by Micah Roberts
Two of NASCAR’s top rated events annually have been the season opening Daytona 500 and then the third race of the year at Las Vegas. The Daytona 500 saw it’s rating decrease from a 9.2 share in 2009 to 7.7 in 2010.
Las Vegas had the toughest competition of all going against the final day of NBC’s Olympic coverage which included the much anticipated gold medal men’s hockey match between the USA and Canada. Had the game been a blow out, NASCAR on Fox may have had more tune in, but the game was a thriller with USA forcing an overtime in final seconds of regulation before Canada eventually won 3-2.
Once the hockey match was over at 2:30 pm (PT), more tuned into the NASCAR race bumping the rating to 5.0 by 3:00 pm. But matters weren’t helped much by the fact that this years Las Vegas race was the second shortest in track history just under three hours.
This week’s race in Atlanta will be the first chance NASCAR of Fox will have no major competition and truly gauge if some of NASCAR’s new changes in policy coming into the season garner more attention.
Following the 2009 season when NASCAR saw it’s sharpest decline in ratings since their mid-1990’s boom, NASCAR made a series of announcements that were geared for the fan based on their requests.