League logos

Green Flag Waves on NASCAR Season

2023 Daytona 500 Attracts TV Audience of 8.77 Million

Anlayses of

No items found.
Social Media
March 3, 2023
March 3, 2023
 min read

Five-hundred miles. Many races on the NASCAR circuit measure this distance but being first to the finish line at Daytona International Speedway in February creates legacies unlike any other. The Great American Race is simultaneously the season’s opening event and its most prestigious, with drivers dreaming of celebrating in Daytona’s Victory Lane from the first time they get behind a wheel. Such aspirations often result in aggressive maneuvering and enhanced excitement for fans, especially in the waning laps. Never has that been more evident than during the 2023 Daytona 500, as bold – even borderline fearless – moves created chaos on the track and forced the race to be extended by 30 miles through a series of cautions and a double overtime finish. In the end, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. of JTG Daugherty Racing narrowly edged reigning Cup Series champion Joey Logano for the biggest win of his career. Throughout race week, MVP monitored fan interest in the Daytona 500 by examining social metrics for the participating teams and drivers while also tracking viewership figures on Sunday. Ultimately, 8.77 million household viewers witnessed what would become the longest Daytona 500 in race history.

Viewership Grows for Second Straight Year

No race on the NASCAR calendar commands as much attention as the Daytona 500. Three months removed from the previous season’s finale and hosted at an iconic venue in the city where the sport began, The Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing annually delivers the sport’s highest viewership figures. Race fans whetted their appetites in early February when 3.82 million household viewers tuned in to watch the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum, an exhibition event held at a quarter-mile track in Los Angeles. It was the first race since last November’s Cup Series Championship in Phoenix, which drew 6.05 million viewers. But both numbers paled in comparison to the 8.77 million that viewed history at this year’s Daytona 500. Moreover, the total number of viewers on FOX was also an uptick from its coverage in recent years. It eclipsed last year’s audience of 8.35 million by 5% and exceeded viewership for the 2021 spectacle by 7.3%.

In addition to elevated national interest, the 2023 Daytona 500 drew added attention locally, as 195,029 fans in the Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne designated market area watched the race on broadcast television. The total ranked 7th among all DMAs and continued the market’s ascent in the rankings after it finished 12th overall last year and 14th in 2021. Ranking above the hometown market this year were the same DMAs that occupied the top six spots for each race dating back to 2021, though the rankings have shuffled slightly in the third- to fifth-place range. For the third consecutive year, Philadelphia nabbed the top spot. However, its 393,197 Daytona 500 viewers represented a 4.9% year-over-year decline. It was followed by Los Angeles – which has finished second for three straight years but has experienced growth in the past two – where 368,607 watched on FOX. Rounding out this year’s top five were New York, Tampa-St. Petersburg, and Dallas-Fort Worth. As it did in 2021 and 2022, Phoenix placed sixth.

Want to stay updated with the latest in sponsorship measurement trends?

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Daytona Debutant Leads the Way on Social

Sitting in the driver’s seat of the No. 67 Toyota Camry racing around the 2.5-mile oval at Daytona last month was an athlete whose accomplishments span a variety of motorsports, including motocross, rally racing, monster truck competitions, and dirt track racing. But missing from Travis Pastrana’s career resume was a ride at Daytona. Known to his fans as Wonderboy, Pastrana had previously competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series, but his entrance to the Cup Series in 2023 as a part-time third car for 23XI Racing meant he could finally cut his teeth at the Daytona 500. Pastrana completed all 212 laps in this year’s race, ultimately finishing 11th on the day. However, the Wonderboy’s performance on social media lapped his field of competitors for the week. We examined content across each driver’s owned social accounts throughout the week ending February 20, encompassing all qualifying events and the race itself. Collectively, the drivers earned 2.05 million engagements and created 67.5 million impressions during the span. But Pastrana set an unmatchable pace by earning 413,978 total engagements from his 16 posts, a figure that was at least 97.7% higher than every other driver managed. Jimmie Johnson’s 209,417 engagements finished in a distant second. The pair were the only two to exceed 6 million impressions, with Pastrana creating 6.66 million and Johnson generating 6.2 million. Joining the duo with more than $100,000 worth of post value generation throughout race week was Kyle Busch, whose offseason move to Richard Childress Racing bolstered his new team’s lineup on the track and on social. Busch generated $127,711 worth of post value during Daytona, with Pastrana earning $147,175 and Johnson tallying $135,973. Race winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished the week with $76,746 in total post value after placing sixth in impressions with 3.67 million and eighth in engagements with 72,186.

As was the case last season, Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing set the social standard among NASCAR teams during the current campaign’s opening week. Hendrick topped its counterparts with 11.1 million impressions – 16.6% of the teams’ collective total – while generating $242,016 worth of post value. SHR ended the week second in both categories, with 10.58 million impressions and $232,325 worth of total post value. But the sport’s most popular teams traded places in our engagements rankings, with SHR earning 277,456 and Hendrick accounting for 197,786. Their combined total equaled 35% of all engagements earned by NASCAR teams competing in this year’s Daytona 500. Richard Petty Motorsports rounded out the top three in our post value and impressions categories, while 23XI Racing earned the third-most engagements.

Motorsports Season Shifts to Higher Gear

With the Daytona 500 in NASCAR’s rearview mirror, driver and team attention shifts to the weekly grind of accumulating points and jockeying for position in this fall’s playoffs. But stock car racing is not the only motorsport revving its engines. This weekend in Bahrain, Formula 1 begins its 74th season. Stay connected with MVP in the coming weeks and months for complete coverage of both leagues as well as their broadcast and social media footprints.

Contact Us

What to Expect

Let's have a call to understand your measurement goals.

Take a look at our product and methodology with a demo.

Align our products and services to your needs in a tailored package.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

You May Also Like