-Danica Patrick has landed NASCAR more numbers yet again. It's surmised that Patrick's participation and records set (First woman pole-setter, first woman to lead a lap in the Daytona 500, only 1 of 13 to have led laps at both the Daytona 500 and Indy 500) has helped NASCAR have a good time with the TV ratings for this latest, the 2013 D500.
Per MediaLifeMagazine.com the TV ratings for this years Daytona race were 30% higher than last year's race, that was held on a Monday night. (Due to the weather delay last year.)
But ignoring last year, the ratings were also the highest the race has seen in seven years.
Note: I'm about to toss out some weird numbers in relation to the ratings. If you want to know more about these mystery numbers, I have an article on my parent site, TV Ratings Explained.
This race had the best increase from the previous year, ever. Well, if you count back to 2006 when it first aired on NBC as "ever." And the ratings climbed as the race drew to a close. The show averaged a 10.0 household rating, but it climbed to a 12.8 as the race wound down. And numbers like that are always good for our sport.
First, I can see that some fans didn't want to deal with the usual "roundy-round" racing, as I've heard it called before, but would rather just dial in to see the end result of the race. Admittedly, races can get pretty long-winded. Unlike the Nationwide races, where there's no middle-section for drivers to pace out in.
Second, though Danica Patrick was making waves this year this restrictor plate race, I have to wonder if it was all her? She was in the race last year, albeit, for a lap, but I don't remember huge ratings for that event.
Third, there's other supposition that the horrible accident that claimed 30 fan injuries the day before at Daytona may have also drawn in the TV viewing crowd. And I do believe that one, being that what I observe at sports bars week in and week out, the bar crowd gets very focused when something sensational, horrible or eye-catching occurs.
In fact, I was at a bar after the Saturday Nationwide Daytona race finished. When there was a recap on the TV, no one was really paying attention to the regular information. But the moment they started replaying the wreck, almost everyone to a tee stood up and drifted over to the TV to watch the replay.
When the news turned to the upcoming 500, they all drifted back to their seats.
So I am thinking, as I've seen, that the potential for wrecks draws in a piece of the ratings pie. I've asked people point-blank about why they might watch NASCAR, and it's not a pretty answer: "For the wrecks."
The problem I have is that I hear that more than I'd like.
But regardless, it's time for the Danica Patrick to get to work.
She's in good equipment and many are expecting good things out of her.
I'm worried because when she raced in the Nationwide series last year and only mustered up a top-10 in points finish and didn't dominate. Almost any Cup Series driver that participates in the Nationwide races tend to dominate.
Heck, she didn't even dominate when she was testing in the ARCA series.
But here's hoping that her 2013 season soothes the naysayers and she not only makes a name for herself, but for the sport. Because I can only see big things like more records being broken by Danica Patrick.
Meanwhile, her relationship with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. can't possibly be hurting his media exposure either!!!