anything else. About all I can suggest in these cases is to clear the browser cache and get rid of any cookies related to NASCAR.COM and try again. Also, make sure nothing is prohibiting the site from creating the cookies it needs to log you in. Since it was happening in every browser it doesn’t sound browser specific. Maybe your anti-virus, firewall, or other security related software/setting were interfering. About all I can do is wait til next race to check it out on my end.

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  16. sheezy35

    That’s all it does everytime all the time is buffer! I have wasted so much money on this thing and it’s a piece of crap. The only that works is the audio

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  17. Mark Headrick Post author

    I cancelled my subscription to the whole thing before last season started. No scanner or anything now. Sometimes I miss listening to Dale Jr’s audio but for the most part haven’t missed it at all. It’s actually kind of nice not having to screw around with anything when it’s not working. Most of the races stream online now so I can watch the actual broadcast while I’m on my PC. :) Watching today’s race via WatchESPN.

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  18. cliffeck

    Totally frustrated. I would not recommend Raceview to anyone. It’s the most unreliable and costly program I have.

    Awful.

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  19. Jack Bowman

    After the first race of 2014 Raceview would not work, I cancelled my contract in March 2014 and asked for a refund. I did not receive anything, now its 2/3/2015 and Nascar has charged me another $79.95. I called them and they do have a record of me cancelling in March of 2014 but they charged me anyway. Now after spending half a day on the phone and the computer I may get a refund for 2015. I will not hold my breath, this is a lesson learned to never buy anything from NASCAR. Nuff Said JB

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  20. Mark Headrick Post author

    Hey Jack,

    My first comment after installing my latest anti-spam plugin. :) Anyway, after NASCAR changed the website to a more mobile centric view, I went there as little as possible. This year it looks a bit better but it was down right awful before.

    I don’t miss Raceview or any of it now.

    Hopefully you’ll get the refund for 2015 since you haven’t actually watched any races with it yet.

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