Originally Posted by Mystery
He starred at the Glen (I think) in 2010. Top 10 till getting caught in an accident or something. Impressed a lot of people I thought.
Ekström ran at Infineon (Sonoma/Sears Point) and again at Richmond. His run at Infineon wasn't too shabby; he ran top ten and even led almost entirely due to fuel strategy, before getting involved in some messes (one with Brad Keselowski, who completely dumped him) and finishing 21st. He was fairly impressive, though nothing too special (the Red Bull cars have never been very good, though, either). He returned to run the oval race at Richmond and his impressive run was forgotten; he was flat-out embarrassing, having never been on an oval before and jumping right up to the highest level of oval racing conceivable, qualifying forty-second and plugging around to thirty-first, four laps down.
Regardless, I don't think his two races in NASCAR make him very "mainstream." The name would ring a bell with the hardcore NASCAR fans who happen to already watch a lot of other racing, including the DTM re-airs on SPEED in the winter (though V8 Supercars and BTCC are both more popular in the U.S. than DTM and WTCC; V8SC is a large margin ahead of the rest, but even if you combined the viewership of all four, which isn't very precise since there's a lot of overlap, it wouldn't register as very much).
I guess on a general note, the U.S. racing market is so over-saturated that bringing in more series is a bit of a waste. There's a small niche for the consumption of auto racing, and it already has every series below NASCAR Sprint Cup competing for it (Nationwide, NHRA, Camping World Truck, Formula One, IndyCar, American Le Mans, and Grand-Am for major series alone...then you get into all the lower tiers of NASCAR, USAC, Indy Lights, all the things IMSA and SCCA sanction, the Grand-Am Challenge, a WTCC round, a pending V8SC round at a track that will never get built, etc, etc, etc).