Originally written on Awful Announcing  |  Last updated 11/19/14

A sport we don't talk about too much is auto racing.  However, the popularity of IndyCar in America took a harsh step back in 2012 that's worth taking notice. The racing league posting its lowest ratings ever on NBC Sports Network, a drop of 27% from last season according to Sports Media Watch. The races didn't even average 300,000 viewers on NBC Sports after topping 400,000 in 2011. NBC Sports started airing IndyCar in 2009. ABC also saw ratings drop 17% from last year's season, although the Indy 500 was only down 5% from last year.

There are plenty of reasons to get into for the waning popularity for IndyCar, and perhaps the most significant is the full-time departure of Danica Patrick to the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Regardless of how you feel about Patrick's skill on the racetrack, she draws eyeballs to the sport, and that's an inarguable fact.

Another reason for IndyCar's struggles this year could be tied to the tragic death of Dan Wheldon in the final race of the 2011 season. Wheldon's death cast a shadow over the entire sport, and may have disenfranchised fans after last season's final race in Las Vegas. 

IndyCar has lost tons of fans to NASCAR over the last couple decades, but this latest news may be even more concerning because this is one unified series we're talking about. A drop of over a quarter of your television viewership is staggering and the brass is going to need to seriously consider some big changes for the 2013 season to draw some viewers back in to open wheel racing.

[h/t: Sports Media Watch]

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bruce Jenner: "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman"

Report: Angels, Rangers talking Josh Hamilton trade

Roger Goodell calls both Los Angeles stadium plans 'viable'

Five-star hoops star Malik Newman commits to Miss State

Crabtree on joining Raiders: 'Ain't got nothing to lose'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Hardy gets in 'verbal altercation' with teammate

NFL exec compares Jameis Winson to JaMarcus Russell

Report: Chris Sale wanted to fight Yordano Ventura

NFL does not care about Rams' future in St. Louis

Eagles VP Ed Marynowitz says he's not Chip Kelly's 'yes man'

Jonathan Papelbon wants out of Philadelphia

5 most boring NFL prime time matchups for 2015

Steve Carell, Emma Stone to star in Bobby Riggs-Billie Jean King film

Calipari’s new project: Create virtual reality experience for fans

Maurice Jones-Drew will retire with the Jaguars on Tuesday

Ovechkin jokes about taking a chair from Nassau Coliseum

Uniform colors have already been picked for Vegas NHL team

Golden State: Not losing to New Orleans, but still snoozing

Ventura, Royals need to simmer down before someone gets hurt

The Mets and their weak opponents

Report: Gronk dating former Patriots cheerleader

Nothing gleams like late-round draft gold

The Ultimate All-Living MLB Team

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

5 boring NFL prime time matchups

Bruce Jenner: "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman"

Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: Perception vs. reality

Report: Gronk dating former Patriots cheerleader

NFL exec compares Jameis Winson to JaMarcus Russell

NFL does not care about Rams' future in St. Louis

Nothing gleams like late-round draft gold

The Ultimate All-Living MLB Team

Dubs wanted to gain momentum for Game 4 ... then won

Teams who need to ace the NFL Draft

10 bold predictions for the NFL Draft

Ten things you need to know about Mayweather vs. Pacquiao

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.