The Daytona 500 produced the most-watched Monday night of television on FOX since last year's World Series, the station told Sports Illustrated.
Despite the high viewing numbers, the Daytona 500 could not attract the same viewership as last year. Monday night's 7.7 overnight rating was down from 8.2 last year but ahead of the previous year by 10 percent.
The most-watched segment of Monday night's coverage came between 10-10:15 p.m. Eastern, just about the time when Juan Pablo Montoya collided into a jet dryer and caused a massive explosion. That 15-minute segment drew a 9.2 rating, but the race was halted for two hours and the ratings could not be maintained.
Matt Kenseth was the first to cross the finish line early Tuesday morning, holding off Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Greg Biffle in a hotly-contested final lap.