Juan Pablo Montoya's Daytona 500 Crash Makes Race A Ratings Winner

Juan Pablo Montoya's Daytona 500 Crash Makes Race A Ratings Winner In a true freak occurence, the old stereotype has probably just been exemplified: some people really will watch NASCAR because crashes entertain them.

Following a Sunday rain-out, NASCAR's premiere event, the Daytona 500, was run Monday and a wild, unpredictable race looks to have possibly beat out "The Voice" and "Smash" to become the night's big ratings winner for FOX. The showdown highlighted by driver Juan Pablo Montoya's scary, fiery crash late in the race and Matt Kenseth's ultimate win didn't finish until around 1 AM, thanks in part to Montoya's car striking a jet dryer and temporarily shutting down the track. Fortunately, he was unharmed by the collision or the resulting blaze. Official numbers won't arrive until later Tuesday afternoon, but Entertainment Weekly has predicted early that the race generated some serious interest.

Meanwhile on NBC, nobody risked being barbequed on "The Voice" but 14.8 million viewers still tuned in and popped a 5.4 adult demographic rating. That's a 10-percent dip - though given what was on elsewhere, maybe an understandable one - following a week in which the show outdrew the Wednesday night "American Idol."

In news that NBC must find far more pleasing, "Smash" finally reveresed a trend. The musical drama drew 6.7 million viewers and delivered a 2.4 rating that increased 4 percent over the previous week, despite facing off against a brand-new "Castle" on ABC that drew 9.1 million viewers but only rated a 2.2 number. Elsewhere, unfortunately, "Smash" was beaten outright by CBS' "Hawaii Five-0" drawing 9.4 million viewers and a 2.5 rating.

Begs the question, though: with Daytona still running, lead-in "The Voice" slipping and two other shows drawing more individual viewers, how did "Smash" actually manage its first upward ratings movement since its premiere?

NASCAR and "The Voice" combined did a number on CBS' usual Monday-night comedies. "How I Met Your Mother" fell just slightly to a 3.6 rating and 9.1 million tuning in, but "Two and a Half Men," "2 Broke Girls" and "Mike & Molly" all hit season-low ratings. In fact, "Two And A Half Men" plummeted 14 percent to a series low. Not a good sign for an old, recently retooled sitcom.

Watch Juan Pablo Montoya's Daytona 500 crash below:

 
 
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