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2021 Daytona Road Course Race Most Watched, Highest Rated Cup Series Road Race Since 2014

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 21: A general view of the start of the NASCAR Cup Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2021 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

The ratings are in from Sunday’s thrilling NASCAR Cup Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course, and the ratings are the best for any NASCAR Cup Series road course race since the 2014 season.

Sunday’s race recorded a 2.8-rating and had 4.75-million viewers.

Watkins Glen in 2014 was the last NASCAR Cup Series road course event to score a higher rating than Sunday’s event at the Daytona Road Course. That Watkins Glen event drew a 3.1 rating and 4.9-million viewers.

What could have caused the road course event’s ratings bump? Well, being the second race after the Daytona 500 on the schedule usually leads to a bit of a ratings bump, as interest in the season is still at a near-high. Also, the Busch Clash a couple of weeks ago, was contested on the track layout, and produced a controversial finish between Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott. Perhaps that played a hand in the viewership on Sunday, but there’s no way to truly tell.

For reference, last week’s Daytona 500 scored a 2.8 rating and had 4.83-million viewers. That race, the biggest event of the season and usually the highest rated of the year for NASCAR was rain delayed for nearly six hours, which hampered their overall final ratings.

Last year’s second race of the season was not on a road course. That race was at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and that event a season ago scored slightly higher than Sunday’s race at the Daytona Road Course as it had a 3.2 rating and 5.5-million viewers.

Want to see more TV Ratings data? View our NASCAR TV Ratings Page:

NASCAR Cup Series TV Ratings

Toby Christie View All

Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.

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