Indy vs Nascar, what’s the difference?

Among professional racing, the most popular to watch are the Indy, Nascar, and F1 races held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Out of these three, Nascar stands out. Indy and F1 races are very much similar in their achievements and goals. The most common misconceptions are how the Indy 500 race and Nascar race are the same. Although these two races have lots of similarities, most of them are different. The two main factors that contrast with each other are the build of the cars and the race itself.


First off, the Indy car model is much different from the Nascar model. An Indy car is built solely focusing on speed and aerodynamics, so they do not have as much kit as a Nascar. To cut off any extra unnecessary weight, they are built in a very low profile, slick, and don’t have any doors. Minimizing weight is how they are engineered to set the wheels outside the car in an open-wheel style. To enter the car, drivers go through the top, and the cars only include one seat versus Nascar’s two. The weight of the two race cars is also very different, Nascars being twice the weight of an Indy car. This is due to the fact that an Indy car has so little bodywork. Nascar vehicles are kitted out with full body kits, roll bars, and bumpers.


Nascar’s exciting history is the reason why the cars are made the way they are. The first races were for stock-car racing in the 1920s, where bootleggers would run moonshine during prohibition. For Bootleggers, their cars were made to handle harsh terrain and were modified to withstand a crash or two. All of these were on the vehicle to create a car that could escape the police when transporting illegal liquor. The Nascars models are built tanky because of this. The last difference in the car models is the engine. The engines for Indy cars are turbocharged to maximize the speed of the car, while Nascars are not.


Not only are the cars of these two races different but the actual race itself. In Nascar, racers are bumping other cars to get to the front and trying to hold their spot until the end, but Indy racers are flying around the track at over 200 miles per hour, trying to overtake the racers in front of them. If a racer were to bump into their competitor at over 200 miles per hour, the casualties would be devastating. For each race, they have a marquee event. For Indy racers, it’s the Indianapolis 500, and for the Nascar racers, it’s the Daytona 500. During a Nascar race, it’s common to see a car get a bit damaged, repaired, and then sent back into the race, but in an Indy car race, drivers can’t afford to damage their cars. These are the key differences between the two racing worlds, Nascar and Indy.