Zoom: Daytona 500 ratings soar for Fox
Race averages a 10.0 household rating, up 30 percent
February 26, 2013
The combination of a horrific crash the day before the race and excitement over Danica Patrick’s historic achievement drove ratings for the Daytona 500 to their highest level in seven years.
Sunday afternoon’s race on Fox soared 30 percent over last year, when rain forced the event into primetime on a Monday.
The race averaged a 10.0 household rating and 22 share, according to Nielsen metered-market ratings, compared to a 7.7 last year.
It was the best year-to-year increase ever for the race, and it marked the highest-rated Daytona since the race aired on NBC in 2006, when it drew a 10.1.
Greensboro, N.C., drew the highest local rating, a 21.2, followed by Indianapolis (20.5), Charlotte (20.3), Jacksonville (19.6) and Dayton (19.1).
It peaked with a 12.8 from 4:30 to 4:45 p.m., as Jimmie Johnson was securing his second-ever Daytona title.
Analysts had predicted that the race would do well.
Patrick became the first woman to ever win the pole at Daytona, adding to the buzz in the hours leading up to the race. She also became the first woman to finish in the top 10.
Sadly, a crash at the track on Saturday during an earlier race also spurred more interest in Daytona.
More than a dozen cars were caught in a pileup during a Nationwide Series race, and debris that flew from the track injured 28 fans.
There was some question, in the hours after the accident, whether the Daytona 500 would go on, because of the damage that was done to the track.
But the race track’s crew got everything repaired in time for Sunday’s race, and some of the fans who were injured on Saturday were even in attendance at the Daytona 500.
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