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TV reports in with Nielsen results for Sunday's rip-roaring California 400, and the verdict is.....

  Smoke was smokin' Sunday out in LA....but the TV ratings, just in, showed more empty couches in NASCAR homes (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern


   And the NASCAR TV mystery deepens:
   Where are all this sport's fans?
   Well, that's a good question, and a hot button issue, for sure, as the stock car racing championship chase heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway for Round Five of the 10-race chase Saturday night.

   ESPN just released its latest Nielsen's, and Sunday's California Pepsi 400 may have been a barnburner at the track but on the couches of America it was another dud – The exciting three-hour show, in the Los Angeles-Riverside market, pulled only a 2.5 TV rating, far down from last year's 3.6.
   That's a whopping 30 percent drop.
   Yet it was the highest-rated of the four chase races so far. The Loudon, N.H., opener pulled a 2.3 rating, Dover pulled a 2.4, and Kansas pulled a 2.3.
   ESPN said the 2.5 translates to 4,071,757 viewers.
   Saturday's Nationwide race, with Danica Patrick, drew a 1.1 rating on ESPN, about par for the tour, and the same rating as last year. The network says that translates to 1,471,752 viewers.


I have met numerous fans this

I have met numerous fans this year who planned on boycotting the Chase. I have joined them, as have my friends. I will be skipping Charlotte this weekend for the first time in over a decade, and have not watched since Richmond. The fans are speaking up, the Chase must go, Mr. France are you listening? We need to show that while Brian France may run NASCAR, it does not belong to him, it belongs to us, the fans. The gimmicks, the disregard for history, the even worse idea of an elimination, we are not going to take it. I will not watch another Chase race, and I am not alone. Ratings are down over 25% on average for the Chase, and I hope they are down by more than 33% by Homestead. We are taking NASCAR back, and anyone else who is equally fed up should join us, spread the word.

I agree with you 100%, The

I agree with you 100%, The last three weeks I have spent my time watching the NFL and MLB. Come on fans lets show Brian France how we feel, lets make the ratings go even lower. By the way to ESPN person who said the 1 pm starts may be the blame, you are just in denial that you have problems with your coverage and staff.

This decline has been years

This decline has been years in the making, and when they decide to fix it, it will take years to get those fans back.

The IROC style cars are one

The IROC style cars are one of the major,MAJOR problems! Why France and company can't see this is beyond me.Stock shaped Challengers,Mustangs,and Camaros would bring back droves of alienated fans.

I agree 100% and my other

I agree 100% and my other complaint is the ridiculous amount of commercials !!! I had already resorted to taping the races before stop watching them altogether so I could fast forward through ads. Also how about knocking down the yellow flag laps. Someone blows a tire and we have 10 yellow flag laps !!! Then how about the Clint Boyer penalty? If inspections are done then inspect ALL the chase cars after every race so it's fair. I'm watching my favorite sport being destroyed. This should not be run by a family, it's too big now. Can you imagine NFL football ran by a family?

Bill Brown

It's the economy, not the

It's the economy, not the chase or anything else. When the jobs come back, so will the ratings.

Myself and most of my friends

Myself and most of my friends quit watching after they DQed Clint after saying the car was legal at the track and the BS appeals system that is rigged just backed the kangaroo court, throw in the "Chase" nonsense, lousy announcers (DW, DJ, Rusty etc) and the results are we are having football party's every weekend at different peoples houses every week instead of race party's. NASCAR has become a joke wtih rasslin rules and regulations and we are sick of it......

You said it!! Same for me and

You said it!! Same for me and my husband and friends. The 'FIX' is in again for the Hendrick team.

It's not one thing that has

It's not one thing that has been killing NASCAR, it's been several small things. The Chase, Common Templates, Rear end gear rules, transmission gear rules, suspension rules. They need to get rid of an idea of a "play-off" system, make the cars fit the templates of the production versions, and ease off on the rules. Make things how they were in the 90's when NASCAR was "the fastest growing sport in America." I also don't like the ticker at the top of the screen that all networks use now. It clutters the screen.

Anonymous like a lot of

Anonymous like a lot of people has grossly misidentified the reasons for the sport's decline in popularity. The rules are NOT - how many times must it be repeated - too tight; the teams are not supposed to be "have at it" on gear rules, transmission rules, or templates - they're supposed to stick with the rulebook. Racing is not about technology or innovation, it is about lead changes. The 1990s proved to all that "boys have at it" doesn't work in the technology arms race. What the sport needs is to end the Chase, load up big point bonuses for winning and for most laps led, and restrict the cars more so they can race open throttle and not have handling get in the way of passing. The sooner the sport gets back 50-lead-change racing as the norm and never the exception, the sooner the popularity will surge back upward.

Part of the answer is DVR's.

Part of the answer is DVR's. That is the only tool I have in the fight against the number of commercials that are shown during a race these days.

The sport was declining

The sport was declining before the chase. But I have to say the Chase has about killed it. When you have to give points to ll drivers to catch up with the top one, that is a problem to me. Jimmy surpassed yarborough for 3 in a row because of the chase only. He would not have won 4 if he wasn't given points to catch up. I do not like that and do not personally compare him to yarborough who did it by racing every race without being given points to catch up. France has no clue when it comes to what fans want. The racing is boring and lacks innovation.Jeff got gypped out of 2 championships by the chase and looks like Harvick has a chance of losing a championship by the fake chase. I only check on the races maybe twice during the race which is about 4 laps worth of racing. I have only watched Homestead once.

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