The NTT Indycar series makes its way to Ohio on July 2nd for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio in Lexington. The NTT Indycar series is the premiere North American open-wheel single-seater racing car series, most famous of course for the Indianapolis 500. The circuit is the result of a 2008 merger of the breakaway Indy Racing League formed in 1996 by Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony George and the Champ Car World Series.
With that in mind, Ohio sports betting legalization is just hours away! Racing fans in Ohio can start betting on motorsports starting at 12:01 AM on January 1st.
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IndyCar has 17 races on the docket, starting on March 5th with the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg and ending with the Firestone Grand Prix on Monterey on September 10th with the Indy 500 on its traditional Memorial Day weekend slot. Mid Ohio is the ninth race on the schedule, making it the exact midpoint of the IndyCar season.
There are 12 teams running cars on the IndyCar series in 2023, featuring some of the biggest names in motorsports. AJ Foyt Enterprises, Andretti Autosport, Chip Ganassi Racing, Rahal Letterman Racing, and Team Penske will all field teams that figure to find their way to the Winners Circle.
Will Power of Team Penske was the overall Drivers Champion in 2022 while Marcus Ericsson of Chip Ganassi Racing took the Indy 500. Josef Newgarde of Team Penske led IndyCar with five wins in 2022.
Mid Ohio is a prestigious stop on the tour with its very interesting winding track. Scott McGlaughlin of Team Penske won the 2022 Mid Ohio, continuing a recent run of success here for his team. Newgarden won Mid Ohio in 2021 and 2017 while Power took one of the two shortened Mid Ohio’s in 2020, all for Team Penske.
While Mid Ohio represents the only instate IndyCar series race in 2023, Buckeye State residents do not have to travel too far for a couple of other races. There is the 107th running of the Indy 500 on May 28th, and then the circuit returns to Indy for the Gallagher Grand Prix on August 12th on the Road Course.
There are many ways to wager on IndyCar Series and the other popular motorsports circuits. Here are a few.
As it sounds, just bet on the race winner. It resembles a moneyline bet but it is technically considered a futures market. There were nine different winners in 2022, though only four of the 12 teams fielded winning drivers. They were Penske, Ganassi, Andretti, and Arrow McClaren, so drivers on those teams will top the betting screens.
No odds are up yet for IndyCar races, but look for Power, Newgarden, and McClaughlin often listed among the favorites, in addition to Scott Dixon and Alex Palau of Chip Ganassi racing.
There are also betting markets on top three or “podium” finishes, with betting payouts obviously lower than payouts on outright winners.
Every race requires preliminary heats to qualify the drivers and place them in their starting slots. The fastest lap in the qualifier gets that driver the pole position and the sportsbooks will all post betting markets on the winners here. The same drivers that dominate the winners circle post top qualifying times as well, though the variations between course designs matter a lot. Will Power dominated here in 2022 with five pole positions with McGlaughlin taking three.
IndyCar awards points based on where the drivers finish in each race. The winner gets 50 points, next is 40, 35, and 32, followed by two point drops each spot for the 4th through 10th place finishers, then one point drops through 25th. Every other qualifier gets five points. There are also bonus points for pole position and leading at least one lap in the race. The driver that leads the most laps gets two bonus points. The Indy 500 has a modestly different points season. The racer with the most points at the end of the season wins is the Drivers Champion. Here were the top drivers and their points in 2022.
- Will Power: 560
- Josef Newgarden: 544
- Scott Dixon: 521
- Scott McGlaughlin: 510
- Alex Palou: 510
- Marcus Ericsson: 506
The following drivers took home the Drivers Championship in the last decade
- 2022: Will Power
- 2021: Alex Palou
- 2020: Scott Dixon
- 2019: Josef Newgarden
- 2018: Dixon
- 2017: Newgarden
- 2016: Simon Pagenaud
- 2015: Dixon
- 2014: Power
- 2013: Dixon
Dison is actually a six-time champ, having won in 2003 and 2008 as well.
Drivers Head to Head
This just involves betting on one racer to finish ahead of another. Even though it’s in the context of a larger field, this bet itself just resembles a moneyline on a football game or a tennis match, or any two team or individual bet. It might look like this in the Mid Ohio
Will Power -135 vs Scott Dixon +110
Power bettors risk $135 to earn $100 if he finishes higher than Dixon. Conversely, Dixon bettors win $110 on a $100 bet if he wins the head-to-head.
As race day approaches, the sportsbooks will start posting props. They often include bets on which driver will lead the most laps, which one will post the fastest lap, who finishes top ten, and so on. There are also props on which racing team will win the race. There is also live betting, which works well in motorsports betting with frequent caution flags.
Though the NTT IndyCar series only makes one appearance in the Buckeye state, it sets up as a fun year for fans, especially those that love to wager on motorsports.