While the Penske/Ganassi domination correlating into low TV ratings is something we will explore in further depth in the offseason, some of the reason for the ratings being lower is that some of the racing audience in the most heavily-saturated racing market (Indianapolis) was at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Brickyard 400 ended shortly before Versus went on the air from the Rexall Edmonton Indy, and I doubt that many of the people who wanted to watch the race actually saw it live since they were stuck in traffic leaving IMS.
Sure, not all 180,000 people at the track would have watched the Rexall Edmonton Indy, but even if 30,000 of those people did, the ratings would have improved.
I think the biggest test of Versus ratings will come this week, when the series heads to Mid-Ohio. Coming off of the closest major racing finish of the year, and one that received air time on every ESPN station, the IndyCar Series will have some considerable buzz leading into a track that honestly, may be a boring race.
But if Versus is able to take the highlights which were shown nationally and are able to market the IndyCar Series as a thrilling brand of racing (even on Mid-Ohio), then the debate over TV ratings may subside for a week.