TV ratings up for Sunday’s IRL race

The good news for the Indy Racing League keeps rolling in. On the heels of a significant attendance increase at the April 27 race at Kansas Speedway over last year’s event, series officials are now reporting that television ratings also were sky high.

Much of the credit, IRL officials said, goes to the hype caused by Danica Patrick’s victory a week earlier in Japan.

Sunday’s IndyCar 300 at Kansas had a .74 household TV viewer rating, meaning about 740,000 households nationwide tuned into the race, which aired at 5 p.m. on ESPN2. That’s up 164 percent over last year’s race, which earned a .28 rating at almost the same time and date a year earlier, according to New York-based Nielsen Media Research.

Perhaps even more impressive, the rating climbed steadily as the race went on, starting at .60 and hitting .98 near the conclusion of the race won by Dan Wheldon. Patrick had car problems and didn’t figure into the late stages of the race.

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