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Volume 25 No. 4
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Daytona 500 Overnight Rating Hits New Low Up Against Olympics

This year's Daytona 500 was down 22% from a 6.5 overnight last year, and down 16% from a 6.1 in '16
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The Daytona 500 yesterday saw its lowest overnight rating on record, with Fox drawing a 5.1 for the race won by Austin Dillon on the last lap. The telecast had head-to-head competition from the Pyeongchang Games yesterday afternoon. Four years ago, the race drew a 5.6 overnight up against the Sochi Games. That race, won by Dale Earnhardt Jr., also had a record-setting delay of over six hours, causing the race to finish past primetime. Yesterday's race was down 22% from a 6.5 overnight last year, and down 16% from a 6.1 in '16. As recently as '13, Fox had drawn a 10.0 overnight for the Daytona 500, but that telecast also had the added hype of Danica Patrick being on the pole (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

CRASH TEST: In Tampa, Tom Jones writes a "good broadcast" was "nearly spoiled by a bad ending to the coverage." Usually, the "best part" of Fox' race coverage is "breaking down crashes with excellent replay and commentary." But Fox failed to "react to what happened to Aric Almirola, who crashed (or was crashed, depending on your viewpoint) on the final lap" after Dillon made contact. Specifically asked if Almirola was robbed, analyst Michael Waltrip "talked around the subject, never giving a definitive answer." That "shouldn't happen." Fox' post-race interview also "avoided asking Almirola specifically if he thought he was cheated." That "cannot happen." Meanwhile, second-year analyst Jeff Gordon is "outstanding and he has a nice chemistry with fellow analyst Darrell Waltrip" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 2/19).