Speed Channel powered its way out of the gate with its exclusive coverage of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing Craftsman Truck Series Friday night, dropping the checkered flag on the highest-rated program in the service’s 10-year history.
Speed’s presentation of the hotly contested Florida Dodge Dealers 250 Feb. 18 averaged a 2.1 rating (1.33 million households), according to Nielsen Media Research data, a 31% jump from the 1.6 generated by the comparable race in 2004.
"We're obviously very excited to start our 2005 NASCAR season like this," Speed president Jim Liberatore said in a prepared statement. "Speed enjoyed a strong offseason in the ratings, and a lot of us had an expectation that this could be a breakout year for the network.”
He continued, “Of course, when you have a race where two teams are both convinced they belong in Victory Lane until 15 minutes after the event is over, you know you had a great race with a memorable finish. That's the kind of close, exciting racing the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series brought to the network when we started broadcasting it three years ago."
Other live racing from Daytona last week on Speed also revved up strong ratings, with the ARCA RE/MAX event Feb. 12 averaging a 1.11 mark (701,000 households) and the Crown Royal IROC race drawing a 1.47 (932,000 households) Feb. 18.