Hooniverse Asks- What's the Best Current Racing Series?

NASCAR, F1, WRC. . . Speed Channel is pretty full of racing when it’s not showing Pinks or the three hundred hours of Barrett Jackson. Some of the racing can be edge of your seat viewing, while some is like watching traded paint dry. The question is, which one’s the best to get your motor running?

Some racing hasn’t yet been deemed TV-worthy, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less exciting- in fact, racing that people actually get off their butts and go to the track to see must be even better than the traditional TV fodder.

As with cars, racing comes in different types- some only turning left for hours on end, some involving various stages of dirt, gravel and macadam, but all forms have their fans.

If you’re going to sit down for a Saturday afternoon of Speed channel, or better yet a Saturday evening at the track, which would be your choice- and why does that particular motorsport give you the chubbs?

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  1. BrianTheHoon Avatar

    LeMons, of course!
    Duh …

    1. vwminispeedster Avatar
      vwminispeedster

      I'll second that. After working tech for Reno and Thunderhill last year we are going to be joining to insanity at Sears Point. So much more fun to watch and participate in than anything else going on. Racers are usually good natured and when they start losing the concept of cheap car racing I just tell them what Judge Jonny told a guy at Reno, "Relax, you're racing a $500 piece of shit. Calm down and have fun."
      On TV not much. Coverage of races I enjoy watching in person (INDY, NASCAR, LeMans, F1, WRC, Dakar) doesn't usually come over as exciting watch on the tube anymore. F1 is getting a little more exciting and NASCAR has turned into a couple of hours of me chanting "anyone but Jimmy please win this." If I could get Aussie supercars then there might be one good bit on. Otherwise I keep watching the TOP GEAR challenges for my auto tv entertainment.

      1. LTDScott Avatar

        I will be attending the Sears Point race as a spectator or maybe LeMons lackey. I love racing LeMons but I am actually looking forward to not having the responsibility of running a team and just getting to enjoy the spectacle and taking it all in.

        1. vwminispeedster Avatar
          vwminispeedster

          I enjoyed the spectacle and being a LeMons lackey (working tech and helping in the penalty box is soooo much fun (sarcasm not implied at all, it really is fun seeing the hands of justice bitch slapping whiny, cheatenous bastids)) and I am now enjoying being team mgr/logistics dude. Stop on by at the "Gone in 60 Laps Mustang GT" and say howdy.
          Chris

  2. BGW Avatar

    Sigh.CART's dead, World Challenge is a dead man walking, ALMS is about 4ft into digging its own grave, F1 is spiraling into parody, I daresay the best racing is going on at the grassroots level these days.
    As far as pro series, the Continental Challenge (formerly Koni Challenge) was pretty entertaining last year and, with Camaro, WRX STI, S4, MS3, Cayman and possibly a Genesis or Evo coming onboard, it should be a stellar year.

    1. skitter Avatar

      Scary 2011 ACO/FIA regulations notwithstanding, ALMS is the best current racing. Multi-class racing means constant on-track action, even if they're not smart enough to let the P2's keep the P1's honest. GT1 is gone, but GT2 grows more and more intense. They race in the rain. They race at night. The races are generally long enough to preclude the idiocy of 1 vs. 2 vs. 3 stops. And it's as far from a spec series as anything in modern racing.

      1. BGW Avatar

        It was as far from a spec series. The introduction of 2 spec field-filler classes for next year really tempered my enthusiasm. And management seems utterly clueless. Let's hope the newly-formed owners 'steering committee' actually steers the series somewhere other than right into a tree!

  3. Kogashiwa Avatar

    MotoGP isn't quite what it used to be, but I'll still vote for that.

    1. muthalovin Avatar

      agreed. at least 2009 had some pretty awesome racing between Rossi and Lorenzo. Aside from those few, it was dull dull dull.

    2. rocketrodeo Avatar
      rocketrodeo

      +1. Motorcycle racing is the sincerest form of racing, IMO. It’s all out on the line. And MotoGP–it’s a whole different level of skill from WSB and any other production-bike-based series.

    3. rocketrodeo Avatar

      +1. MotoGP is a whole different level of skill than any prod-based series. It'll be interesting watching Ben Spies get acclimated this coming year. That, the return of the literbikes, and a healthy Casey Stoner promise to make it a bit more interesting this coming year.

  4. P161911 Avatar

    ALMS might be bouncing back, especially the GT2 class. Since I'm local ,I usually go to Petit LeMans. I really just don't watch that much racing on TV anymore.

