I know some of you race fans have been there: watching a race on TV and it seems like not much is going on. With the camera crew focusing only on the leaders, it can look a little unappealing. Not to mention that when there is not a battle between the leaders, that makes the race seem a little more tedious. This is probably the first impression that a person new to racing gets, but when you go to a race live, the experience changes drastically.
In the Indycar race at Barber Motorsports Park, the leaders were out in front and was not much action up front, but further back in the field, the race was on. Watching Dario Franchitti and Sebastian Bourdais run through the field from 12th and 13th to 9th and 10th was more exciting than the race up front. Seeing the battle live with your own two eyes really pumps you up and makes you want to come back for more. Just because it was not the leaders fighting for position does not mean that it was not good. That is what is unique about racing, every position and point counts.
My first experience with seeing Indycars live was at Fontana in 2004. I had followed the series for only about a year and was more of a NASCAR fan myself. The sight and sound of the field of cars in practice flying past you at 220-plus mph was just amazing; especially when you are used to seeing NASCAR stock cars that only go about 190 mph around that track. Needless to say, after seeing those practice laps, I became very intrigued with Indycar.
A living, walking example of this theory is my stepfather whom is from Argentina and has lived in the United States for the past 22 years. He had grown up watching Formula 1 and had never been interested in oval racing, given his European background with racing. In October of last year, he, my mother and a few of their friends got tickets for the Indycar race at Las Vegas. After seeing the first couple of laps at the race, he phoned his brother back in California and told him, "Hey, turn the race on, this so cool!" Unfortunately, the race was marred by the terrible accident that claimed the life of Dan Wheldon, but he did say that those 10 laps really impressed him.
My advice: If you are a race fan and have a friend who doesn't get it, take them to race live and they're opinion will change one way or the other.