NASCAR vs IndyCar: Difference and Comparison

NASCAR and IndyCar are two sports events that focus on races and are centralized in America. They have small differences which are mostly on the rules of the game and the kind of cars that are used to race.

The final winner is determined by the same method as any other car racing event in the world. The winner is the one who crosses the finish line first.

Key Takeaways

  1. NASCAR features stock car racing, while IndyCar showcases open-wheel racing.
  2. IndyCar races include oval tracks, road courses, and street circuits, while NASCAR primarily focuses on oval tracks.
  3. NASCAR cars are heavier and have a more traditional appearance, while IndyCar vehicles are lighter and more aerodynamic.

NASCAR vs IndyCar

NASCAR is a stock car racing series where drivers race in specially built cars that resemble production cars, but are modified for racing. IndyCar is a type of open-wheel racing where drivers race in single-seater, open-cockpit cars that are specially designed for the purpose of racing.

NASCAR vs IndyCar

NASCAR racing series is different from most of the racing events hosted all over the world because of its car type and a few rules that ensure fair play is used.

The cars that are allowed in NASCAR races follow the basic design of a classic sedan of all car brands and therefore the rules made by the governing committee of NASCAR ensure that the car type is kept in mind to avoid conflicts.

IndyCar is a racing event series that is similar to most other racing events that the world has seen starting from the cars that are allowed to the rules that are followed by the committee.

The cars in IndyCar races are built keeping in mind all matters that might hinder car motion while going at high speed.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonNASCARIndyCar
Year Of Introduction19481992
Number Of Cars40-6033
Speed320 kph380 kph
More DangerousNoComparatively more
Weight Of CarsMoreLess

What is NASCAR?

NASCAR is a famous racing event that has a great number of followers.

It was introduced in the year 1948 by Bill France.

It stands for National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.

NASCAR was started as an effort to ensure all those people with smaller sedan cars who are seen on the road get the power of racing cars.

Unlike the regular compact-sized racing cars that are seen in racing events, NASCAR racing cars are very similar to sedan cars with four doors and wider seats.

The doors to all other seats other than the driver’s seat are sealed to give the car a semi-air-tight feeling that might help in easier forward propulsion.

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The driver’s seat is not in the center of the car but instead, it is in towards the side just as in any other car that is seen on the road.

NASCAR cars are really heavy when put beside other sports cars and are around 1400 kg due to all the extra equipment needed for additional seats and metals.

This heavy-weight creation of the Stockcars gives the drivers enough safety as it is unlikely that the cars might go off course while on a race track.

All the cars of the NASCAR series are made of steel with a high power V8 engine that helps in the forward movement in high speed for such heavy cars.

In a NASCAR event, the cars are allowed to bump or hit each other as it would be impossible not to given the mass of the car.

The aerodynamic variation in the sedan-like car creates a small difference in the air pressure while the cars move at high speed, therefore, prompting random bumps.

Despite the highly powerful engine of the NASCAR cars, the maximum speed is limited to 320 kph.

This is by keeping in mind the safety of the drivers and the physics behind the use of such heavy cars on a race track.

NASCAR allows a minimum of 44 participants and it is common for the number to be as high as 60.

The NASCAR series holds 40 races. These 40 races are spread over 9 months or so.

It has a wide television coverage and a large fanbase, especially from the adult population.


What is IndyCar?

IndyCar is a famous racing event introduced in the year 1992 by Hulman and Company.

It is commonly called Championship car racing or Indy Racing.

The ownership of the company was transferred from Hulman and Company in the year 2019 by the businessman Roger Penske after he purchased it for a large sum of money.

The cars built for the IndyCar racing series fit into the classic description of a race car with a lean body and lightweight parts, therefore, making it easier to move forward.

The cockpit of an IndyCar is centralized and has no doors that would allow the driver to get in.

Instead, there is a small shaft that opens and closes and therefore allows the driver to get in without much hassle.

This reduces the area to be built and maintained in the car.

These cars are built in such a way that the aerodynamic features ensure that the wind does not affect forward propulsion because of air pressure.

The single centralized driver’s seat makes sure that the center of gravity of the car is perfectly positioned to ensure easier movement.

IndyCar has cars that are constructed from carbon fiber which gives all the exterior parts their lightweight nature.

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The weight of a classic IndyCar racing car is about 700 kg and this feature makes it difficult to make the car stay on the track without going off course.

No heavy engines are required to pull the car forth as it is very light and therefore the engine used is the V6 series.

According to the IndyCar rules, the cars participating in the race can’t bump into one another as this would lead to direct elimination.

The race has a small number of participants and this would not exceed 33 cars and their drivers.

The rules make sure that the cars don’t exceed the speed limit of 380 or 395 kilometers per hour.

IndyCar is much younger when compared to most other racing car tournaments and series and due to this, it has much lower popularity.

The majority of IndyCar enthusiasts are youngsters and teenagers.


Main Differences Between NASCAR and IndyCar

  1. While NASCAR has race tracks that are highly rough and more road-like whereas IndyCar has oval race tracks and like most race tracks around the world.
  2. There are high chances of IndyCar race cars disintegrating while on the track whereas due to the heavyweight nature of the sedan cars of NASCAR, there is a very small chance of such disintegration.
  3. As NASCAR was introduced much earlier than IndyCar it has a greater fan base and a much mature population supporting it but IndyCar has a smaller fan base.
  4. NASCAR cars use V8 engines which are highly powerful and help in the forward propulsion of the heavyweight sedan cars but on the other hand IndyCar cars use much less powerful V6 engines.
  5. While IndyCar race cars are constructed using carbon fiber the cars participating in NASCAR events are made of steel.
Difference Between NASCAR and IndyCar

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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