  5. joshuman Avatar

    My favorites, in order, are F1, WRC, and the endurance events of ALMS, 24 hours of Le Mans, and the Dakar (with terrible coverage this year). I also watch BTCC and the V8 Supercars whenever I can squeeze them in. I might get an episode or two of the IRC and see how that looks. I'll put the NASCAR race on the garage TV if I'm out there doing things on a Sunday afternoon but I don't pay much attention.

  6. engineerd Avatar

    I used to be a huge NASCAR fan. Dale Earnhardt was my guy. When he died, I started rooting for Ricky Rudd. When he retired I started cheering on Carl Edwards. The last several years, though, have been disappointing. It's like baseball in the '90s where it was the Yankees with a few other winners thrown in here and there. Boring. And NASCAR doesn't seem too interested in doing anything about it. Their powerhouse teams are winning everything and that's how they want it. So, I don't really watch NASCAR any more.
    For me, ignoring the grassroots motorsports like LeMons and Chumpcar, it's all about V8 Supercars. Excellent TV coverage from 7 Sport in Australia. It has a wide range of racing from sprints to endurance races. It is exactly what NASCAR should be.
    F1 is fun to watch for the controversies. Last year was actually fun because the powerhouse teams of McLaren and Ferrari struggled for a good part of the season, allowing the upstart teams of BrawnGP and Red Bull to enjoy some success. Hell, even Force India scored some points.
    WRC is great, too. TV coverage can be spotty though. Sometimes they get the coverage right and it's a blast. Other times they find ways to make it boring as hell.

  7. LTDScott Avatar

    Open wheel racing does nothing for me at all. I've always preferred racing with stock-ish looking cars, so my faves are WRC and Touring/Super Cars. Apparently I'm not destined to be an American motorsports fan.

  8. BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ Avatar
    BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ

    WSB and Inglish motorcycle road race series, altough the Dunlop family dominance.[youtube n05_7QDYnss http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n05_7QDYnss youtube]

  9. Smells_Homeless Avatar
    Smells_Homeless

    Swamp buggies! Really though, I prefer single huge events to series. Dakar, Isle of Man, Sebring and Daytona, and Pike's Peak.

  10. skaycøg Avatar

    I like NASCAR, and I don't have a redneck, and I have all my teeth. I'm a Roushketeer fan, with Carl Edwards being my favorite and Matt Kenseth second. I used to be narrow-minded and root for Fords only, but with Toyota racing now, I root for Chevy and Dodge too. I have the race on TV in the background and only sit to watch the last 30 or so laps.

  11. franchitti27 Avatar

    Any sportscars – V8 Supercars, WTCC, BTCC, DTM, Speed, Rolex, Koni, ALMS, etc…
    F1 (still a fan!) and all of its feeder series.
    WRC
    Red Bull Air Races are a great sight to see if you can catch them live. They put on a great show.
    Never got into NASCAR or IRL. I like to turn left and right.
    Oh wait… You asked for one…

    1. acarr260 Avatar

      I approve of all of this. I missed the DTM race in Hockenheim last year by a week and I really thought about staying an extra week on my own dime just to attend one of those races in Germany.

  12. smokyburnout Avatar

    I pretty much watch it all, so it's hard for me to play favorites. Let's see…
    F1- The off-track drama is interesting as usual, but the on-track action still needs work. The new stewarding system should help.
    NASCAR- It seems like Brian France and the gang have seen the light, and the rule changes this year (standardized race start times, the Nationwide COT, getting rid of the ricer-wing on the Sprint Cup car) look great, but whether or not we see a better show on track remains to be seen.
    WRC- It's on American TV now (though not a channel I get) and they've got some big-name drivers signed for 2010, but I haven't heard good things about the 2011 rules (2wd and no turbos?).
    ALMS- Without Audi in LMP1 and Porsche in LMP2, the only good racing last year was in GT2. I'm not sure how much this year's rules will help that.
    Rolex- Better racing than the ALMS with lower ticket prices! If only the DPs weren't so ugly.
    IndyCar- Tony George is gone and the oval-track rule change near the end of last year definitely made some of the races better. Needs Paul Tracy full-time, some effort to get good American drivers in the series (and KEEP them there), some way to stop the red-and-white car show at the front of the field, and some way to get 2012 (the year the new car and engines debut) here sooner.
    DTM- The racing I've seen on SPEED is decent, and the possible merger with Japan SuperGT is interesting.
    BTCC- Same as above, only they're not merging with SuperGT, there are no factory teams this year, and 2011 rules will allow a spec, non-production-based engine.
    V8 Supercars- Good cars, good racing, good American TV deal!
    But the best current racing series is…
    Short-course off-road racing! It doesn't really matter what series, because they seem to go bankrupt or get sold and rebranded every other year, but it's a good formula and they put on a good show. They've taken some of the best bits of stock-car racing (side-by side racing, that V8 roar) and rally racing (driving fast on dirt with jumps) and put them all on track at once, with races short enough that they don't turn into parades.
    [youtube EZd8JPHBKOk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZd8JPHBKOk youtube]

  13. Festiva_Movemnt Avatar

    V8 Supercars never seem to get too boring… And then there's SCCA Spec Miata.

