IndyCar is facing a unique problem that other motorsports aren’t

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske, IndyCar (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Josef Newgarden, Team Penske, IndyCar (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images) /

IndyCar is facing a unique problem that isn’t currently shared by other motorsports series, including the NASCAR Cup Series and Formula 1.

In this day and age, it’s impossible to go more than a few minutes at a time watching a sporting event without seeing a sports betting advertisement: “Bet $5 to win $150!”, “$1,500 risk-free bet!”, “Today only!”, etc.

“Win $5,000 if ANY DRIVER completes one mile!” — okay, it’s not that crazy, but you get the idea — because you see it 18 times per television broadcast and 26 more times whenever you go to any website that has anything to do with sports.

In some cases, you can’t have a discussion about sports without hearing about the other person’s daily bets/parlays.

And in some ways, access to these services has actually increased interest in the sports themselves. Before a year or so ago, you’d never hear of someone turning off a March Madness Sweet 16 game in overtime — because the over already hit.

The world of motorsports has been no exception to the rise in popularity — and legalization — of sports betting across the United States.

But IndyCar is falling behind in that category, at least compared to the NASCAR Cup Series and Formula 1.

NASCAR Cup Series race odds and Formula 1 race odds, along with various prop bets (depending on the race), are posted across multiple sportsbooks for every race.

Yet these same sportsbooks, including all of the big-name brands, continue to neglect IndyCar, which is one of the fastest growing series in America and boasts the most competitive racing product of any series, open-wheel or other, in the world.

Various sportsbooks do have IndyCar championship odds posted, but three days away from the start of the season, there are no odds on anything to do with Sunday afternoon’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding.

Others already have Indy 500 odds posted, interestingly enough, but nothing on the season-opening race that’s actually scheduled to take place this weekend.

And it’s not just now, either. This was a theme throughout the 2022 season, and all indications point toward the same being true again in 2023, unfortunately.

So which sportsbook will step up and make IndyCar a part of its regular betting offering? There is untapped potential here on multiple levels that nobody has been willing to try to tap into yet.

Next. All-time IndyCar wins list. dark

Tune in to NBC at 12:00 p.m. ET this Sunday afternoon for the live broadcast of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding from the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida. Begin a free trial of FuboTV today if you haven’t already!