IndyCar Betting At Iowa Sportsbooks

The IndyCar Series comes to Iowa every year for the Iowa Corn 300, a race that runs over 218.75 miles. The 2020 event is set to be held on Saturday, July 18.

This event, which takes place at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, has been part of the IndyCar circuit since 2007. The track first hosted a race in 2006, with the Soy Biodiesel 250, which was won by Woody Howard for the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Four championship. 

There are now IndyCar and NASCAR races in Iowa.

This guide to Iowa IndyCar starts by detailing the Iowa Speedway track, and then we break down the history of IndyCar races in the Hawkeye State. 

Next, we detail all of the popular IndyCar bets you can place. 

With recent laws allowing sports betting in Iowa, you can now place your wagers at both retail sportsbooks and online, which we cover on this page.

Where to bet on IndyCar in Iowa

Recent law changes in Iowa mean that all but one of the casinos in the state now offer retail sports betting. 

Head to any of the brick-and-mortar locations and you’ll find each of the markets listed above and more. 

Each of the casinos is affiliated with an online sportsbook brand. William Hill was the first to offer online sports betting on IndyCar and a long list of pro and college leagues. 

Other brands include Fox BettheScore and FanDuel sportsbooks.

Check our detailed reviews of the Iowa sportsbooks before you place your IndyCar bet.

Bet on IndyCar racing

If you’re looking to place a wager on the Iowa 300 (or any other IndyCar race), sportsbooks will offer a wide range of betting markets. 

Here are some of the most popular:

  • Outright Winner: The most popular and straightforward bet of all, you’ll aim to pick the winner of the race. With so many cars on the track, you can receive long odds on drivers, especially those who are not considered the favorites.
  • Pole Position: Placing a bet on which driver will gain pole position is a great way to start the race weekend.
  • Driver Head-to-Heads: A sportsbook will pit one driver (with similar ability) against another in a head-to-head competition. Take your pick and hope your driver forges ahead.
  • Fastest Lap: This is one of the more exciting bets on the race, feasibly, your driver could achieve this right up until the final lap (unless they crash, of course).
  • Podium Finish: Betting on a driver to finish in the first three is a good option if you’re backing a driver you have tagged as “consistent.”

IndyCar in Iowa: The Iowa 300

The first Iowa 300 took place in 2007, although for the first several years of the race’s existence, it was known as the Iowa 250; the move to 300 laps came in 2014. 

Dario Franchitti was the first winner of the race, edging out teammate Marco Andretti (both drove for Andretti Green Racing) by less than a tenth of a second in a thrilling finish. Franchitti would win again in 2009, while fellow Brit, Dan Wheldon, won in 2008.

British dominance of the race ended in 2010 when Brazil’s Tony Kanaan won, while Andretti finally achieved victory in 2011. The most successful driver in the history of the race is Ryan Hunter-Reay with three victories (2012, 2014 and 2015). Both James Hinchcliffe and Josef Newgarden currently sit on two wins, so they are just one victory away from tying the record.

Alongside the main race, race fans can also enjoy the Indy Lights series races at Iowa Speedway, which is run before the main race (either the day before or earlier in the day).

Guide to the Iowa Speedway track

The Iowa Speedway is the largest racetrack in the state, with a capacity of 30,000. 

This circuit was based on the same pattern as the Richmond Raceway. It was built with input from famed NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace (Wallace was particularly successful at Richmond).

In terms of distance, the oval track is exactly 0.875 miles long. The current track record, which was set in IndyCar, is 17.2283 seconds recorded by Helio Castroneves in his Team Penske car in 2014. The track also features a road course at 1.3 miles long.

The Indianapolis 500 is a highlight of the racing year. And for casual racing fans, that’s all there is to know and care about for IndyCar racing. For real Indy fans, though, there’s a whole lot more to see. And to bet on.

The IndyCar schedule is packed with events for several months out of the year. While not quite at mainstream levels of interest, there are plenty of diehard fans who follow the sport year-round. With legal IndyCar betting adding a new and intriguing wrinkle to the race game, the ranks of those in the diehard fan camp will only continue to grow.

Legal sports betting in Iowa (and other states across the US) has led to a surge in interest in betting on “under the radar” sports. IndyCar is one of them, and we’ll cover everything you need to know to get up to speed with IndyCar betting right here.

Top IndyCar races to bet on

The 2021 IndyCar season begins in April and runs through to the end of September. All told, there are 17 events planned, all of which will be carried by either NBC or NBCSN.

