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TV ratings up for Daytona qualifying races
Coming off record Nielsen Household Ratings earlier in the week for coverage of the ARCA Racing Series opener and the Bud Shootout edition of NASCAR RaceDay, SPEED scored another ratings increase with Thursday’s live coverage of the Gatorade Duel at Daytona. The twin qualifiers for Sunday’s Daytona 500 earned a 1.99 (1,495,000), up seven percent from last year’s 1.86 (1,363,000 households). Coverage peaked at a 2.56 (1,926,000 households), up 11 percent from last year’s peak of 2.31 (1,691,000).

“This is a great way to get the 2010 NASCAR season rolling,” said SPEED President Hunter Nickell. “The racing yesterday afternoon was awesome … it was a blast to televise.”

The Gatorade Duel at Daytona telecast made SPEED the highest rated basic cable network during the time period.

NASCAR RaceDay continued its upward trend to start the season, as the Gatorade Duel edition of the popular pre-race show scored an 8-percent increase over 2009.

Other Nielsen Ratings highlights for SPEED this week:

        • SPEED coverage of the ARCA Racing Series season opener from Daytona scored a Nielsen Household Rating of 2.30 (1,723,000 households), a 59-percent increase over last year’s 1.45 (1,062,000 households). Highlighted by the stock car debut of Danica Patrick, race coverage peaked at 2.66 (1,997,000 households), up a stunning 72 percent from last year’s peak of 1.55 (1,137,000 households).
        • NASCAR RaceDay Built by The Home Depot, which first aired in February 2006, opened the 2010 season with its highest Nielsen ratings of all time.  Serving as the pre-race show for the Budweiser Shootout, RaceDay scored an average Household Rating of 1.87 (1,402,000 households). Handed a great lead-in from the stock car racing debut of Danica Patrick in the ARCA Racing Series opener, RaceDay grew its audience throughout the broadcast, peaking at a 1.92 (1,439,000 households) in the last 15 minutes. The show also marked the debut of Kyle Petty, who joins John Roberts, Kenny Wallace, Wendy Venturini and Hermie Sadler on the NASCAR RaceDay crew for the 2010 season.
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