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The Real Heroes 400 drew an average audience of 6.32 million viewers, according to Fox Sports. The total marked a 38 percent increase compared to the last race NASCAR held on March 8, just before it halted operations as the pandemic worsened.
Sunday’s event drew the largest television audience for a NASCAR race since March 2017, excluding the flagship Daytona 500. The race was held without fans in attendance and featured strict NASCAR safety protocols that included health screenings and team attendance limits.
Kevin Harvick won the Real Heroes 400, beating runner-up Alex Bowman by just over two seconds. It was Harvick’s 50th career victory.
NASCAR was one of the first major U.S. sports leagues to resume play since shelter-in-place orders were first issued in mid-March. The race at Darlington, South Carolina, was the first of seven events planned over an 11-day period.
NASCAR has planned a number of events across its divisions through June in several states, including South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. The circuit plans to utilize a TV-only, fan-less model until further notice.
Fox Corp. is the parent company of Fox Sports and FOX Business.