The ratings are in for Sunday's 2021 Daytona 500, and they are dismal. The iconic race brought in an average of just 4.83 million viewers according to Fox Sports. That is the lowest viewership for the NASCAR season's top event in its television history.
The 4.83 million mark was over 2 million less than watched the race last year, which totaled around 7 million viewers.
The numbers may be a bit deceiving in terms estimating the sport's popularity. The race was delayed for six hours due to rain, which Sports Media Watch says greatly impacted viewership. The firm reported that prior to the delay, the race was pulling nearly 8 million viewers.
The delay was called at 3 p.m. and the race did not resume until around 9 p.m. Even despite NASCAR's intriguing storylines, ending the contest after midnight was too hard of a sell for many casual TV sports watchers.
Front Row Motorsports' Michael McDowell won the race, becoming only the 8th driver in history to record his first career win at the historic Daytona oval.