When I started writing about NASCAR in 2011 it was all about taking my passion and excitement for NASCAR racing to a new level. It was all about becoming a member of the media and getting even more access and knowledge about the sport. I was able to accomplish those goals but somewhere along the way I lost something and I didn’t even know it.
I’ll tell you a secret, well maybe not a secret but something I didn’t know. Most of the media people, who you know and love, at most of the tracks, actually watch the race on TV in the media center. They don’t see the commercials as the cameras still roll in the media center but they do watch the coverage on TV. They do have access real time to an actually live leader board and everything available via a scanner real-time if you’re at the track.
Since I have been a member of the media I actually have not sat in the stands looking at the whole track since August of 2013. This year at seemingly the last moment I decided to visit Daytona International Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway, as a fan, to see the races there. It was everything I expected from the eleven years I had attended races as a fan prior to being in the media.
While doing my weekly radio show it was discussed that the Atlanta race at times wasn’t very exciting. That there was too much single file follow the leader racing. I chimed in that it was a very exciting race but in an instant it dawned on me. As I reran the race in my head it occurred to me that yes while viewing on TV one might come to a much different conclusion as to how the race progressed.
There was two and sometimes three wide racing from approximately sixth place on back through the field throughout the race at Atlanta. There was drivers moving up through the field as they made their cars better and others that were dropping through the field as the reverse happened. That is what I had been missing.
NASCAR fans if your driver doesn’t happen to be up front and on TV there is no better way to get a feel for exactly how bad it is then being at the track. Seeing your driver either pass others in similar circumstances or being passed by other drivers. It’s very telling. At one point in time I happened to see all three Roush Fenway cars racing two and three wide for about 20th. Some were moving up and others not. It was very telling. Something you just can’t get a feel for watching on TV.
I recommend every NASCAR fan get to a track to see and experience the whole picture. Some drivers results may not look so bleak as they do on the score card.
Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.
Feature Photo Credit: 305909 Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images