I totally understand where you're coming from but lets face it you always get a better show by watching the racing on tv. Spectating in person really limits the drama and build up of a pass.
You're right though it's hard for a race car driver to race hard when the asphalt is rough and a slight mistake puts you into a barrier unlike most dedicated race tracks.
I've raced some events where we share the weekend with Grand Am at VIR and I'll be honest it's pretty boring to watch live after an hour but I guess just about anything is after you been going 170 mph racing your own car
. The most exciting parts is being in the pits and watching the pros go to work on wrecked cars etc. Being there to see the cars, the smells, and literally feeling everything racing has to offer is great and then watching the race taped afterwards gives you the best of everything.