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Jay Busbee

Atlanta race ratings tick up! Salvation is at hand!

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OK, I'm not going to lie to you -- the Atlanta Aerial Assault provided by Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards was very, very good for our numbers. Seems lots of people were interested in one driver potentially sending another one into orbit. But that notwithstanding, TV ratings were up across the board for NASCAR and the Atlanta race.

NASCAR on Fox's coverage earned a 4.7 rating and an 11 share, a 2 percent increase over last year's comparable race. An estimated 3.7 million households watched the race, making it the weekend's top sporting event by a long shot. (The competition included a marquee Lakers-Magic NBA game.)

You can spin this any number of ways. First off, it was the initial race that didn't face the Olympics; previous races had been off 14 percent from 2009. Second, it's possible that people aren't quite as down on NASCAR as the haters would like to believe. Third, it's worth noting that the ratings were particularly strong in the Southeast, the leading indicator of NASCAR's popularity. Ratings increased by 32 percent in Charlotte, 26 percent in Greensboro and 25 percent in Atlanta.

We've got a long, long way to go before NASCAR can proclaim the turnaround complete. But with all the attention that the sport received because of Edwards/Jet Ski, it's a shame that we don't have a race this weekend to capitalize on that.

NASCAR Ratings [Jayski.com]

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