President Donald Trump took a swipe at NASCAR and Bubba Wallace in early July, proclaiming that the "noose investigation" and the ban of the Confederate flag ban resulted in the "lowest ratings EVER!" Tunity Analytics has since released ratings for a recent NASCAR event that drew more ratings than the NBA and other sports, prompting a response from the 26-year-old. Wallace dropped a simple meme and mocked the haters.
Wallace retweeted the favorable ratings following Sunday's Foxwoods Resort Casino 301, and he added in a popular meme. He posted the Mocking SpongeBob Meme, which first surfaced after a 2012 episode of the Nickelodeon show. The purpose of the meme is to mock something that "deserves it." In Wallace's opinion, Trump's comments, as well as those by other critics, were well-deserving of the Mocking SpongeBob.
As further evidence of the sport's popularity, FOX Sports PR unveiled the numbers for the Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 in early June. This race at Martinsville drew considerable attention due to being the first since NASCAR banned the Confederate flag at all events. The result of this change was a boost in the ratings. The Blue Emu 500 posted a 1.14 rating, which was a 104 percent increase over the comparable competition in 2019.
According to Adam Stern of Sports Business Journal, the FOX Sports half of the NASCAR schedule ended down only 1% in viewership. The company earned 3.702 million viewers for its program, down only 30,000 from 2019. The company expressed optimism about the numbers considering that eight of the 16 races experienced weather delays, and two were pushed to different days. Other events took place on weeknights due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"[The glass is] more than half full," FOX Sports executive vice president Michael Mulvihill said. "[...] This is the most important NASCAR season we've had since the inaugural year in 2001." The NASCAR teams and broadcast partners faced numerous issues due to the pandemic, the weather and lack of fans but still drew in viewers regularly.
Wallace is not the only one to respond to the president and others that talked about terrible ratings. When Trump made his initial comments, both of the networks that broadcast NASCAR responded. Mulvihill tweeted that viewership on FOX networks was up 8% since the sport returned from a 10-week postponement. NBC Sports PR also tweeted that the IndyCar/Xfinity Series crossover at Indianapolis Motor Speedway delivered historic numbers.