I only started watching at the start of this season, now im a fully fledged Hamlin fanboy
Hadnt a clue who was who, apart from the big name drivers you cant really not know, I watched the pre-season race to see if i could get into it, picked a couple of drivers i knew (Montoya & Danica) but knew they were mid-pack at best, and for no acceptable reason picked Hamlin cos he'd just had a decent spell towards the front in that race but largely because of being a Hamilton fanboy i knew i'd at least be able to remember who i'd picked. As i said, absolutely unacceptable method of selection, but what the heck The #11 has significance too, which was nice, so that made it all the easier as your watching 40 odd cars, with 40 odd paintjobs, absolutely no visible sign of teams like you'd have in F1 or most motorsports, it just made things easier. I also ended up partially interested in the other Joe Gibbs Racing guys, Kyle Busch & Logano, a disliking of Kenseth (replacing Logano next season) cos for 1 race his car carried a rival football/soccer teams logo which is absolutely unacceptable (and pathetic ).
It probably helped that he won the 2nd race of the season, cos races can be so topsy-turvy they'll be racing top 5 one week and 20th the next, and that just doesnt happen in the series i normally watch. So seeing the random driver i'd picked being in contention certainly helped.
Since then ive watched all the races, a handful of NNS races, some qualifying sessions, and all of Hamlins wins from 2010 and the Chase races from 2011 (The chase & 2010 races all watched in about 10 days!) so its got me hooked pretty good i'd say.
Pick a half decent driver or 2, and give it fair shot, and it makes it far easier to get into the races when you interested in the outcome. I'd imagine most people will have considered Sundays race a bit boring except for the last 50 laps, i was hooked because your guys looking strong to get a win, whereas if your a neutral it needs to be a really good race to be exciting & entertaining, having someone to cheer for certainly helps in a series that goes round & round & round...
Unfortunately the races here in the UK are on a junk premium station, they carry nothing else of remote interest, although i could watch the highlights but when ive watched a race then the highlights they absolutely butcher it, and i cant bring myself to watch them over the web as it just ruins it and im too easily distracted, but the couple of races ive watch streamed and joined in the fun on here, its a lot more enjoyable and full of lighthearted banter, its just a shame i'd have to sacrifice quality to join in the fun
Thanks very much for the advice, I'm going to try again this weekend and do just what you suggest.
I want to make a solid effort to get into this as the long F1 break sort of freaked me out a bit and I realized
I needed something to fall back on.