I started following NASCAR in my teens. The movie, “Days of Thunder” got me hooked. Next thing you know, I was spending my Sundays watching races. So writing this post – to announce the Windows 10/NASCAR/Hendrick Motorsports partnership – is a dream come true for me. (Not to mention my seven year old son, who is a huge fan of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.)
It makes me proud to work with two amazing organizations: NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports. They share one of the most passionate fan bases in the world (much like Windows) and a long, proud history. And throughout the sport, there are many People of Action moving the world forward, by doing great things, both big and small.
Hendrick Motorsports is one of the more decorated teams in the sport, and one of the standout leaders and examples of People of Action is Dale Earnhardt Jr., who has been voted NASCAR’s most popular driver 12 times by his loyal fan base! He’s also very committed to education and helping underprivileged youth realize their full potential through his foundation. And like myself, he loves his Xbox. In fact, I’ve heard that his new RV features a custom casing for his Xbox One. So I’m so proud to have Dale Jr. driving the Windows 10 logo’d #88 car at Sonoma Raceway June 28, and at Pocono Raceway Aug. 2. In doing so, Hendrick and Dale Jr. will help us provide broader awareness of the FREE upgrade to Windows 10 that will be available July 29.*
Just like Windows democratized personal computing, NASCAR has made a wonderful sport incredibly accessible. Fans can visit pit road, meet the drivers and hang out for the entire weekend.
Being able to get so close has always given fans a chance to see the considerable amount of technology in NASCAR at work. Where this partnership provides an upgrade for NASCAR is by providing better tools and solutions to help analyze all that data through Microsoft Azure, and render the analytics and data to make faster decisions on and off the track on Windows-powered devices. Last year, we worked with NASCAR to deliver a Windows touch enabled mobile line of business application that was used throughout the race car inspection process across all three NASCAR series (Camping World Truck, Xfinity and Sprint Cup), which reduced inspection times by nearly half.
With Windows 10, NASCAR can run one code base for apps across all types of devices and race operations. This gives officials and NASCAR operations the freedom to move around the track to make better decisions, versus being locked down in a hauler inside, or outside, the track. In the future, our partnership will let NASCAR bring this data to its fans quicker – be it on jumbo screens at the track, on TV or on fans’ mobile devices.
For Hendrick Motorsports, it’s the same principle. The team will be able to capture and analyze terabytes of data and run simulations in Azure to make better decisions on tire wear, fuel consumption and chassis/car setups. And building Windows 10 universal apps will let the crew chief and engineers be more mobile at the track and stay connected with engineers back at the race team’s shop to make real-time decisions.
I could go on and on about how excited we all are at Windows about these two partnerships.
But as you may have heard, all of us at Windows are driving hard towards the release of Windows 10 and the free upgrade* July 29th.
So I’ll leave you with the words of another legendary driver, Ricky Bobby, “it takes team work to make the dream work.”
And be sure to check out the announcement today and stories from NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports.
* Some hardware/software requirements apply and feature availability may vary by device and market. The availability of Windows 10 upgrade for Windows Phone 8.1 devices may vary by OEM, mobile operator or carrier. See windows.com/windows10upgrade for details.