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Guide to Betting on IndyCar Racing

Guide to Betting on IndyCar
If you are under the impression that IndyCar is all about ovals and left turns, you are wrong. With over 100 years of history, there is a long-running fascination with one of America’s most treasured racing series. Despite what came before, IndyCar is constantly looking forward, creating new ways and pioneering methods of pushing auto racing to the absolute extremes of innovation and design.

The cars are sleek, the tracks legendary, and the fans as obsessive as any other sport on the planet. For as long as man has raced automobiles, fans have paid to get in on a little bit of the action. Therefore, it only makes sense that any betting enthusiast should show a little enthusiasm for betting on IndyCar. We understand that not every bettor has the knowledge or skill required to bet on this sport, but that’s where we come in.

In your IndyCar Betting Hub, you will find a comprehensive and valuable wishing well of information to help you better understand IndyCar. We will cover the entire history of the sport, the legendary drivers, and, of course, the betting material to get you started. The strategy guides we have provided are geared at both beginners and experts. This means you can get all the basic information you need before graduating to the more complex betting advice and strategies.

IndyCar is truly an exceptional racing series. It is one that has united fans from all across the globe, even if it remains as American as apple pie. We are certain that even a novice bettor will find everything they need to get them up and running, while intermediate betting enthusiasts can take their knowledge to the next level. How much you want or need to know is up to you: we have everything you need, right here.

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Why Bet On IndyCar Races?

If you are someone who likes to win, there is a great chance that you respect a winner. In any sport in the world, winners tend to stand out from the pack, often convincingly. True winners are the friends of betting enthusiasts, especially if they are winning bettors cold, hard cash. There is no winner that stands out quite like a racing driver, however. In a sport like IndyCar, the fastest man on the track is the king. It’s that simple.

With that in mind, what betting enthusiast would shy away from wagering on a sport as fundamentally easy to understand than auto racing? Of course, there are things that you need to be aware of in order to predict who will win a race, but the end result is that simple: someone will win. Even the closest ever finish in the sport – between Al Unser Jr. and Scott Goodyear at the 1992 Indy 500 – did not result in a tie.

If you are a fan of placing wagers on sports, you may have had your heart broken in the past by tie games. Maybe you bet on the big fight, only for the judges to interpret the fight as closer than it was, losing you thousands of dollars. When it comes to IndyCar racing, this does not happen. There are no judges waiting on the line to give their own interpretation of events, and this is because a race is a race.

Of course, this is just one reason for betting on IndyCar. There are literally hundreds that we could break down for you. Rather than indulging in our love of this incredible series, let’s look at five of our favorite reasons for betting on IndyCar:

The Historic Relevance

We keep coming back to that, don’t we? There is a reason for our borderline obsession with IndyCar’s history, however. The series is the culmination of over 100 years of thrills and spills, with many incredible moments, it must be said. IndyCar has a number of incredible records that demonstrate just how brave and pioneering the drivers and manufacturers have been over the years.

Don’t forget the fact that IndyCar has also set history in other ways. For example, Janet Guthrie was the first female to compete in auto racing and she was also the first to ever qualify for an IndyCar race. The greatest driver of all time, A.J. Foyt, set records decades ago that have still yet to be beaten. The historic relevance of this sport cannot be underestimated. IndyCar is absolutely stacked with history.

The Competition is High

This is the elite level of auto racing and one of the most prestigious racing series on earth. It is almost an understatement to say that the competition is high, as a result. Some of the greatest drivers to have ever raced have taken part in this illustrious competition, with the likes of the previously mentioned A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Juan Pablo Montoya, Emerson Fittipaldi and so many more.

You might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with betting? Think about it: if there the cream of the crop of racing car drivers are taking to the track on every race, this provides a betting fan with a number of opportunities to make money. With no certainty as to who will win a race, this presents an unbelievably attractive scenario where you can back your driver and immerse yourself in the thrill of the competition.

The Cars are Beautiful

Come on. We all know that one of the main reasons for our love of auto racing is the cars. As such, anyone who appreciates the fastest, sleekest, sexiest looking machines will surely fall in love with IndyCar. If you have ever bet on racing and won, there is no doubt that – if you were within touching distance of the winning car – you would reach out with your lips and plant a smacker on it.

OK, maybe you germaphobes out there would have something to say about that. However, you can’t deny that the thought would cross your mind. Cars are the centerpiece of auto racing. Without them, you would have the strange scenario of watching men running around a track, vying to be the first to cross the line. Who wants to bet on that?

It is Always Fun

Fun is everything in betting. Now, that statement is one that will likely invoke images of biting your fingernails until they disappear, or sitting so far at the edge of your seat that you are levitating. Some bets have the tendency to stress us out to the point of no return, but in IndyCar, the fun is always there. It is as exciting a sport there is to bet on, making it perfect for those who like to enjoy themselves when betting.

Are there any other types of bettors? You bet there are. Of course, it truly comes down to what you enjoy. It is your money. All we would like to say in this regard is that betting on IndyCar racing is always fun as it provides betting enthusiasts with a multitude of betting options. When you have so many capable drivers on the grid and a number of big races in a season, you will never run out of options to have fun.

