Part #I: Lest you had any doubts of the growth of NASCAR's popularity:
The Pennsylvania 500 was the highest-rated and most watched NASCAR Cup Series event in TNT's 21-year history of airing NASCAR on TNT and TBS. It was also the second highest rated NASCAR Cup Series event ever on cable television. The New England 300 also broke records, earning it the #2 spot on TNT’s highest rated and most watched races. For boring ratings details read this...
Part #II: NASCAR to seek top dollar for rights:
In the national ratings, it's the No. 2 sports property, trailing only the National Football League.
Insiders predict that Nextel Cup and Busch Series rights will sell for about $500 million a year in the next contract, up from $400 million a year in the current deals with Fox and NBC/TNT.
Part #VIII: Lest you had any doubts about Dale Jr.'s ratings during what won't be considered his best season:
Over 2.5 million votes have been cast in the Chex® NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continues to lead in the voting. Behind him in the current balloting are second-place Jeff Gordon, followed by Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick, Rusty Wallace, Tony Stewart, Michael Waltrip, Dale Jarrett, Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson.
Voting continues through 11:59AM CST, Monday, Nov. 21 at www.mostpopulardriver.com. Fans can vote once a day.
Bill Elliott tops all drivers with 16 most popular wins. He is followed by Richard Petty, who has won nine times. Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s win last year made him the fifth driver in NASCAR history to win the award in consecutive seasons, while his win in 2003 made him and his father, the late Dale Earnhardt, the only father-son combination to have won. Other past winners have included such notables as Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip.
Speaking of the most popular driver, Dale Jr.'s quickly becoming a popular owner. His Chance 2 Motorports/DEI driver of the #8 car, Martin Truex, Jr., is the current Busch Series points leader and his JR Motorsports #32 driver, Mark McFarland, had his first victory in the Hooters Pro Cup at the Merchant’s Tire & Auto Center 250 last week. The win follows five consecutive top-5 finishes.
I don't think Dale Jr.'s having as bad a year as everyone thinks.
Part #XXIX: What will the #29 GM Goodwrench look like in 2006? Whichever paint scheme is most popular among the fans:
For the first time in team history, fans will be able to vote for Harvick's regular GM Goodwrench sponsored standard paint scheme with the squad offering its fans a choice of two designs.
The flames get my vote.
Part EA: It's In The Game:
EA SPORTS presents five NASCAR cameos -- ones that appear at the beginning of the EA Sports NASCAR Chase for the Cup game delivering the classic line "It's In The Game!". Fans vote their favorite: Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Kyle Petty, Kevin Harvick, Daytona Girls or Elliott Sadler.
Part LI: Vote for the Lowe's Motor Speedway 2005 Summer Shootout Series MPD at Speed51.com.
A lot of folks are betting on NASCAR's continued popularity.