After the high-profile Daytona 500 and Busch Light Clash weekends, NASCAR Cup Series settled into its regular season schedule last weekend.
Sunday’s afternoon’s Cup Series race from Fontana’s Auto Club Speedway on Fox averaged a 2.61 Nielsen rating and 4.57 million household viewers, per ShowBuzzDaily.com. That was down from the the 2.80/4.75m that watched last year’s follow-up to the Daytona 500 on Daytona’s road course, although that may have been boosted by curiosity about that first-time event. Last year’s Fontana race was wiped out by the pandemic; in 2020 it averaged 2.90/4.8m (all these races were on Fox). Cup Series audiences seem to be warming to the resturn of qualifying, also, with Saturday’s telecast on FS1 drawing a solid 0.43/700,000 viewers.
The NTT IndyCar Series launched its 2022 season on NBC and ahead of the NASCAR race on Sunday, and the St. Petersburg street race averaged an 0.89 rating and 1.405m viewers. That’s an improvement over last year, when it ran in March as the second race of the year and averaged a 0.77/1.2m, and a significant step up from the 0.59/914,000 that watched 2021’s opening IndyCar round at Barber Motorsports Park.
NASCAR’s Xfinity Series race from Fontana averaged 0.79/1.367m on FS1, up slightly from the Homestead Xfinity race that ran in the same Saturday afternoon time slot on this weekend last year (0.74/1.238m).
NHRA’s Camping World Drag Racing averaged 0.24/401,000 viewers for the finals from Phoenix on FS1 Sunday night, a solid improvement from the delayed coverage of the previous week’s Pomona opener (0.14/235,000K).