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STAMFORD, Conn. – June 30, 2016 – NBC Sports Group’s social and digital engines are fired up and getting NASCAR fans ready for Saturday night’s presentation of the Coke Zero 400. Last night’s #NASCARThrowback viewing party on NBCSN welcomed a highly engaged audience of fans, drivers and race teams during a first-of-its-kind television event that reached the No. 1 U.S. Trending Topic on Twitter within an hour.
During a classic re-air of the July 2001 Daytona race, which saw Dale Earnhardt Jr. capture an iconic victory, viewers were invited to share their thoughts, emotions and watch parties using the #NASCARThrowback hashtag. Select tweets were pulled into NBCSN’s broadcast and featured on screen throughout the two-hour race.
Participation was widespread throughout NASCAR as more than a dozen active Sprint Cup drivers chimed in, including Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano and reigning champ Kyle Busch. In addition, NASCAR on NBC’s on-air team also stoked conversation with fans on Twitter as Jeff Burton, Dale Jarrett, Steve Letarte,Kyle Petty, Rick Allen and Rutledge Wood contributed from Daytona amid broadcast preparations for Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 on NBC.
The overwhelming response topped all U.S. Twitter trends, including those surrounding Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. In the final moments of the race, as Earnhardt Jr. captured the checkered flag, more than 400 tweets per minute poured in from viewers, drivers, teams and Earnhardt Jr. himself.
The surge of Twitter activity helped fuel an impressive +86% increase in #NASCARThrowback ratings on NBCSN vs. a classic NASCAR race that aired during the same day and time period in 2015.