06/29/15 IndyCar pulled a 0.37 rating on NBC Sports Network 4:00 pm Saturday for the MAVTV 500 in Fontana, CA, up 105% from last year's Fontana race (0.18 rating), which was the season finale, also on NBCSN. College Football had started last year by that weekend, so this rating increase proves that getting the races out of the football season really does improve them.
As AR1 recommended ten years ago, the IndyCar season needs to begin the last weekend in January and run no later than Labor Day. The first race of the year should be the week before Super Bowl and continue every two weeks thereafter. The season must start in Fontana in January (could be cool some days but otherwise OK) and two weeks later be in Homestead, Florida. Fontana should not be during football season nor in June, July or August if you want fans in the grandstands and viewers on TV.
Who remembers when NASCAR used to open every year in Riverside, California in January. Yup – right near Fontana.
"We put on a heck of a show for the fans, that's for sure," third-place finisher Marco Andretti said. "It's definitely crazy. … You've got guys that just don't want to back off, guys going forward, guys going backward, inside, outside. I find it quite fun but it is extremely dangerous, but that's what we sign up for."
Ryan Briscoe, whose late-race incident with Ryan Hunter-Reay ended the race under caution, echoed Andretti's sentiments.
"It was a really exciting race, to say the least," said the driver of the No. 5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Honda. "We passed a lot of guys out there so it was fun to be up front. Coming through the field a couple times – it was awesome. I was really enjoying myself."
The race featured a total of 3,173 on-track passes – 2,537 for position – which accounts for 51 percent of the total on-track passes (6,248) in the Verizon IndyCar Series this season.