Daytona 500 Receives Huge TV Ratings - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Daytona 500 Receives Huge TV Ratings

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Jimmie Johnson celebrates winning the DAYTONA 500 Sprint Cup Series auto race on Sunday, February 24, 2013. (AP Graphic) Jimmie Johnson celebrates winning the DAYTONA 500 Sprint Cup Series auto race on Sunday, February 24, 2013. (AP Graphic)

Ratings for last weekend's Daytona 500 were the highest NASCAR's had in it's season opening race since 2008.

The Daytona 500 earned a 9.9 rating and 22 share, which is up 24 percent from 2012, when rain pushed the event to a Monday night.

Jimmie Johnson won the race, but Danica Patrick was just as big a reason for the increased attention. Patrick became the first woman to start a Sprint Cup race from the pole. She finished 8th in the Daytona 500.


The scary last-lap crash during the Nationwide second-tier race on Saturday may have generated more viewers as well. At least 33 fans were injured during the race when a car flew into the fence at Daytona International Speedway, hurling a tire and large pieces of debris into the stands.