Denny Hamlin Believes FOX Is to Blame for NASCAR’s Slump Following Kevin Harvick’s “Chase Elliott Effect” Argument

Published 04/17/2023, 3:01 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

A little while ago, Kevin Harvick had attributed NASCAR’s TV rating slump to the “Chase Elliott Effect,” stating the driver’s six race absence to be the reason for the fall in viewership. Soon after, Denny Hamlin also weighed in on the issue. However, he suggested that Fox’s broadcasting may also have been responsible for the downturn.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver shared his perspective on the issue during his recent podcast episode. His main aim was to shed light on the factors contributing to the decline in viewership and fan satisfaction.

Denny Hamlin gives his take on the TV rating decline

On his ‘Actions Detrimental’ podcast, Hamlin stated, “Certainly the ratings have been in a slump. For sure. You know, I think the fans in general and social media are really, really tough on Fox. I think some of it is warranted for sure. But I think that they’re very critical about some really small things that they could get better.”


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He provided an example, mentioning that he had observed something during the previous week’s dirt race. When he watched the replay, he noticed that the commentators were discussing a side-by-side battle, but the camera wasn’t focused on it, leaving viewers unsure of what they were referring to.

Hamlin concluded, “You know, you see the second-place guy working over the first-place guy. Like, right on his a** and about to make a move and then cut to like side by side for 12th. And it’s like, oh, ****, let’s just let’s keep it in the battle that’s about to dictate who’s going to be leading this race. So certainly, I think from a production standpoint, we can make some improvements.”

What was Kevin Harvick’s observation regarding the slump in TV ratings?


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During a media session at Martinsville Speedway, Harvick noted that fans seemed more excited to watch Elliott race than other drivers.


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via Imago

His observation stemmed from Elliott’s status as a NASCAR star. Hence, this led Harvick to believe that his absence contributed to the dip in TV ratings. Harvick’s comments were not meant selfishly but rather to address the broader perspective of the sport.

He said, “Everybody has a piece of the puzzle that they fall into. Chase for us, he’s our biggest star and he’s the guy that needs to be here every week for it all to make sense. For me, that’s important from an all-round picture. I know that sounds selfish, I didn’t intend it to sound selfish. Meant that as a broad perspective on NASCAR racing in general.”


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WATCH THIS STORY: “Might as well stop trying” – Frustrated Kyle Busch makes a disheartening confession amid unfortunate result in Truck series.

Now, with Elliott returning to the car after recovering from his injury, there is hope that ratings will rise again. Although it may take some time for him to climb the ranks and compete for wins, his mere presence should be enough to re-engage fans and boost viewership.


Written by:

Srijan Mandal


One take at a time

Srijan Mandal is a NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. With a Master's Degree in Journalism from a top institution, Srijan has written over 1000 articles across various platforms. His passion for racing began at a young age and has only grown stronger over time.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh