IndyCar isn’t Formula 1. It isn’t NASCAR. It’s not just left turns. The winners aren’t so forecasted that you can turn off your TV before the last lap is done.
IndyCar is exhilarating, it’s engaging, it’s on-the-edge-of-your-seat excitement and it’s rising in popularity once again. While there’s still a certain stigma that comes with being a racing fan, I implore that you give IndyCar racing a chance before you cast it aside as another drop in the pool of “it’s just driving, it’s not a sport and I’m not a NASCAR fan.”
It’s not NASCAR
People often confuse the two, but NASCAR and IndyCar racing are absolutely different in more than one way. The cars are different. The drivers are different. The strategy is immensely different. The two are both racing sports, but watching them side by side points to two very different types of races.
IndyCar is not a “contact” race so to speak–the lighter cars and different bodies mean that crashes can be more devastating and evasive maneuvers become more important. IndyCar also avoids falling into the “it’s just turning left over and over and over again” pit. While there are certainly oval tracks in IndyCar racing (the Indy 500, for instance), there are also street tracks that involve twists and turns you won’t see in NASCAR.
They’re Risking Their Bodies for This Sport
Almost every mainstream sport in United States culture are in some way dangerous to its athletes. NFL players are faced with concussion issues later in life, just to name one of a number of health issues that plague the athletes in other sports. In IndyCar, a wrong turn, a split-second missed decision or a mistake by your opponents could mean an explosive and potentially deadly crash. The athletes in control of the cars that speed around turns at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour are risking life and limb for a sport that they love; seeing that kind of passion for something you care about makes watching them race even more inviting.
They’re Athletes With Incredible Skill
Do you watch baseball? What about football, soccer, hockey, basketball or golf? If you watch any other sport but scoff at the idea of IndyCar drivers being athletes and IndyCar not qualifying as a “sport,” you might want to reconsider.
The reason to watch IndyCar are the same reasons that you’d watch virtually any other sport in existence: the competition, the strategy, the competitors and the thrill of seeing the absolute best in the business compete on the highest stage available.
The racers you’re watching take these turns are the best of the best, they’re the only ones in the world capable of doing what they do at such a level. Seeing 30 of them do it at once, on the same track, each vying for that first place finish are competitors at heart. If you’re watching football, you’re watching it for the competition, you’re watching it in hopes that your favorite team will band together and ultimately come out on top. The same can be said for IndyCar–the team being the driver and the group of mechanics that work together to complete a race.
There’s More Strategy Than You May Think
And the strategy is a whole other ballgame, so to speak. Unlike in NASCAR and Formula 1, IndyCar features considerably more passing, more breaking, more sharp turns and, generally speaking, more strategy. Racers have to know when to make turns, when to ease up on the gas and when to execute the passes that you don’t see much of in F1 racing. And the finishes are almost always neck and neck, coming down to the wire to keep fans on the edge of their seats.
If you were unsure about IndyCar racing before, give it a chance. You won’t be disappointed.