The Big Races

What is racing without the big events? Those huge, highly anticipated races that get the blood flowing and keeping us coming back for more are vital. These races also inspire fans to place more wagers than others, naturally enough, as feeling part of the big events is important to fans. IndyCar, like other sports, has those prestigious events.

Even casual fans of the sport know when the big races come around, as the media certainly do their job of ramping up the hype. This helps prepare fans for the spectacle and makes us even more excited than we would be. When it comes to the morning of the big race, you had better ensure that you have your bets on before the engines roar. Let’s take a look at these big events in a little more detail.

Historic Indy Car Events

Football has the Super Bowl. Baseball has the World Series. IndyCar has the Indianapolis 500, although this is not where the big events end. There are a number of fans of IndyCar who would have fallen in love with the sport by watching some of the big events as kids. Even some adults who have never expressed an interest in racing may have been bowled over by the sheer excitement and spectatorship on offer in IndyCar’s major races.

Over the years, there have been a number of famous tracks and events that have been removed from the schedule. Quite often, these events will be reintroduced to the schedule after a couple of years in the wilderness. However, the truly iconic events will still stay firmly embedded into the consciousness of true IndyCar fans.

Let’s take a look at three of the biggest events from over the years.

Indianapolis 500

Indianapolis 500 Logo
There is a reason why many observers refer to the Indy 500 as the greatest race in the world. For a start, it has been running since 1911, with the only interruptions since then coming down to World Wars I and II. It is one of the most challenging tracks in racing history, with 60 people losing their lives there. A little macabre, yes, and it is tragic to have to bring this up. However, this proves how much this race means to drivers.

For fans, the Indianapolis 500 is the event they wait for all year. The track is beyond legendary, it is simply iconic. The sense of occasion is electrifying. The traditions are endearing (such as the drinking of the milk and the famous “Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines.”) There is no race in the history of mankind that holds as much prestige as the Indy 500.

Factor in the speed of the cars (it can hit 230mph) and suddenly you have the recipe for one incredible, historical, pulsating, and downright impressive event. When it comes to racing, the Indy 500 does it best. There are plenty of reasons for betting fans holding this event so close to their hearts. This is the “Great American Race,” and yes, it is really that important!

Grand Prix of Long Beach

Grand Prix of Long Beach
In 1975, the Grand Prix of Long Beach arrived. No one at the time would have any idea how special this race was to be to fans of IndyCar over the years. Commonly regarded as the greatest race in IndyCar after the Indianapolis 500, the longest running major street race in the U.S. was initially an F1 Grand Prix before common sense prevailed, and IndyCar got its claws into it.

The track is legendary and attracts hundreds of thousands of fans through its doors. Although this is considered as one of the greatest American races, it was the brainchild of an Englishman, Christopher Pook, who worked as a travel agent before setting it all up. While Watkins Glen had the prestige until it suffered a shaky relationship with IndyCar officials, Long Beach took over and earned its way into the hearts of fans of the sport.

Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen Logo
OK, well Watkins Glen has been an on/off venue for IndyCar over the years. However, there is no doubting its greatness among fans of the sport. IndyCar belongs at Watkins Glen. That much is for certain. Unfortunately for fans, poor attendance has led to a fractured relationship between IndyCar and The Glen, but this is something that can be salvaged.

IndyCar fans of a certain age will have fond memories of Bobby Unser, Rick Mears, and more recently, Scott Dixon, racing to victory on the famous track in New York. There are not many other venues that can boast the history and prestige that this one can. When it comes down to it, this track is one that is loved by fans of the sport and that will never, ever change.

IndyCar Legends

Ok, so every sport has its big events. Likewise, every sport has the men who epitomized everything there is and was to love about it. Such legends craft out incredible legacies that will live on in the minds of fans forever. NBA has Michael Jordan, the NFL has Tom Brady, and soccer has Pele. Who were the legends of IndyCar?

In truth, there are many drivers who have a rightful claim to be considered among the greatest to ever compete in the sport. Below, we will take a look at five of the greatest ever IndyCar legends:

Rick Mears

Rick Mears Indycar Driver
Smart, astute, and simply smooth as silk, Wichita’s Rick Mears was a driver who commanded respect. Mears raced over three decades, winning four Indy 500s, three championships, and racking up a pretty impressive resume as a result of his prowess behind the wheel. What made Ray Mears stand out more than anything was his ability to get better as time went on.

Known by the moniker “Rocket Rick,” Mears had a gentlemanly manner and preferred to show what he could do on the track rather than talk too much. He was always so calm and composed in the car and set a number of records, including that of the most pole positions in the Indy 500 (6). A pleasure to watch, Mears will always stay in the minds of racing fans for his incredible abilities and sublime intelligence.

Al Unser Jr.

Al Unser Jr. Indycar Driver
You could say that Al Unser Jr. had racing in his blood. With a famous father in Al Sr., a legendary uncle in Bobby, and more racing role models in his family, it would have been a good bet that Unser Jr. might find his way behind the wheel one day. Unser started off racing karts at 9 years old, and would one day be racing at the highest level of auto racing by the time he became a man.

