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Daytona and Texas Races Score Big Television Ratings for NASCAR

19 August 1997

Daytona and Texas Races Score Big Television Ratings for NASCAR

    CONCORD, N.C., Aug. 18 -- A review of the record-setting
television ratings during the first half of the 1997 NASCAR Winston Cup season
shows that events at Daytona International Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway
rank as the top two favorites with sports fans across the nation.
    The Daytona 500 drew an 8.6 rating, while Texas Motor Speedway's
Interstate Batteries 500 scored a 6.6 rating, the highest in history for any
NASCAR racing event other than the Daytona 500.  Both races were televised on
    More importantly, the Daytona 500 was seen by 8,342,000 households and
Texas' Interstate Batteries 500 was seen in 6,416,000 households.
Traditionally, it is estimated that 2.5 people per household watch sporting
events on television.  Based on that formula, 20,855,000 people saw Daytona
and 16,040,000 watched the Interstate Batteries 500.
    "The record ratings show just how important Texas Motor Speedway is in
spreading the popularity of NASCAR Winston Cup racing to fans around the
country," said Texas Motor Speedway general manager Eddie Gossage.  "The
anticipation leading to the inaugural race here at Texas was unprecedented in
motorsports and that's why we were fortunate in scoring higher ratings than
recent inaugural races in Indianapolis and Fontana, Calif.  The national
sports fan anticipated the opening of Texas Motor Speedway with great interest
and tuned in to the action.  Texas is a great sports market."
    Atlanta Motor Speedway and The California Speedway tied for third with a
5.5 rating for their events, although Atlanta Motor Speedway was seen in
approximately 15,000 more households.  Both of those events were on ABC.
    Speedway Motorsports , the owner and operator of Atlanta,
Bristol, Charlotte and Texas Motor Speedways and 600 Racing and the operator
of Sears Point Raceway, is a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports in
the United States.

                            1997 NASCAR Winston Cup
                      First Half-Season Television Ratings

    Rank    Date   Event/Location/Network    Rating   Households  Est. Viewers
    1.      2/16   Daytona 500/Daytona/CBS     8.6     8,342,000   20,855,000
    2.      4/6    Interstate Batteries 500/
                    Texas/CBS                  6.6     6,416,000   16,040,000
    3.(tie) 3/9    Primestar 500/Atlanta/ABC   5.5     5,335,000   13,337,500
            6/22   California 500/California/
                    ABC                        5.5     5,320,000   13,330,000
    5.      2/23   Goodwrench 400/Rockingham/
                    TNN                        5.4     3,685,000    9,212,500
    6.(tie) 3/2    Pontiac 400/Richmond/ESPN   5.3     3,752,000    9,380,000
            8/2    Brickyard 400/Indianapolis/
                    ABC                        5.3     5,180,000    7,790,300
    8.      3/23   TranSouth 400/Darlington/
                    ESPN                       5.2     3,728,000    9,320,000
    9.      5/25   Coca-Cola 600/Charlotte/TBS 5.0     3,542,000    8,855,000
    10.(tie)4/13   Food City 500/Bristol/ESPN  4.8     3,405,000    8,512,500
            4/20   Goody's 500/Martinsville/
                    ESPN                       4.8     3,438,000    8,595,000
            6/1    Miller 500/Dover/TNN        4.8     3,309,000    8,272,500
            6/8    Pocono 500/Pocono/TNN       4.8     3,342,000    8,355,000
    14.     6/15   Miller 400/Michigan/CBS     4.4     4,279,000   10,697,500
    15.     5/10   Winston 500/Talladega/ESPN  4.1     2,914,000    7,285,000

    NOTE: The number of households capable of receiving broadcast network
(CBS & ABC) coverage in the United States totals 100 million homes.  The
number of households capable of receiving cable (TNN, TBS, ESPN) coverage in
the United States totals 70 million homes.  Ratings equal the average
percentage of homes that have tuned in to watch the broadcast, and the number
of households can vary significantly based on broadcast coverage versus cable

SOURCE  Speedway Motorsports, Inc.