The 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 comes our way on May 30, but there’s plenty more to look forward to. Here’s the complete schedule for the 2021 campaign:

DateNameLocation
April 11Barber Motorsports ParkBirmingham, AL
April 25Streets of St. PetersburgSt. Petersburg, FL
May 1Texas Motor Speedway - Race 1Fort Worth, TX
May 2Texas Motor Speedway - Race 2Fort Worth, TX
May 15Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Road CourseSpeedway, IN
May 30The 105th Indianapolis 500Speedway, IN
June 12Raceway at Belle Isle Park Race 1Detroit, MI
June 13Raceway at Belle Isle Park Race 2Detroit, MI
June 20Road AmericaElkhart Lake, WI
July 4Mid-Ohio Sports Car CourseLexington, Ohio
July 11Streets of TorontoToronto, ON, CA
August 8Streets of NashvilleNashville, TN
August 14Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Road CourseSpeedway, IN
August 21World Wide Technology RacewayMadison, IL
September 12Portland International RacewayPortland, OR
September 19WeatherTech Raceway Laguna SecaMonterey, CA
September 26Streets of Long BeachLong Beach, CA

IndyCar betting odds explained

Just like any other sport, there are several different ways to bet on IndyCar. You can place your bets on the outright winner of the race, pick the best driver from various head to head matchups, or even focus on which driver will post the fastest lap in the race.

The most straightforward bet on the board is on the outright winner of the race.

The odds for the winner of the event will come out well in advance of race day. Oddsmakers will dish out numbers for all drivers scheduled to compete. Typically, it’s favorited up top, longshots at the bottom, and everyone else in the middle.

For appearance purposes, the outright winner odds resemble what you would find for the winner of a golf, tennis, or NASCAR event. On the team sports side, the closest parallel is what you would see in the futures market, such as odds for the winner of the next World Series.

As an example, here’s what the odds might look like for a handful of the favorites in an upcoming race.

  • Scott Dixon +250
  • Josef Newgarden +300
  • Colton Herta +350
  • Patricio O’Ward +500
  • Will Power +600

Let’s say that after you’ve done some research, you zero in on Herta to win the race. You place $100 on him to be the outright winner at odds of +350. If your call turns out to be correct, you’ll see a total return of $450 – your initial stake plus a profit of $350.

What bet types are available for IndyCar?

The outright winner bet is a great place to start, but there are lots of other options to consider with IndyCar betting. Here are some of the most popular ways to bet along with an example for each of them.

Podium finish

This works like an outright winner bet, but you’re covered for your pick to win or finish in the top three. Odds will be listed for all scheduled to compete.

  • Scott Dixon +150
  • Patricio O’Ward +175
  • Takuma Sato +225

Head-to-head

This is the IndyCar equivalent of a standard moneyline wager. Sportsbooks will pit a pair of drivers against one another. You make the call on who will perform the best.

  • Josef Newgarden                    -120
  • Will Power                               +105

Fastest lap

You can also make the call on which driver will post the fastest lap in the upcoming race. Once again, you’ll see odds listed for all scheduled to compete.

  • Colton Herta               +225
  • Graham Rahal            +240
  • Simon Pagenaud        +280

Pole position

Before the event, there are qualifying runs that determine which driver will earn pole position for the race. You can make the call on who will make it happen.

  • Scott Dixon +200
  • Will Power +250
  • Takuma Sato +300

Margin of victory

This is a wager that brings the Over/Under into the equation for IndyCar betting. Oddsmakers will set a line for the time of victory for bettors to weigh in on.

  • Over 3.5 seconds       -115
  • Under 3.5 seconds     -105

IndyCar props

In addition to the fastest lap and pole position, there will be other opportunities to get in some side action on the festivities. Offerings may vary here, but examples include:

  • Over/Under on race caution flags
  • Which driver will lead the most laps in the race
  • Total number of drivers to finish the race

Live betting on IndyCar

You can continue to place bets in real-time as the race plays out. That’s thanks to the wonders of live betting. As you would expect, things move fast with this style of wagering. The top operators are up to the task with great mobile platforms that let you stay on top of what’s happening without missing a beat.

Once the race starts, you can kick back and watch on the big screen while logging into your sportsbook of choice on your mobile device. You’ll see updated odds on the race outcome and various prop opportunities to consider. Live betting can enhance the enjoyment of IndyCar racing, and it also opens up the possibility of making some additional profits to boot.

When are odds released for IndyCar races?

When a race is on tap, sportsbooks will release odds for the outright winner well in advance of it. For example, the opening event of the season is highly anticipated, so you should start seeing numbers a few weeks beforehand. Once the schedule gets underway, you can expect to see odds for the next race soon after the current event is in the books.

For major events such as the Indianapolis 500, there’s a good chance you’ll see the odds well in advance of the iconic event. Odds for other wager types beyond outright winner – podium finish, head-to-heads, etc. – will be released closer to the event itself, but they still should be more than enough time for you to dive in and do some research on those bet types.

Online betting rules for IndyCar in Iowa

For each sport offered up by online and mobile sportsbooks in Iowa, there are house rules that are followed. The rules cover all of the ins and outs of betting on that sport, including things like when wagers are considered action and how bets are settled.

There are a lot of standard practices across the industry, so many sportsbooks handle things in the same fashion. However, there could be some quirks that arise here and there. For IndyCar betting, here are some of the main points you need to know.

  • Bets are considered live – or action – as soon as the race gets underway. If the race has been delayed from its initial start time but still goes off on the same day, you shouldn’t have any issues. Events that are postponed for several days or weeks into the future will likely be subject to changes.
  • If a driver withdraws from the event before it gets underway, markets for that participant will be taken off of the board. Any bets already placed on that driver will be considered void and refunded. Things get a little trickier when a driver starts but doesn’t finish, so consult your sportsbook for specifics.
  • The settlement of wagers is based on official race data and statistics. This includes all bet types, from outright winners to props. Sportsbooks will not entertain disputes surrounding results that you are unhappy with. If the race has been deemed official, bets will be settled based on the posted results.

