by Monty’s Code http://www.montyscode.com
Greetings from a re-recording mixer who writes iPhone apps on the side and is now trying to speak intelligently about said apps in print form to an unknown group of readers whose response I may never know!
pause for awkward silence…
Silliness aside, my name is Steve Montgomery and my son and I became instant NASCAR fans while watching the 2000 Daytona 500 and have watched nearly every race since (either on TV or in person). Last year, when we started our first fantasy league, we realized we had a problem checking our points throughout the race because we were always watching on our DVR and were usually an hour or two behind. If we looked on the computer, it might show data from lap 200 when we were only up to lap 30. Being innovative and having created a few iPhone apps in the past, a point calculator seemed like a perfect app to make. Initially, I only meant for the two of us to use it but after spending so much time, I decided it might be useful to others as well and I released it as a free app “Fantasy Points Calculator” (photo right) just before the end of the 2011 season.
During my time creating the calculator, I began thinking of the various ways I choose drivers each week for my fantasy team and knew another calculator to handicap drivers would become very useful. I came up with a few basic ways to chart drivers’ progress and was just barely able to get them implemented into my next app,
which was released just days before the 2012 Daytona 500. It is currently designed for iPhone/iPod but will easily run on an iPad in 2x mode. I hope to develop a universal app that has a separate layout for iPad sometime in mid 2012.
In it’s current state, 5 drivers’ finish positions can be chosen at a time (photo right) and plotted on a graph as the actual positions themselves or as a cumulative average as the year progresses. The unique part of the averaging feature is that you can select the number of recent races to average as opposed to looking at the entire year. Averaging the entire year is basically equal to the current points standings and would not be that helpful as an app. By selecting a specific number of recent races, you can average how a driver is doing lately in case they had a particular good/bad streak earlier in the year. Kasey Kahne comes to mind towards the end of 2011. If you took his finish positions throughout the entire year, he averaged about 15th. However, about the time The Chase started, his average improved. His average was about 8th over the final 10 races. This was data I found to be very valuable and is easily displayed in the app.
I am currently (Mar ’12) working on v1.2 which will add the ability to select this week’s track as the data source as opposed to the entire current race season. The graph and list tools will remain the same but will additionally display how each driver did at that particular track over the past 10 years. Afterwards, I may condense that data source from individual tracks to types of tracks (road course, 2 mile, short-track etc) and add it to a future version along with qualifying position, practice speeds, etc. – all of which are important sources of data when trying to choose your drivers for the next race. These, along with your personal “gut feelings”, should provide you with enough data to make an informed decision. I hope you find it useful.
I welcome your feedback, so please get in touch either through Twitter, Facebook or the web site. I can be reached through all of them and will respond as quickly as possible. The web site displays the Twitter feed and you can always check my Twitter posts even if you don’t have an account.
Fantasy Points Plus v1.1 Demo Video