Almost 30 million people saw at least some part of FOX Sports' coverage of the dramatic 2010 Daytona 500 on Sunday, a race that lasted more than six hours and included 52 lead changes, a Daytona-record 21 different drivers taking the lead and a spectacular finish as Jamie McMurray held off Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s charge in the final lap to claim his first Daytona 500 win. However, that represents a decline of some 16 percent from last year's audience.
Nielsen Media Research estimates that 29.8 million Americans watched at least some part of this year's Daytona 500, a +14% gain over last year's 26.2 million. However, the actual race portion of the broadcast gained a national rating of 7.7/16, representing 13.3 million viewers, compared to last year's 9.2/19 (16 million viewers). The delays resulting from two extensive race stoppages to repair potholes in the track, which totaled almost two and half hours, were excluded from the rating, as Nielsen Media Research treats them as they would a rain delay during an MLB game.