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Driver Busch credits IndyCar for increased 500 TV ratings

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Kurt Busch on Friday credited IndyCar's promotion of the Indianapolis 500 for a bump in the television ratings.

ABC's telecast on Sunday earned a 3.9 rating, averaging 6.2 million viewers. It was up from 3.7 in 2013, and up in many traditional NASCAR markets.

The ratings increase could be attributed to Busch running both the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, the first double attempt since 2004. He finished sixth in his Indy debut, but an engine failure at Charlotte Motor Speedway prevented him from completing all 1,100 miles in the 600.

"There was a lot of promotion done from everybody," Busch said at Dover International Speedway, where he returned to his full-time NASCAR job. "The IndyCar Series sends drivers all around the country to promote the race. The Coke 600 is a strong race on a Sunday night timeslot, prime-time TV. I didn't hurt the ratings, no. I only did my part to create awareness for motorsports and the military. Did I help bump the ratings? Maybe I did."

Among metered markets, Indianapolis led the ratings for the Indy 500 with a 12.9. The race is shown on tape delay in Indy. ABC noted increases in traditionally strong NASCAR TV markets, including Greenville, S.C., which earned a 6.2 and was up from 5.0.

Jacksonville, Fla., was up to a 5.9 from 3.6 last year, and Richmond, Va., was at 5.6, up from 4.1. Charlotte, N.C., did a 5.2, up from 4.2, and Birmingham, Ala., and Atlanta also saw increases.

Meanwhile, the NASCAR race on Fox earned a 4.1 rating, making it the most-watched sports program of last weekend. It was down from a 4.3 in 2013.

Busch was the first driver in 10 years to attempt "The Double." According to Joyce Julius & Associates, Busch received 2.5 times more mentions than Indy 500 pole sitter Ed Carpenter in the week leading up to the Indy 500.

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  • cHiEf as usual
    As usual chiEf you don’t make any sense; even if the ratings were higher then Nascars you would of complained and still had to spend your quarters in the ladies room to get supplies. It’s an improvement as was attendance, sponsorship and vending sales. So wait again till next year. I bet even your dogs ran away from you (smiley face )
  • NASCAR wins again
    NASCAR 4.1 vs 3.9 for the 500. Probably good for 78th on the 100 most watched sporting events of the year. Great job IMS, you can't even beat NASCAR at Martinsville on a cold mid-march day. My idea to make it better is to make the carz look uglier that way more people will tune in. Yup, the +0.2 increase in ratings proves this. More bumpers and latex clan gimps please. Wow, Kurt is a internet TV ratings eggspurt.
    • IndyCar Reach
      Hmmm. Most of the upticks are in markets where IndyCar is or has run. Perhaps it is time to work toward a Richmond and Charlotte return. Both are fun tracks, and ovals too.

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    1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

    2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

    3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

    4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

    5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

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