Race Weekend Central

Overnight Ratings Decline Slightly for Richmond

Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 marked another drop in television viewership this season for NASCAR. According to Sports Media Watch, the race came in posting a 2.9 Nielsen rating, down 6% from last year’s 3.1 for the rain-delayed Richmond event a year ago. That race was run on Sunday as well following a rainout.

After that event, the racetrack petitioned and was granted a move back to a Sunday day race for its spring race. But the marketing ploy didn’t work; not only were many seats in the stands empty but the rating marked the lowest for the April Richmond race since its move to FOX in 2007.

That 2.9 number also came in as the second lowest rating in the history of NASCAR on FOX for non-rainout events. It’s slightly ahead of the rain-delayed Texas race from earlier this month that scored a 2.5 rating.

The race came in second in overall popularity for the weekend compared to other sporting events. NASCAR finished behind the Warriors vs. Rockets NBA playoff game that scored a 5.4 rating.

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Forget the TV ratings……………look how empty the stands were at Richmond and Bristol……….these were normally packed for years for their races. NASCAR has a problem and that is apathy for the sport now. People have plenty of other things to do with their money and time without getting ripped off at the tracks. have been a fan for over 50 years but even I don’t go to the races anymore. Prices are ridiculous.


I agree that both NASCAR and TV have a problem. NASCAR because it has persisted far too long in a course that many fans didn’t (and still don’t) agree with and the tv broadcasts suffer because of their insistence on not showing people at home the entire race but focusing on specific drivers/teams.

The weather was great on Sunday so I worked outside and just came in and out to see what was going on with the race. As you said Ed, people have plenty of other things to do with their money & time and it seems that many fans, having been ignored and disrespected by NASCAR and the tv partners, have decided to do those other things.

There have been several recent articles blaming the fans for “not supporting NASCAR”. Well, that is a silly argument IMO since most fans did support NASCAR for many years even while they were grumbling about things they didn’t like. So now that many fans finally decided enough was enough and quit outright or became casual fans, so now the media/NASCAR are griping about the fans leaving or not watching. Hey, here’s a clue for both NASCAR and the media, you can only aggravate, frustrate or annoy your customers for so long before they find something better to do.


I think it is Jeff Gordon.
The dramatic fall off in ratings and attendance has happened very quickly.
Ticket prices and the announcing haven’t changed much since the end of last year.

How many of us don’t have a driver?
I was a die hard Ward Burton fan and then rooted for his brother but haven’t had a rooting interest really since then.
I still love racing but relate more to the guys at any of the NC short tracks.
Go to Bowman Gray stadium and you will see the rivalries and passionate fans that come along with it.

I don’t think people relate to these guys who seem to walk in to a ride at age 16.

I wish one of the teams would take a chance on somebody that looks like Jimmy Spencer who dominates his short track. Haha


Certainly Jeff Gordon is the biggest departure but I think you can also go back to other drivers that have retired in the last 10-12 years (Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, Bill Elliott and so on). I was a Jeff Burton fan. Like many fans of the drivers mentioned, I never latched onto a new driver. Once you lose that connection, the race all of a sudden doesn’t become appointment television. There have been times the last few years where I’ve been home with nothing to do and sometimes it doesn’t even occur to me that the race is on.

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