The Daytona 500 provided some positive news for NASCAR. Not only did the strange circumstances surrounding the final 10 laps dominate sports talk on social media, it also led to an increase in viewership over last year’s race.
Daytona’s 2018 edition pulled a 5.1 rating. This year saw that number rise by 8% to a 5.5 rating. It was good enough to beat the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, which only drew a 5 in the ratings. NASCAR also saw ratings growth last weekend. Ratings for the Advance Auto Parts Clash were up 3% from 2018 despite this year’s event being shortened by rain.
Any gain in viewership is a positive for NASCAR these days, and while ratings are up from last year they are still far off of where they were for the 2017 Daytona 500. That race pulled a 6.5 rating.
Still, the headline for NASCAR will be the success of its advertising strategy. Four of the top five markets in the ratings for the Daytona 500 were cities where NASCAR bought advertising during non-racing programming during the week.