FORT WORTH, Texas (November 10, 2010) – A fight on the backstretch between two Chase contenders, the reigning four-time Sprint Cup Series champion’s pit crew in disarray, a late-race, side-by-side battle for the AAA Texas 500 win and Denny Hamlin’s Texas season sweep that allowed him to overtake Jimmie Johnson for the championship lead translated into ESPN’s second-highest rated Chase race this season.
In addition to the Texas-sized drama, the AAA Texas 500 established a track record for most lead changes in a Sprint Cup Series race with 33 and the combination resulted in a final national household coverage rating of 3.4, according to the Nielsen Company. The race averaged 4,845,820 viewers, according to Nielsen.
The AAA Texas 500 only trailed Talladega’s Chase race on Oct. 31 that earned a final national household coverage rating of 3.6.
“Texas once again proved to be a game-changer in the Chase and with all the added drama it proved there are ‘No Limits’ at ‘The Great American Speedway!’” Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. “History has shown the Chase always swings at Texas and the fans tuned in and obviously weren’t disappointed in what they saw.”
Last year’s AAA Texas 500, which aired on ABC, earned a 3.7 rating.
Brad Keselowski’s championship-clinching performance and Carl Edward’s battle with Kyle Busch in a green/white-checkered finish for the victory in Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge Nationwide Series race on ESPN2 translated into a 1.1 rating. That was slightly up from last year’s 0.9 race, which also aired on ESPN2.
The WinStar World Casino 350k Camping World Truck Series race on SPEED also witnessed an increase in television ratings. Kyle Busch’s second consecutive win in the WinStar World Casino 350k translated into a six percent increase from last year’s race. The event posted a rating of 0.73, up from last year’s 0.69.