NASCAR went up against the Kentucky Derby last weekend and came up second best, although it still beat its own year-on-year numbers…with some qualification.
The NASCAR Cup Series throwback race averaged a 1.37 Nielsen rating and 2.4 million household viewers Sunday on NBCSN, while the horses were galloping to a 4.79/9.3m average on NBC on Saturday night. That’s up from a 1.14 rating and 1.9 million viewers for Darlington last year on NBCSN, although that race was delayed by rain for an extended period.
Like last year, the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Darlington was on NBC Saturday afternoon, and averaged a 0.73 rating and 1.2m viewers, compared to a 1.06/1.7m in 2019.
NASCAR’s Gander Outdoors and RV Truck Series race at Darlington averaged a 0.34 and 595,000 on FS1.
The NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series returned to action with its signature event, the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis — with the finals running on Sunday rather than Labor Day Monday. The live coverage on FOX averaged 0.48 and 814,000 viewers, compared with 0.62/950,000 on the Monday last year.
After a run of races on ESPN, Formula 1 was back on the Deuce for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, and registered a dip in audience. ESPN2’s live telecast averaged a 0.35 and 602,000 viewers, down from a 0.42/675,000 the previous week at Spa on ESPN, but also down from the 0.41/635,000 for this race on ESPN2 last year.
IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsÇar Championship was in Road Atlanta for a new six-hour race, replacing the cancelled Watkins Glen enduro. It averaged a 0.12 and 200,000 viewers on NBCSN.