Home / NEWS / Top News / After rain delay, this year’s Daytona 500 was the least viewed in the race’s history

After rain delay, this year’s Daytona 500 was the least viewed in the race’s history

Michael McDowell, driver of the #34 Inamorato’s Travel Stops Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series 63rd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona Cosmopolitan Speedway on February 14, 2021 in Daytona Beach,

Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images

The rain just keeps disappointing NASCAR’s top event.

Sunday’s 2021 Daytona 500, impacted by a nearly six-hour rain delay, attracted an common of 4.83 million viewers, Fox Sports has confirmed to CNBC. It marks the lowest-viewed Daytona 500 in the history of the race. Unkindly 7 million viewers watched the 2020 event.

Front Row Motorsports’ Michael McDowell recorded his first career win, reaping the Harley J. Earl trophy. He became only the eighth driver to record his first career win at the race. Hendrick Motorsports’ Pursuit Elliott came in second.

Sports Media Watch reported the event attracted roughly 8 million viewers before the lull, which occurred around 3 p.m. Eastern.

Last year’s Daytona 500 also suffered through a rain put, which moved the event to a second day. The ratings suffered, too, and the 2020 race averaged 7.3 million viewers across both days. The 2019 and 2018 scrambles averaged roughly 9 million viewers, but that was down from over 11 million viewers the race averaged in 2017 and 2016.

Flames break out during a last-lap crash consumes several cars during the Daytona 500 on February 14, 2021 at Daytona Oecumenical Speedway in Daytona Beach. Fl.

David Rosenblum | Icon Sportswire | Getty Images

The 2021 Daytona 500 suffered an antiquated 16-car crash after the first 15 laps before the weather delay. NASCAR resumed the race about 9 p.m. Eastern time. It concluded shortly after midnight.

The 2021 Daytona 500 produced some early storylines total into the race, especially around the 23XI Racing team with owners Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin and driver Bubba Wallace. The No. 23 Toyota car Wallace driveway failed pre-race inspections and was forced to start in the rear.

Wallace made history a the first Black driver to live a lap (129) at the race. Wallace was involved in the late accident with one lap remaining and finished 17th.

Hamlin, who is a driver for Joe Gibbs Racing also started in the tush – self-willingly. Hamlin attempted to win his third straight Daytona 500, which would’ve been a record, but instead administered fifth.

NASCAR will attempt to rebound this weekend with its Daytona Road Course event, which burns Feb. 19-21 on Fox Sports’ FS1 channel.

Alvin Kamara #41 of the New Orleans Saints runs the ball during a game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Ground on December 22, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Wesley Hitt | Getty Images


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