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It’s no secret that NASCAR’s ratings have dipped over the past decade.
Look no further than the trend occurring with the Daytona 500, the sport’s premiere event that opens up every season in February. The 2021 installment, won by Michael McDowell, drew a 2.8 rating and 4.83 million viewers, the lowest rated and least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time. Just eight years prior, Jimmie Johnson’s win at The Great American Race in 2013 garnered a 9.9 rating and 16.65 million viewers.
NASCAR is actively looking to draw in more fans, but at the expense of its die-hard fan base, says OutKick’s Clay Travis. Travis appeared on FOX News’ The Ingraham Angle Monday to discuss why NASCAR is failing at gaining new viewers.
“They’re (NASCAR) trying to figure out ‘How do we keep the long time die-hard NASCAR fans, but also get younger?’, and instead of trying to appeal to them based on a sports related angle, they’re going with a woke angle,” Travis said. “And they’ve dove in head long into the culture wars. I think it’s a really bad decision.”
NASCAR has made many changes in recent years in an effort to remove itself from past stereotypes. In the wake of George Floyd’s death in the summer of 2020, NASCAR announced the banning of all Confederate flags being displayed at races.
With a cast of popular stars including Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards and Johnson retiring from the sport in recent years, Travis said the key to regaining viewers will be building new stars.
“NASCAR has been on the downward hill for some time now and the way to get everybody back I think is by having great, entertaining races and incredible stars to build around,” Travis said. “They haven’t been able to do that. Instead, they have tried to go the woke route.”
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