Rain-Delayed Watkins Glen Race Draws Lowest NASCAR Rating Of Sprint Cup Series Era

ESPN's Monday broadcast of the rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen drew a 1.6 rating, the network said Tuesday evening.

And according to the TV ratings charts on the Jayski site, that's the lowest rating for a Cup race since at least 2004 (the charts only go back to the start of the Sprint/Nextel Cup era).

The previous low for a Cup race, according to Jayski, was the 2007 Michigan race that was postponed twice and eventually run on a Tuesday. That race drew a 1.66 rating.

What does all of it mean? Not much.

You won't find NASCAR or ESPN executives panicking over ratings for a rained-out race. Particularly since the last Watkins Glen rainout (in 2009) drew a similar 1.7 rating.

Still, perhaps it indicates something about changing viewing habits. In the past, skipping work might have been the only way to watch a postponed race.

Now, fans can access Twitter and any number of chat rooms or other ways to follow the race online during the work day (indeed, SB Nation's NASCAR coverage had one of its most-visited days of the season on Monday).

The rainout also created a statistical oddity: The Watkins Glen Nationwide race (1.91 million viewers) was more-watched than the Cup race (1.89 million). We can't find any record of that happening before, even in previous rainouts.

Obviously, the Cup rating is a fraction of what the race would have gotten had it run as scheduled. In 2008 and 2010, the Glen race drew a 3.6 rating.

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