NASCAR delivers huge TV rating on IndyCar’s turf

–by Mark Cipolloni–

After pulling off a successful street race in downtown Chicago despite horrible weather conditions, NASCAR may be looking to take away IndyCar’s bread and butter street race business.

Not only did it pull off a street race in downtown Chicago that IndyCar tried to do and failed, NASCAR delivered an NBC TV audience almost as big as the Indy 500 audience.

NASCAR pulled together a marquee event in the heart of the Midwest, arguably the epicenter of IndyCar, that brought in the casual viewer.

The race drew 4.795 total viewers on NBC and Peacock.  NBC itself got a 2.52 rating and 4.632 million viewers. It was the most-watched NASCAR Cup Series race on NBC in six years, since Indianapolis in 2017 (5.647 million).

After the race, NASCAR Chief Operating Officer Steve O’Donnell and Senior Vice President of Racing Development and Racing Strategy Ben Kennedy met with the media and said they will look to do more street races going forward.

It’s very likely they will be talking to Long Beach race boss Jim Michaelian soon about how they could deliver twice the attendance and three times the TV ratings if they take over the Long Beach GP from IndyCar.

While the GP signed an extension with the City of Long Beach to hold a race once a year through 2028, the IndyCar contract expires well before that date, and it’s likely NASCAR will be licking its chops at the low-hanging fruit.

Michaelian might soon be counting dollar signs instead of sheep as he falls asleep at night.


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