Title from sbnation.com
Fox announced early Monday morning that ratings were up 30 percent from last year’s Daytona 500, a jump that is largely attributable to Danica Patrick.
Title from espn.com
Danica boosts Daytona’s TV ratings
There were a lot things that contributed to this year’s ratings success compared to last year (in no particular order):
#1) Last year’s race was rain delayed and on a Monday night (pretty much ensuring that this year’s 500 would have higher ratings).
#2) The fiery spectacle that was last year’s night race – maybe not many watched it live, but the Daytona 500 in general got a lot more coverage because of it.
#3) New Gen-6 Car.
#4) No more tandem racing in the Cup series.
#5) Big wreck in the Nationwide race the night before.
#6) A champion who, like him or not, is very very active and accessible on social media.
#7) Absence of animated rodentia.
#8) Historic run for Danica, starting on pole and finishing 8th.
While it’s almost impossible to quantify the impact of each of these factors (Danica can’t be solely responsible), overall, this could be the beginning of a NASCAR revival. For the past few years, my subconscious has been adding to the list of “reasons why the next race will be boring/annoying”. It’s good to start adding to the list of “reasons to be excited about racing” again.