BROOKLYN, MI – Sunday’s Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway beat out gymnastics, golf, baseball and preseason football to have the highest sports TV ratings of the weekend.
The NASCAR race earned a 1.79 Nielsen rating, with an estimated 2.9 million viewers, per media reports. The U.S. Gymnastics Championships was just behind with 2.8 million viewers, while the PGA Tour’s Northern Trust had 2.5 million viewers on Sunday.
The Consumers Energy 400 was the most-watched NASCAR race on cable in two years and beat last August’s MIS race by 12 percent, per NBC Sports PR.
Kevin Harvick won on Sunday, in what turned out to be a fuel mileage race. Multiple drivers ran out of gas or pit for a splash of fuel in the final laps – including Michigan’s Brad Keselowski, who dropped from third to 19th because of it.
A majority of race fans approved of the action on the track, in the weekly “Was it a good race” poll from The Athletic’s Jeff Gluck. Of the nearly 8,000 voters, 61 percent voted yes. Fans were split 50-50 for June’s race at MIS.
NASCAR tracks no longer report race attendance figures. MIS has seating for 56,000 people.
The race featured 19 lead changes, varying pit strategies, a wider racing surface thanks to a glue-like substance being added in the middle of the corners and a pair of crashes involving high-profile teams.
NASCAR Cup Series racing will return to the Irish Hills for two races again in 2020: June 7 for the FireKeepers Casino 400 and Aug. 9 for the Consumers Energy 400.