NASCAR got the TV viewership bump it wanted for Sunday’s Daytona 500. For 20 laps of racing, anyway.
Per Fox, viewership for the 62nd annual race was up significantly year-over-year from 2019 for the opening portion of the broadcast. The first 20 laps of the race were preceded by pre-race festivities involving President Donald Trump, who delivered remarks to the crowd and gave the command for drivers to start their engines. Trump also led the field on a ceremonial pace lap in his presidential limousine before the race began.
The 20 laps of the 2020 D500 on FOX averaged 10,935,000 viewers, +19% over last year’s full race average of 9,184,000 viewers. Initial tune-in for yesterday’s race was 11,193,000 viewers, +32% over last year’s initial tune-in of 8,476,000 viewers. Best since 2015. @NASCARONFOX— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) February 17, 2020
The 10.9 million person average for Fox’s broadcast is up over 1.6 million from the 9.3 million person viewership average for the entire 2019 race. The bump is certainly good news for NASCAR amidst flagging TV ratings. And the sanctioning body is undoubtedly cursing the weather after seeing the television numbers.
Sunday’s race was halted by rain for approximately 50 minutes between Trump’s ceremonial pace laps and the green flag. After the race got going, drivers completed those 20 laps before more rain ended up wiping out the possibility of racing the rest of the day. The race resumed at 4 p.m. ET on Monday.
And Trump made sure to remind everyone that it was on TV.
Completion of the Daytona 500 on Fox Network now. Enjoy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2020
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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