No Pit Stop for FX


FX is revving up ratings with its coverage of stock-car racing.

The network has scored its best-ever marks with the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing’s top- and second-level circuits since it began televising the races in 2001 as part of Fox’s deal.

Network officials said FX’s final Nextel Cup Series race -- the MBNA 400 from Dover, Del., June 5 -- was the service’s highest-rated and most-watched race ever, attracting 6.1 million viewers and a 4.9 household average from 2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m., according to Nielsen Media Research data.

FX officials said the race shared the top spot for the week in terms of viewers, tying with Turner Network Television’s coverage of the National Basketball Association playoff series between the Miami Heat and Detroit Pistons May 31, which aired in primetime.

For its three Nextel Cup races -- the Chevy American Revolution 400 from Richmond, Va., and the All-Star race from Charlotte, N.C., were the others -- FX averaged a 4.5 household rating, up 18% from the prior year, as well as a 14% rise in total viewers to 5.7 million and a 6% increase among adults 18-49 to 2.8 million of those watchers.

For its 10 Busch Series events, FX’s household ratings have surged 38% to a 1.8, 35% among total viewers to 2 million watchers on average and 29% among the 18-49 set (931,000).

FX concludes its NASCAR race coverage for the season with evening telecasts of the Federated Auto Parts 300 June 11, the Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo June 18 and the SBC 250 June 25.