|There is a reason it is called The Greatest Spectacle|
Steve Jarzombek @sejarzo
My first race was the 1978 Indy 500, Al Sr.'s third win...we sat in the paddock directly across from his pit. I've watched other race series from time to time but never have been huge fan of anything but AOWR, only having attended the 2000 and 2001 USGP's and no NASCAR events. I live close to a 1/2 mile paved oval and loved to watch the USAC midgets and sprints run there twice a year, but alas...there's only one very low-tier midget event there every season now.
Favorite races of all time...wow, that's not easy. Two stick out in my mind, the first being the 1982 Indy 500. A group of my college friends all got together and we sat in L South, so we watched Mears & Johncock dueling into T3 a number of times in the final laps. The crowd was standing and screaming so loudly that we couldn't understand anything on the PA!!! All we could do once those two went out of sight at T4 was turn to our friend who was wearing some AM radio headphones, struggling to hear the result as the battery was dying...a big Mears fan, mind you...and we knew from the suddenly dejected look on his face that Gordy won.
Tyler Duke @indycarpeggio
I have always been an Indycar fan! My first racing memory is watching the entire 1992 Indy 500 by myself while my Dad was working on my Grandparent's roof. I was cheering for Al Unser Jr. so I was pretty excited when he won! My top 2 favorite races are the 2006 and 2011 Indy 500. I was screaming at the TV for the finish of both! My favorite race that I attended was my first Indy 500, in 2004. I haven't been able to get back to Indy since, but I'm happy to say I'll be back this year!
Matthew Hickey @Indycar_MN
Favorites include: F1: Spa ’08, Suzuka ’05, Montreal ’11, Indy ’05 (Psych!) Indycar: ’06 Indy 500, ’11 Indy 500, ’10 Chicago, ’05 Chicago, ’07 Iowa, Iowa ’11, and Toronto ’11.
I have been to every Indycar race held at Iowa, and every year it seems to get better! Absolutely love going there, great facility and great fans. The hook, line, and sinker moment where I got hooked onto racing was when I went to the 2006 Indy 500, which will go down as one of the greatest 500’s in history, so privileged to witness it!
Mathew Gruenholz @MagooTheSTIG
Oh boy... lots to choose from. First race I remember getting really excited over was when i was 7, it was the 1992 Indy 500 where Al Jr. edged out Scott Goodyear (I was cheering for Goodyear lol), The 2002 Daytona 500 with Ward Burton (Wawd-Buuwrton) taking the win, any race with an interview of Ward is a WIN. I attended the 2011 Indy 500 with Dan Wheldon's historic last win... AMAZING BEYOND WORDS.
Connor DePhillippi @CDePhillippi11
Some of my favorite races would have to be Long Beach and the 12 Hours of Sebring. The history behind the Long Beach Grand Prix and the fact that it is basically in my backyard, really makes it a big event for me. Hopefully this year I will finally accomplish one of my goals that I've been working on my whole career, and that is to finally race in front of all my friends and family who have supported me for the past 14 years. And as for the best race... that is pretty much a no brainer. The Indianapolis 500 is by far the most incredible sporting spectacle in the world and in 2010 I had my first ever experience at it. There isn't even a way to explain the whole experience. You just have to GO!
D.J. Jordan @djordan3223
Best race I have ever seen was either this year Kentucky race with Ed Carpenter winning or the 2006 Indy 500 battle between Sam Hornish Jr and Marco Andretti. I have a tie on the best races I have ever attended. First is Helio Castroneves' 3rd 500 win in 2009 with everything that happened during the off season. The second is this year's 500. J.R. Hildebrand hit the wall right in front of us. I was jumping up & down yelling "Wheldon's gonna win!!!" about five times.
Jerry Cruz @jerrycruz1077
Well, I started following IndyCar basically as an Indy 500 casual fan back in the 80's but the race that got me hook was the 1989 Indy 500 race won by Emerson Fittipaldi. At that point I followed what I could (no DVR, ouch!) and usually I got to see Cleveland GP, Toronto GP and Milwaukee. That year I went to college and IndyCar was on the backseat as a season but I kept following the Indy 500 and the Marlboro colors. After the split I lost some interest in the sport (even tried NASCAR for almost 2 years for God's sake!) when I really "discovered" the IRL's oval pack racing in 2003 at Texas. From that race on I have seen ALL IndyCar races. So you can say I was a CART fan which got swept away by the split but also by the lack of entertainment and high-speed thrills the ovals provide. The best race I have attended was the 2007 Homestead Miami race won by Dan Wheldon in dominant fashion!!! My Penske boys were no match for Danny Boy that day.
Stay tuned for week two of the roundtable debate!