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Daytona proves to be ratings hit despite weekend issues

Published 02/28/2012, INFORUM

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Want to capture the nation’s attention? Try a giant fireball. It certainly worked for NASCAR, which salvaged its marquee event despite the first rainout in 54 runnings of The Great American Race. The first primetime Daytona 500 in NASCAR history was a win for Fox – its highest-rated Monday night audience since Game 5 of the 2010 World Series – with 36.5 million viewers, up 22 percent from 30 million last year. And NASCAR surprisingly continued its momentum from last season, partly because of the freak crash in which Juan Pablo Montoya’s car hit a truck loaded with jet fuel, injuring no one but scorching the track and forcing a two-hour delay.

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