We here at Jalopnik have already firmly established that drone cams in racing are objectively Good. But NASCAR is stepping up the game for this weekend’s race at Talladega by introducing the Alta 8, the most advanced and terrifying-looking drone to be used as part of an on-air broadcast.
The Alta 8 is an absurd piece of machinery. It has a five-axis camera stabilization, which basically means this drone can be buffeted by all kinds of wind and look like it’s sitting completely stable. I won’t bore you with its full list of impressive specs—basically all you need to know is that this particular model costs almost $18,000 because it’s the film camera equivalent of the drone you’d buy your kiddos.
This isn’t the first time NASCAR has used a drone—they’ve been using them since the start of the season—but it’s the first time they’ve used one this ridiculously nice.
I’m hoping they get creative with it and make the most out of the Alta 8 (let’s get up close and personal with the cars!!!) but I have a feeling no-fun NASCAR isn’t going to let that happen unless this thing has been, like, wind-tunnel tested to ensure that it won’t accidentally give up the ghost while hovering over the track. I doubt NASCAR officials want The Big One to be caused by bits of drone laying on the track.
That said, there is something very NASCAR about camera equipment fucking up a race. The drone could go down in infamy, right next to the camera cables that stopped the Coke 600.