October 4, 2001
NASCAR WINSTON CUP RATINGS FROM KANSAS SPEEDWAY
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 4, 2001) -- NBC's coverage of the inaugural NASCAR Winston Cup Series Protection One 400 from the Kansas Speedway on Sunday generated a 4.7 national rating/11 share, (1:15 p.m.-5:15 p.m.), according to Nielsen Media Research. This represents a 104% increase over last year's comparable rating and
is the highest national rating ever for any auto race in competition with professional football.
The previous record rating for an auto race televised at the same time as an NFL game was the 4.5 rating delivered by NBC's coverage of the MBNA Cal Ripken, Jr. 400 on Sept. 23, 2001 and the
Diehard 500 from Talladega, Ala. on CBS on Oct. 12, 1997.
"NASCAR continues to be the dominant ratings success story of the year," said Ken Schanzer, President, NBC Sports. "The results are starting to flow in and NASCAR is exceeding our expectations, even in the face of the stiffest competition. This property is running on all cylinders."
Sunday's rating peaked at a 5.7/12 from 4:30-5 p.m. ET as NASCAR Winston Cup Series points leader Jeff
Gordon took the checkered flag in Nascar's Winston Cup debut at the Kansas Speedway. Last year on the comparable weekend, NASCAR Winston Cup racing produced a 2.3 converted national household rating for
the NAPA AutoCare 500, which aired on ESPN on Oct. 1, 2000. NBC's 45-minute NASCAR pre-race show scored
an impressive 2.5/7 from 12:30-1:15 p.m. ET.
Ratings continue to be strong as well for the NASCAR Busch Series as Saturday's Mr. Goodcents 300 from the Kansas Speedway pulled a 1.5 national rating on NBC. The race marked the record seventh NASCAR Busch
Series event scheduled on network television this season. The series is averaging a 2.2 rating on network television and consistently ranks second only to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series among all motorsports on television, while also on par or outrating other sports properties such as hockey, soccer, tennis and golf.
NBC's coverage of NASCAR's Race for the Championship continues at Noon Sunday, October 7 with the
UAW-GM Quality 500 from Charlotte.
The eight teams worked on race setup Tuesday and because of that, times were well off of Tony Stewart's
track record of 19.855 seconds (95.371) set last fall. All teams reported times in the neighborhood of 20.50
seconds to 20.60 seconds. "We're just working on race stuff," said Bobby Hamilton, who won the Virginia
500 at Martinsville in 1998. "We brought the same car here we had last spring and we've hardly done
to it today. We've just been working on shock setup and things like that." Ken Schrader and his
M&M team were doing the same. "We're just setting the shocks in and see what they are like," said Newt
Moore, Schrader's crew chief. "We're just shaking it down good today."
Terry Labonte said he and his
Kellogg's crew were trying to "break in some brakes" in preparation for the Old Dominion 500, scheduled
for Sunday, October 14.
"It's been a long time since we tested here," said Labonte. "We figured it would be
good to come up here and try some things and work on the brakes some." Wednesday will be spent working
on going fast instead of stopping quick. All the teams that are returning plan on spending a good portion of Wednesday dialing in qualifying setups.
And no one needs to find the best qualifying setup any worse than
Emporia, VA driver is driving a limited schedule with the Virginia Lottery as his sponsor. His failed to
make the spring race here and doesn't want a repeat performance in a few days. "We're going to work on qualifying runs all day Wednesday," said Sadler. "Qualifying is what we really have to shoot for. Tomorrow
we'll be in qualifying trim all day."
Qualifying for the Old Dominion 500 is scheduled for Friday, October 12
at 3:05 p.m.
On Saturday, October 13, the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series will run the Advance Auto
Parts 200 beginning at 2:45 p.m.
Tickets for the Advance Auto Parts 200 are $30 each and children ages 6-12 get in for $5. All seats are
unreserved. Great reserved seats for the Old Dominion 500 are available in the towers for $40-$60. Tickets
can be ordered by calling the speedway ticket office toll free at 1-877-722-3849 or (540) 956-3151. Tickets
also can be ordered online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com