Camera offers unique approach to watching NASCAR races

Credit: AP

Ryan Newman, left, and Kurt Busch (2) lead the field at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Coca-Cola 600 auto race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., Sunday, May 30, 2010. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)


by IRA CRONIN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @IraWCNC

Posted on May 17, 2013 at 5:50 AM

Updated Friday, May 17 at 1:52 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It's called CAMCAT and it's going to bring a whole new view of the racing here at Charlotte Motor Speedway that has never been seen before. 

CAMCAT is basically a 3,000 foot two point pulley system that is run between two giant cranes, located in turn1 and turn 4. 

The camera goes up to 85 miles an hour along the entire front stretch, and adds a tremendous sense of the speed the cars are traveling at to the images broadcast of the race. 

The CAMCAT will be hard to miss whether you're watching the race at home on your television, or if you're here in person at the track.

“The fans will also see it zooming back and forth in front of them when we were at Daytona a lot of people took notice of the camera, so you if you come down to the racetrack you definitely see the pictures it makes and you will see the thing going back-and-forth as well.”

It takes two people to run the CAMCAT from inside a large shipping container located near the crane in turn 4. 

One person controls the rigging and the speed at which the camera moves back and forth on the lines, the other person runs the camera controls, pan, zoom, focus and both people have to work in concert to bring these amazing images to life.