    1. JawzX Avatar

      I'm with you on the V8 Supercars. The Aussies know a thing or seventy about thrilling racing. I'd also mention the Dakar for pure insanity. Oh, and here's some V8 super action to back you up…[youtube Q4hba6UlQgY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4hba6UlQgY youtube]

    2. Thrashy Avatar

      Spec Miata: Converting perfectly good Miatas into wadded-up sheet metal at a road course near you!

  14. ptschett Avatar

    So hard to say. I do watch or listen to every NAPCARNASCAR WinstonNextelSprint Cup race, though they're too darn long. The shorter BuschNationwide races are more to my liking, but then there's BESPN and their "let's ignore whatever racing is occurring and zoom in on Kyle Busch's/Jimmie Johnson's car so it fills the screen" problem.
    Otherwise, I have to vote for "whatever I can go see in person". From here in Fargo that's the Outlaw sprints at Red River Valley Speedway on occasion (an event I've been meaning to get to, but always had a schedule conflict so far) and RallyAmerica's Ojibwe Forest Rally out to Bemidji.

  15. RacinG73 Avatar

    I gotta stick with my own playground – UMP Modified racing. If you've never been to a dirt oval, you need to get to one ASAP. This clip, here, shows a typical heat race from a small track. Watch the pass around 3:50 and then watch the second place car tag the wall around 4:30.[youtube zx5xtCttYS4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zx5xtCttYS4 youtube]
    Sure, it's probably not what you meant when you said 'series'. But the sanctioning body has tracks all over the country, and there are short-duration touring challenges throughout the summer. Plus, at the beginning of the season all the big dogs head down to Volusia and East Bay in Florida. And they close out the season at Eldora.
    As for my personal watching habits, I record NASCAR (all 3 series) and F1 regularly. I also record whatever ALMS or Rolex Sports Car races I can. Throw in the occasional World of Outlaws sprint car race and the annual Prelude to the Dream on dirt… I wish there was more dirt track racing on TV!

  16. RacinG73 Avatar

    I gotta stick with my own playground – UMP Modified racing. If you've never been to a dirt oval, you need to get to one ASAP. This clip, here, shows a typical heat race from a small track. Watch the pass around 3:50 and then watch the second place car tag the wall around 4:30.[youtube zx5xtCttYS4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zx5xtCttYS4 youtube]
    Sure, it's probably not what you meant when you said 'series'. But the sanctioning body has tracks all over the country, and there are short-duration touring challenges throughout the summer. Plus, at the beginning of the season all the big dogs head down to Volusia and East Bay in Florida. And they close out the season at Eldora.
    As for my personal watching habits, I record NASCAR (all 3 series) and F1 regularly. I also record whatever ALMS or Rolex Sports Car races I can. Throw in the occasional World of Outlaws sprint car race and the annual Prelude to the Dream on dirt… I wish there was more dirt track racing on TV!

  17. RacinG73 Avatar

    I gotta stick with my own playground – UMP Modified racing. If you've never been to a dirt oval, you need to get to one ASAP. This clip, here, shows a typical heat race from a small track. Watch the pass around 3:50 and then watch the second place car tag the wall around 4:30.[youtube zx5xtCttYS4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zx5xtCttYS4 youtube]
    Sure, it's probably not what you meant when you said 'series'. But the sanctioning body has tracks all over the country, and there are short-duration touring challenges throughout the summer. Plus, at the beginning of the season all the big dogs head down to Volusia and East Bay in Florida. And they close out the season at Eldora.
    As for my personal watching habits, I record NASCAR (all 3 series) and F1 regularly. I also record whatever ALMS or Rolex Sports Car races I can. Throw in the occasional World of Outlaws sprint car race and the annual Prelude to the Dream on dirt… I wish there was more dirt track racing on TV!

  18. abrigoto Avatar

    i like Dakar rally more than F1, because it's a real challenge for a driver. vote for rally at http://coolometer.org/f1-vs-dakar

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