Enjoying a 19-year career that brought him a total of 34 wins – with two in the Indy 500 – Unser Jr. was a true standout of his era. He captured two championships in his illustrious career and set a great example for the drivers that came after him. Yes, he is part of the greatest racing dynasty in the history of the sport but his individual achievements are certainly to be respected very much.

Al Unser Sr.

Al Unser Sr. Indycar Driver
Unser Sr. won the Indianapolis 500 four times and is one of only a handful of men to have achieved that incredible feat. Aside from this, he can boast 39 career victories in his illustrious career. The father of Al Jr. also has one more championship than his son (3), and set many a record in his day. As a driver, he was pretty incredible to watch and will always go down as one of the best to ever do it.

Al Unser Sr. was the perfect cocktail of composure, vision, aggression, and motivation. With racing firmly in his blood, Unser seemed to be a natural behind the wheel. When it comes to the debate for the greatest drivers to have ever taken part in IndyCar, there is no doubt that Unser’s name will pop up, time and time again. His bravery, especially in light of family tragedies on the track, was nothing short of astounding.

Mario Andretti

Mario Andretti Indycar Driver
Mario Andretti was the driver that could do it all. He won races in IndyCar, Formula 1, NASCAR, and World Sportscar Championship races. He won the 1978 F1 championship. He won three IndyCar titles, one Indy 500, a Daytona 500, and is the last American to win a race in F1. It is difficult to describe the all-time great as anything other than a winner. His record speaks for itself.

Andretti amassed an incredible 52 wins over a 31-year career in IndyCar. He won four championships and this could have been much more. There are many fans and pundits that will claim Andretti to be the absolute best in the history of the sport. It is difficult to disagree with that sentiment, as he proved, time and time again, to be capable of anything when it came to four tires and a steering wheel.

AJ Foyt

AJ Foyt Indycar Driver
If Andretti has one person ahead of him, however, that man will always be A.J. Foyt. He is, without doubt, the most prolific and successful driver to have ever raced IndyCar. There are many records that he set decades ago that have still yet to be broken. Foyt was also a talented driver outside of IndyCar, as his Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona, and 24 Hours of Le Mans trophies will prove.

Foyt was a driver for 37 years, winning 67 races as a result of his talents. He won the Indy 500 four times. His talents were that impressive that he managed to win seven championships in total. A.J. Foyt has more records to his name than the average man has hairs on their head. An incredible driver and a master of the sport, he has to be considered the greatest to have ever raced.

If you are interested in finding out more about the greatest legends of IndyCar racing, be sure to check out our IndyCar Legends piece.

History of IndyCar Racing

You may have remembered when we mentioned that IndyCar racing has more than 100 years of history under its belt. That is a pretty long time, in anyone’s book. Considering that one of America’s greatest sports series was only made possible with the automobile, it is pretty incredible to think just how far things have come since the early days of American open-wheel racing.

While the modern age showcases the pinnacle of technology and design by the masterminds and supreme innovators of the automobile industry, things were not as easy in the early days of the sport. The first major races in American history go back as long as 1902, with several sanctioning bodies all contributing to the sport we have today. It has been a very long and rocky road, but IndyCar got to where it is with this ingenuity.

You may be surprised to learn that competitive, professional races have been a staple of American auto racing since 1902. The U.S had a National Championship of drivers as early as 1905, with major races involving invitees from all across the world running not long after. The showpiece of IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis 500, made its debut in 1911. The history of American open-wheel racing certainly runs very, very deep.

Following the Great Depression, World War I, and World War 2 dark days and bright days contributed to the formation of one of the greatest racing series in history. Then came a “golden era” that transformed racing forever, followed by an increase in the technical innovations. Pretty soon, IndyCar racing was commercial. With that came bickering, feuds, strife, legendary drivers, and iconic races.

As you can probably gather from this limited information, IndyCar has had an incredible history. You can read more over on our IndyCar History page.

If all of that hasn’t put you in the mood for betting on IndyCar, then you should probably read it next time, and not skim through! All jokes aside, this is a sport where winning matters. First place is the only thing that really satisfies the greatest and most ambitious drivers who take to the grid. This is racing, after all, and while there may be prizes for the second and third places, they are merely a consolation.If you can see a parallel between wanting to win as a driver and wanting to win when betting on IndyCar, then good for you. This should make you hungrier to bet on a sport that prides itself on distinguishing the greats from the perennial runners-up. There is nothing worse for a bettor to lose a bet by the smallest fraction. There are no bragging rights in coming second place, especially when your buddies are involved.

IndyCar is a sport that is tailor-made for betting. Whether you fall in love with the history and prestige or simply the last lap in the big race, it really doesn’t matter. All that does matter is coming first, getting your predictions right and collecting your winnings at the end of the race.

Make use of the content, tips, strategy, and information here on your IndyCar Racing Hub. It could make the difference between you becoming the A.J. Foyt or Mario Andretti of race betting, rather than that other guy that no one remembers because he never won a race.