While that covers the majority of what you need to know, we once again have to stress that the occasional anomaly may rear its head. As such, it’s always good to familiarize yourself with house rules and terms and conditions in the books you play on. By knowing what to expect, you can avoid potentially unpleasant surprises down the road.

How the IndyCar season works

Throughout the season, drivers are competing to win the IndyCar Series Championship. It’s a season-long competition in which the drivers earn points based on how they finish in a race. For example, a first-place finish is good for 50 points, followed by 40 for a second, and so on.

Drivers can also earn bonus points for most laps led in a race, earning the pole, or leading for any lap during a race. The signature race of the year, the Indy 500, is also the top event for points purposes as drivers can earn double points for their respective finishing positions.

In addition to the drivers’ season-long competition, points are also tallied up for manufacturers along the way. The points here follow a similar format, but there are some differences. Once the final race of the season is in the books, the IndyCar Series champ and top manufacturer for the year are determined by the final points standings.

Naturally, that makes all stops on the circuit quite valuable. Since just 17 races are scheduled for the 2021 campaign, that points to some serious competition to look forward to from April through September as drivers and manufacturers take their shots at glory.

3 tips for betting on IndyCar

When getting set to bet on any sport that you’re unfamiliar with, you’ll naturally want to spend some time getting up to speed. For IndyCar, that means familiarizing yourself with the schedule and different tracks, the parameters of upcoming events, and all of the other facets you need to know for wagering purposes. Here are three specific tips you can use to shorten the curve.

  • Familiarize yourself with drivers and teams: Before diving in, take the time to get up to speed with the drivers on the circuit. Take a look at the season-long points standings and take it from there. You can look into which drivers and teams have found the most success in recent seasons, and cross-reference the current odds for the next race, for example.
  • Study the odds and shop for the best prices: Speaking of the odds, you can use the board as a fantastic starting point for your research. The favored drivers in an upcoming race will naturally be the top overall performers, and so on down the line. As you scroll through the options, try to pinpoint those beyond the favorites who could be in line to make some noise.
  • Focus on past performance and recent results: So how do you figure out which drivers could be in line to outperform expectations? Great clues can be found by simply studying recent form and driver performance at similar events. For a quick run-through, look back at the final standings for the last three IndyCar events, and follow that with a look back at the last few years at this tour stop.

In the beginning, it’s a good idea to keep it simple so you don’t get too overwhelmed with information. Once you have more of a handle on how IndyCar works and what wagering on it entails, you can look towards expanding your repertoire and areas of research. Of course, if you’re finding success with sticking to the basics, there’s nothing wrong with staying in that lane.

 Brief history of IndyCar racing

The roots of IndyCar racing stretch back to the early 1900s with the first edition of the Indianapolis 500 taking place in 1911. The American Automobile Association was the initial organizing body and remained that way into the 1950s.

After a horrific crash in 1955 in which dozens of spectators were killed, the AAA moved on with the United States Automobile Club taking its place. From then through to the end of the 1970s, there were significant enhancements in racing technology that helped the sport’s popularity grow even further.

By the 1990s, the need for an official racing league to keep things moving along became apparent. The Indy Racing League was formed in 1994. Now known as the IndyCar Series, there have been plenty of changes through the years, but interest in the sport remains strong on an overall basis and looks poised to grow even further in the legal sports betting environment.

IndyCar FAQS

How long does an IndyCar race take?

The time to complete a race will vary based on several factors, including the number of laps and the overall length of the track or course. Additionally, the race can be impacted by caution flags or weather delays that can hold things up. As an example, the Indianapolis 500 could be completed in about 3.5 hours if all goes well, but it could stretch much longer than that.

Who is the winningest driver in IndyCar history?

For national championships, the legendary AJ Foyt tops the list with seven, followed by Scott Dixon with six. Foyt also has the most individual race wins at 67, followed by Mario Andretti with 52. As for racing teams, Team Penske tops the list by a wide margin at 219, followed by Chip Ganassi Racing with 113.

How much does the winner of the Indianapolis 500 get?

The top finisher at the Indianapolis 500 is looking at a payday between $2-2.5 million once incentives are factored in. The total prize pool can vary by year, but drivers can enhance earnings by things like leading the most laps, having the fastest lap time, winning the pole, etc.

How many drivers have won the Indianapolis 500 multiple times?

Several drivers have posted multiple wins at the legendary race. There’s a three-way tie for most wins, a record which currently stands at four. AJ Foyt, Al Unser Sr., and Rick Mears are the names atop the list. There are seven drivers tied for second with three wins, while another 10 have won the race twice.

Is betting on IndyCar similar to wagering on Nascar?

Yes, there are a lot of similarities between the two motorsports for wagering purposes. Many of the same bet types are featured prominently, and similar principles can be used for handicapping purposes as well. If you have had experience with Nascar, you should be able to pick up IndyCar quickly, and vice versa.