Television viewership for the season-opening Circle K NHRA Winternationals, the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals and the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals was up 30 percent overall for Sunday’s eliminations shows and 50 percent for Saturday’s qualifying shows.
The trend continues to build on positive television viewership numbers that the NHRA Mello Yello Series saw in 2014. Bolstered by three live shows, Sunday’s eliminations shows in 2014 were up by 9 percent over the previous year.
In what should provide another sizeable boost to those viewership numbers, five Sunday eliminations programs will air live in 2015, with three on ESPN and two on ESPN2. The first live eliminations show will be this weekend’s Four-Wide NHRA Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte. Other live eliminations shows are set for Houston, Bristol, Norwalk and Chicago.
“We’re thrilled with our viewership gains in 2014 and the strong television performance we’re seeing for the start of the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello season," said Gary Darcy, NHRA senior vice president of sales and marketing. “With compelling action on the track and the addition of more live programming scheduled for this season we look forward to that trend continuing."
In addition, ESPN2 will air a live qualifying show from the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at Las Vegas on April 11, which also will include live coverage of the K&N Horsepower Challenge, a bonus race for qualified Pro Stock teams.
Attendance at NHRA Mello Yello Series events continues to rise as well. Following a three year trend that started in 2012, attendance is continuing to experience growth in 2015, as each of the first three races produced attendance increases.