Danica Lifts Daytona Qualifying to Four-Year High, But Numbers Minuscule


Despite Danica Patrick making history as the first woman to win the pole position for any NASCAR Sprint Cup event, overnight ratings remained less-than-impressive for Daytona 500 Pole Qualifying.

FOX earned a 1.9 overnight rating for Daytona 500 Pole Qualifying on Sunday afternoon — up a tick from last year (1.8), and even with 2011 (1.9).

The 1.9 is tied as the highest for pole qualifying at Daytona since 2009 (2.1).

Keep in mind Sunday’s telecast faced less onerous competition than in previous years. In each of the past two years, pole qualifying aired opposite a heavily-hyped NBA game on ABC (Mavericks/Knicks last year and Heat/Celtics in 2011). Due to the NBA All-Star Game, this year’s telecast faced no such competition.

Overnight ratings were not immediately available for Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited (the Budweiser Shootout).

UPDATED 2/19: Citing USA Today, an earlier edition of this post reported that Sunday’s telecast drew a 2.0 overnight rating. Sports Business Daily reported Tuesday that the game had a 1.9.

Overnight Ratings For Daytona 500 Pole Qualifying

Past five seasons
Pole winners listed in chart


(Sunday’s overnight from Sports Business Daily)