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Another hit for NASCAR TV -- but then Monday afternoon probably isn't the right day for racing

   By Mike Mulhern

   The Denny Hamlin-Juan Pablo Montoya duel to the finish of a wild, wild Pennsylvania 500 Monday at Pocono Raceway was easily one of the best NASCAR races of the season, over the last 100 miles.
   But NASCAR on Monday isn't as hot a TV item as NASCAR on Sunday, and ESPN's live telecast of the rain-delayed Sprint Cup event earned a final national household coverage rating of only 1.8.
   That means the telecast averaged 2,246,135 viewers, according to the network.
   In contrast, ESPN's 2-1/2 hour show during the rain Sunday, from 2 until 4:30, earned a 2.4 rating.
   For comparison, last summer's Pocono race, run on Sunday as scheduled, earned a 4.5 rating, the same as it ratings for the 2007 race.
   Out west, in Iowa, ESPN's live Saturday coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide tour debut at Iowa Speedway – that tour's substitute for the Mexico City event of several years -- earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.3, which the networks translates to 1,640,942 viewers.

The ironic difference is the

The ironic difference is the Nationwide race in Iowa produced actual wheel-to-wheel competition that was worth watching. Pocono - not so much.

Same thing happened a week earlier at Indianapolis. Sprint was another yawner that enabled me to shut off the TV and finish mowing the lawn, while Saturday night's Nationwide race at IRP had been pretty spellbinding.

so you think NASCAR should

so you think NASCAR should take the Cup cars to Iowa.....or bring the Nationwide cars to Pocono? Wonder what a race would look like with Cup and Nationwide cars on the same track at the same time.....

I didn't notice that much

I didn't notice that much wheel to wheel at Iowa, Anonymous, but I did see a lot of five-abreast battling up front at Pocono - racing that in spots looked like Talladega. IRP wasn't as hot as some have made it out to be, either.

I think the issue is the low

I think the issue is the low HP, high downforce cars in the Nationwide series makes the racing significantly better. The problem is there are only a handful of cars capable of winning each week. I definitely think the Cup cars should be in Iowa, but the racing would not be near as good with 900HP and no downforce. Pretty sad state of affairs the cup series has become.

i agree, 900 hp is way too

i agree, 900 hp is way too much for these cars, and why nascar doesnt chop it down to 650 again is beyond me. get rid of the splitter, let teams put some travel into the front ends, more downforce on the nose....why nascar continues to sit around and watch tv ratings dwindle and fans complain....well, you tell me.
what would you suggest for the cup cars?

Mike, I think you hit the

Mike, I think you hit the nail on the head. WAY less HP, more downforce, dump the splitter, larger tires, lower center of gravity, and less weight. All would make the racing worlds better.

so why has nascar let this

so why has nascar let this horsepower war escalate for so many years to this point? Robert Yates said back in 1993 that NASCAR ought to be cutting cubic inches and taking power out of these cars. It really does baffle me.

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