Thursday night was a big one for Fox Sports 1 as its NASCAR race coverage revved up its second-largest audience since its launch last August and a strong lead-in to its top sports newscast.
FS1’s coverage of the Duel at Daytona race, determining most of the starting order for the 56th Daytona 500, which will air Sunday at noon on Fox, averaged 3.12 million viewers, according to Nielsen data, the race’s most-viewed edition since CBS garnered 4.29 million watchers in 2000.
The Duel, concluding with a high-speed piled that saw Clint Bower’s No. 15 car turn an airborne 360, land on its wheels and have its driver walk away unharmed, helped bring 2.27 million viewers to the Feb. 20 edition of Fox Sports Live. That was 335% greater than the news show’s previous mark of 522,000 viewers, following the Oregon-Oregon football game on Nov. 29, and made it FS1's third-most-viewed telecast to date.
The network’s presentation of the Sprint Unlimited race on Feb. 15, which averaged 3.53 million watchers, is FS1’s leader.