The telecast earned a 2.2 household coverage rating (1.9 U.S. rating), averaging 2,818,857 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. Last year’s race, which was run on a Saturday night, earned a 1.4 household coverage rating.
The rating was ESPN’s highest on cable since the season-opening event at Daytona that earned a 3.3 rating and had the largest cable viewership ever for a NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
ESPN’s pre-race NASCAR Countdown program for the Chicagoland race also had a large ratings increase, jumping 133 percent from a 0.6 last year to a 1.4 on Sunday.
Across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, NASCAR Nationwide Series races are averaging a 1.5 U.S. rating, up seven percent from this point in 2011 and up 15 percent from 2010.