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NASCAR on Fox earns a 1.8 television rating for Bristol dirt race

Should NASCAR call their Bristol dirt race a success? Photo: Chris Graythen. Getty images
Should NASCAR call their Bristol dirt race a success? Photo: Chris Graythen. Getty images
Modified 01 Apr 2021

NASCAR might not want to declare the dirt race at Bristol a success just yet.

It's no secret that NASCAR is all in for the TV ratings this season, which is why the sanctioning body made dozens of changes to the 2021 calendar. While there are a lot of spectacular events yet to come this year, the spring Bristol dirt race was something the sport was hoping would boost the ratings.

Unfortunately for NASCAR, all that got derailed in the opening laps of the Camping World Truck Series race, when several drivers had dirt stuck to their grills and windshields. The mud was so bad that officials had to park the trucks shortly after and the race was eventually rescheduled for the next day.

Following that, NASCAR was met with another day of nonstop rain on Sunday, which caused record flooding and forcing officials to move the race to Monday afternoon. That wasn't enough to help them ratings-wise though, as they only averaged a 1.8.

"The fans have asked us for years to look at innovation around the schedule. In fact, we've been taken to task for not making some moves," NASCAR's Executive Vice President Steve O'Donnell said in a post-race press conference. "We were bold and aggressive this year. I'm proud of the team for doing that, proud of the industry for taking a chance here. Marcus Smith, his team. What we did to put this track together was incredible. Really happy with the work he did as well."

While the whole endeavor of racing on the dirt might have come at a loss as far as TV ratings are concerned, that was primarily down to the weather not cooperating, which is out of NASCAR's control. They should be commended for what they were able to accomplish during this very chaotic weekend.

Published 01 Apr 2021, 10:36 IST
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