UPDATE: Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Daytona road race averaged a 2.0 rating and 3.24 million viewers on NBC, marking the lowest rated race at Daytona since at least 1997 and the least-watched since at least 2000, including makeup races.
There are a number of caveats to that statistic. The race was a late addition to the schedule after New York barred NASCAR from racing at Watkins Glen; it was an entirely new event with none of the tradition of the Daytona 500 or Firecracker 400; and it was the first Daytona race since 1981 that did not either kick off the season or take place over the July 4 holiday.
As such, there are no real apples-to-apples comparisons. The closest is to last year’s second Daytona race, which also aired on a Sunday on NBC. Ratings fell a tick and viewership 1% (from 3.29M), but that was a makeup race and as such below typical levels. Compared to the previous year’s race, which was run as scheduled on a Saturday night, ratings fell 26% (from 2.7) and viewership 27% (from 4.44M).
Another comparison is to the Watkins Glen race it replaced. Ratings jumped 18% and viewership 19% from last year’s 1.7 and 2.72 million, but that race aired on NBCSN. Compared to the 2018 Watkins Glen race on NBC, ratings and viewership fell 13% and 12% respectively from a 2.3 and 3.67 million.
ORIGINAL POST 8-17-2020: NBC earned 3.26 million viewers for Sunday’s Go Bowling 235 at the Daytona International Speedway road course.
Also, the XFINITY race on Saturday earned 1.035 million viewers on NBCSN.
.@NBC earned 3.263 million viewers (including streaming) for yesterday's NASCAR Cup Series road course race at Daytona; last year's Watkins Glen race earned 2.7 million viewers, but it was on NBCSN.
— Adam Stern (@A_S12) August 17, 2020