In this guide to IndyCar racing, we detail the Iowa Speedway track and break down the history of IndyCar races in the Hawkeye State. Next, we detail all of the popular IndyCar bets you can place.
With legal sports betting in Iowa, you can place your wagers at both retail sportsbooks and online, which we cover on this page.
There are more than a dozen legal and regulated sportsbooks available in Iowa, with more coming. As of Jan. 1, 2021, you no longer need to visit a retail casino to register for an online sports betting account.
So you can either download an Iowa sportsbook app or visit a retail sportsbooks at one of Iowa’s 19 casinos.
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:
The IndyCar Series comes to Iowa every year for the Iowa Corn 300, a race that runs over 218.75 miles. The 2021 event is set to be held on Saturday, July 20.
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.
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).
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.
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:
|April 11||Barber Motorsports Park||Birmingham, AL|
|April 25||Streets of St. Petersburg||St. Petersburg, FL|
|May 1||Texas Motor Speedway - Race 1||Fort Worth, TX|
|May 2||Texas Motor Speedway - Race 2||Fort Worth, TX|
|May 15||Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Road Course||Speedway, IN|
|May 30||The 105th Indianapolis 500||Speedway, IN|
|June 12||Raceway at Belle Isle Park Race 1||Detroit, MI|
|June 13||Raceway at Belle Isle Park Race 2||Detroit, MI|
|June 20||Road America||Elkhart Lake, WI|
|July 4||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course||Lexington, Ohio|
|July 11||Streets of Toronto||Toronto, ON, CA|
|August 8||Streets of Nashville||Nashville, TN|
|August 14||Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Road Course||Speedway, IN|
|August 21||World Wide Technology Raceway||Madison, IL|
|September 12||Portland International Raceway||Portland, OR|
|September 19||WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca||Monterey, CA|
|September 26||Streets of Long Beach||Long Beach, CA|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.