When it wasn’t drag racing, swamp buggies, or stock car racing of some type on TV it was usually SCCA Trans Am and GTP style road racing. These classes were hugely popular in the 1980s, largely because the manufacturers all threw in hard on supporting them. SCCA changed their rules in the early 1980s to get the cars back to looking like modified factory pieces and that move both brought the fans and the companies running to support them. Mustangs and Camaros were mixing it up with Porsches and other foreign cars. Not only were they mixing it up, they were winning.
Drivers like Scott Pruett, Dorsey Schrader, Jack Baldwin, Pete Halsmer, Willy T Ribbs, and more would run in front of massive crowds on both dedicated road courses and city courses as well. The top dog class was GTP which were prototype racers like were popular in Europe but they were less encumbered by rules on this side of the pond. The cars raced and crashed spectacularly.
It is weird to see these cars and the crowds and then look and see what this type of racing is like today. It is virtually silent in terms of media and popularity. We know that the Tudor series is working to bring it back but they are a long way off from the glory days of the 1980s. This was really something else.