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Blame Irene? Bristol's Nationwide Series TV ratings down 31.3 percent

Kyle Busch (18) races Joey Logano during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug, 26.
Kyle Busch (18) races Joey Logano during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug, 26.

NNSracing.com

Here are the facts: The Food City 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 26 earned a 1.1 household coverage rating. The same race in 2010 earned a 1.6 rating, 31.3 percent lower than this year's.

But the 2011 rating may be an anomaly because of Hurricane Irene, which wreaked havoc on the East Coast of the United States and disrupted the lives of millions.

The race averaged 1,439,000 viewers on ESPN. The network said it was investigating whether many watched television coverage of Irene instead of the Bristol race but admitted it may not be able to determine that precisely,

2011 Nationwide Series Television Ratings

Race 2011 2010 % Change Network
Daytona 1 2.4 3.2 -25 ESPN2
Phoenix 1 1.5 1.0 +50 ESPN2
Las Vegas 2.2 1.8 +22.2 ABC
Bristol 1 1.5 1.6 -6.3 ESPN/ABC
California 1.6 N/A N/A ESPN
Texas 1 1.1 N/A N/A ESPN2
Talladega 2.1 1.3 +61.5 ESPN2
Nashville 1 1.5 1.1 +36.4 ESPN
Richmond 1 1.1 1.1 N/A Speed
Darlington 1.0 1.1 -9.1 ESPN2
Dover 1 1.5 1.3 +15.4 ESPN2
Iowa 1 1.6 N/A N/A ABC
Charlotte 1 1.6 1.3 +23.1 ABC
Chicago 1 1.4 N/A N/A ESPN
Michigan 1.5 1.2 N/A ABC/ESPN
Road America 1.2 1.1 9.1 ESPN/ESPN2
Daytona 2 1.6 1.9 -15.8 ESPN
Kentucky 1.2 1.4 -14.3 ESPN
New Hampshire 1.6 1.2 +33.3 ESPN
Nashville 2 1.2 1.3 -7.7 ESPN/ESPN2
Indianapolis 1.5 1.7 -11.8 ESPN
Iowa 2 1.2 1.4 -14.3 ESPN2
Watkins Glen 1.5 1.5 0 ESPN
Montreal 1.5 1.7 -11.8 ESPN/ESPN2
Bristol 2 1.1 1.6 -31.2 ESPN