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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Danica Patrick helps ESPN topple Nationwide ratings record

An average of 4.4 million people watched Saturday's ESPN’s broadcast of the Nationwide Series season race at Daytona. This is a record as the most-viewed race ever on cable television for the series. The race averaged 4,433,249 viewers in 3,304,012 households, breaking the record of 4,271,365 viewers in 3,170,109 households set for ESPN’s telecast of the Daytona race in 2010.

“We’ve seen two consecutive years of ratings increases with the Nationwide Series on our networks and NASCAR carried some strong momentum and storylines into this year,” said Julie Sobieski, ESPN vice president, programming & acquisitions. “This certainly represents a great start to the season.”

I have one explanation for this -- and her name is Danica. She may be overexposed, but she's bringing a lot of new eyes to the sport, which is good for everyone involved, and for those who want to try to attract sponsors for their teams.

All 33 races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series season will air on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC. The next race at Phoenix is Saturday, March 3, at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Kenseth is the man
Matt Kenseth now has two Daytona 500 victories, putting him in elite company.
Only eight other drivers have multiple wins, and three of them are in the NASCAR Hall of Fame — Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough and Bobby Allison.

My guess is Kenseth will join them in there one day in the future.

Roush hits 300 mark
Jack Roush and Roush Fenway have posted their 300th win in a NASCAR national series victory No. 300. The number is a record for wins in NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck series. Roush first won in 1989 with Mark Martin, and Roush has won championships in all three national series.

Comeback kids
If you're way back in the standings now, don't fret: Here' s the scoop.
Four drivers who finished 27th or worse in the 2011 Daytona 500 – Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Kenseth and Kevin Harvick – qualified for the 2011 Chase.
And only three drivers who finished among the top 10 in the 2011 Daytona 500 made the Chase.

Translastion: Daytona don't mean much in the long haul in terms of how you finish the year.

Drug suspension
Keith Wolfe, a crew member in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR as a result of violations discovered Feb. 24 at Daytona International Speedway. Wolfe violated sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 2-11 (failure to notify of felony and/or substance abuse related law violations); and 19 (violation of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the 2012 NASCAR rule book.

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