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Ryan Blaney has a connection to NASCAR that runs deeper than most drivers due to his father, Dave, who ran in 473 Cup Series races in his career. The Team Penske driver cares about the sport and wants to see it succeed.

That’s evident in his racing and his willingness to periodically join the Fox broadcast booth and work as an analyst during Xfinity Series races. He’s doing whatever it takes to promote the sport.

With that background, it wasn’t surprising this week to see the 29-year-old driver speak out about the latest television ratings, which saw an increase, and question why improved numbers don’t get the same amount of attention and reaction from fans as the negative ones.     

NASCAR television ratings rebound after terrible start

The television ratings didn’t look good through the first eight NASCAR Cup Series races in 2023. In fact, they looked downright terrible. With the exception of Daytona and Auto Club, which had declines in viewership of 7.7% and 5.6%, respectively, all other races were down double digits, with Circuit of the Americas down the most at 16.1%. 

Unsurprisingly, a number of fans, including those who regularly suggest that the sport is dying, were vocal in saying the drop in viewership only confirmed that NASCAR was headed in the wrong direction.

Then Martinsville happened. And Talladega. And now Dover. The last three weeks have all seen increases in viewers. Monday’s race at the Monster Mile averaged 1.067 million average viewers on FS1 compared to last year’s race, which averaged 944,000 and was also held on a Monday. 

Ryan Blaney questions why good ratings don’t receive as much attention

The jump in numbers is undoubtedly a positive trend and something race fans were talking about this week around the water cooler. But Ryan Blaney doesn’t believe the good news is being talked about enough and raised that issue this week on Twitter.

“Crazy that when the rating are down everyone loses their minds and says it’s in the garbage, but when ratings are up it gets a 1/4 of the attention,” he wrote. “I guess what I’m saying is, I wish people would show the same reaction when things are positive as people do when it’s negative.”

Blaney’s tweet received a considerable response, including from those in the industry like veteran voice Dave Moody. 

“We live in a society of Chicken Littles, always accentuating the negatives,” he replied. 

Chase Elliott effect?

Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney talk.
Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney talk on the grid during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Ambetter 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 16, 2022. | Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Interestingly, in those first eight races with down ratings, Blaney’s good friend Chase Elliott missed six of them while recovering from surgery after sustaining a knee injury in a snowboarding accident. 

In the days leading up to his return at Martinsville, NASCAR went all-out in a social media ad blitz promoting the return of the sport’s most popular driver. His fellow drivers were openly enthusiastic about him coming back, including several admitting they hoped it might have an impact on the ratings.

Apparently, it did. And his friend wants everyone to know about it.

For the latest breaking news and information about NASCAR’s three national series, check out @kdsportswriter on Twitter.


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