|Region|| United States|
|Drivers||33 (including part-time drivers running only in the Indianapolis 500 and other select races)|
|Teams||12 (including part-time teams running only in the Indianapolis 500 and other select races)|
|Drivers' champion||Álex Palou|
The IndyCar Series, currently known as the NTT IndyCar Series under sponsorship, is the highest class of regional North American open-wheel single-seater formula racing cars in the United States. Its parent company began in 1996 as the Indy Racing League (IRL), which was created by then Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony George as a competitor to CART. CART operated under the "IndyCar" name from 1992 until 1996, when they agreed to change their name to Champ Car after a series of lawsuits, with the proviso that the IRL would not use "IndyCar" until after the 2002 season. In 2008, the IndyCar Series merged with CART's successor, the Champ Car World Series. The series is self-sanctioned by its parent company, INDYCAR, LLC.
The series' premier event is the Indianapolis 500 (Indy 500).
|American open-wheel car racing (Indy car) sanctioning timeline|
|Golden bar indicates which body sanctioned the Indy 500 each year. White text indicates name of racing series (when applicable).|
For 1996–1997, the series was simply referred to as the Indy Racing League. For 1998–1999, the series garnered its first title sponsor, and was advertised as the Pep Boys Indy Racing League. In 2000, the series sold its naming rights to Internet search engine Northern Light, and the series was named the Indy Racing Northern Light Series.
The IndyCar Series name was officially adopted beginning in 2003, as the series was now legally entitled to use it due to the expiration of a 1996 legal settlement with CART. The series began to progressively downplay the former IRL name, changing its name to simply IndyCar for the 2008 season. Izod was announced as the series title sponsor beginning on November 5, 2009. Izod ended its sponsorship after the 2013 season.
In 2014, Verizon Communications became title sponsor of the series through 2018. In January 2019, it was announced that Japanese communications company NTT would become title sponsor and official technology partner of the IndyCar Series.
Main article: IndyCar Series cars and technology
Modern IndyCar Series cars are mid-engined, open cockpit (including aeroscreen), open wheel single-seaters. The chassis is made largely of carbon-fibre composites, rendering it light but extremely stiff and strong. The whole car, including the driver, fuel, weighs only 1,650 lb (750 kg) on 1.5-mile speedways, superspeedways and Indianapolis 500; 1,680 lb (760 kg) on short ovals; 1,690 lb (770 kg) on road/street courses – the minimum weight set by the regulations. All IndyCar Series cars currently run on identical Dallara DW12 UAK18 (Mk. III) since 2018 season onwards.
Main article: List of IndyCar Series racetracks
After the split from IndyCar World Series, the Indy Racing League began as a pure oval race series. Alongside the prestigious Indy 500, the 1-mile oval tracks of Phoenix and Loudon were added to the schedule. In addition, the Hulman family oversaw the planning for the construction of a new track at Walt Disney World in Florida. On the new Walt Disney World Speedway the first IRL race took place in January 1996.
After the series was established, ovals used mainly by NASCAR were raced on. These included the newly built racetracks in Las Vegas and Fort Worth as well as the existing speedways of Charlotte and Atlanta. After a series of major accidents at Charlotte and Atlanta and a lack of spectator turnout, however, the ovals of Atlanta, Charlotte, and Las Vegas were removed from the calendar. For the 2001 season, the IRL also began to race on ovals that were being used by CART. The circuits of Homestead and Gateway changed from CART to the calendar of the IRL, with the race at Walt Disney World being dropped in favor of Homestead. In addition, the new 1.5-mile ovals of Kansas, Kentucky, and Chicagoland were added. These tracks were the backbone of the IRL until 2011. After Roger Penske sold his racetracks (Fontana, Michigan, and Nazareth) to the International Speedway Corporation, the IRL began racing at these tracks in the 2002 season. Nazareth Speedway only held three races before ISC closed the track in 2004. Michigan Speedway was raced until the 2007 season and the Auto Club Speedway, formerly California Speedway, until the 2015 season.
The first major change took place in the 2005 season. For the first time in the history of the IRL, races were held at road and street courses. A street course race in St. Petersburg has been added to the calendar. In addition, races at Sonoma and Watkins Glen, the two NASCAR road course circuits were added. In 2007, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course was added. After the Champ Car World Series was dissolved in 2008, some of their races were taken over by the IndyCar Series. These are the street races of Long Beach, Detroit, and Toronto, and starting in 2016, Road America. In addition, a road course race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham and an oval race at Iowa Speedway were scheduled and held.
The second big change took place in the 2012 season. In 2011, the series returned for the first time since 2000 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In the meantime, however, this circuit was rebuilt for NASCAR, increasing the banking of 12 degrees to progressive banking up to 20 degrees. This new configuration led to tight pack racing. To make matters worse, a $5 million bonus was offered if a driver from another series or racing discipline win the race, as it would be the last race for the current chassis, a record 34 cars entered this race (the Indy 500 field, by comparison, is capped at 33 cars). As a result of pack racing in combination with many cars and inexperienced drivers, a major crash occurred 13 laps in, injuring several drivers and killing the defending Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon. This event led to massive media criticism of oval races for open-wheel vehicles. As a result, and also because of the gradual loss of spectators in the previous seasons, all oval races on 1.5-mile speedways, save for Texas Motor Speedway, were removed from the calendar. Only the oval races in Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Iowa, Texas, and Fontana remained for the next three seasons. Instead, more races were held in cities, including Houston, Baltimore, and São Paulo. In the following years, the calendar stabilized, with the return of races in Phoenix, Pocono, and Gateway, despite the races at Fontana, Pocono, Phoenix and Milwaukee being removed from the schedule after a short guest appearance due to insufficient crowd or bad promotion.
Since the 2012 season, the calendar consists of 1/3 of oval races, 1/3 of races on permanent natural road courses, and 1/3 of races on temporary street courses in larger cities. In 2019, an IndyCar race was held for the first time on a current Formula 1 racetrack, the "Indycar Classics" at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Due to government restrictions on major events in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many races that were scheduled for the 2020 season have been affected. For the first time since 1911, the Indianapolis 500 is not held on the traditional Sunday before Memorial Day. In addition, traditional street races in Long Beach, Detroit and Toronto were canceled. As compensation, double-header races take place in Road America, Iowa, Mid-Ohio and Gateway. A novelty for three of the four racetracks.
|A. J. Foyt Enterprises||Chevrolet||Speedway, Indiana||1965|
|Andretti Autosport||Honda||Indianapolis, Indiana||1993|
|Arrow McLaren SP||Chevrolet||Indianapolis, Indiana||2001|
|Carlin Motorsport||Chevrolet||Delray Beach, Florida||1996|
|Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||Indianapolis, Indiana||1990|
|Dale Coyne Racing||Honda||Plainfield, Illinois||1988|
|Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevrolet||Indianapolis, Indiana||2008|
|Meyer Shank Racing||Honda||Pataskala, Ohio||2012|
|Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Honda||Brownsburg, Indiana||1991|
|Team Penske||Chevrolet||Mooresville, North Carolina||1968|
|Juncos Hollinger Racing||Chevrolet||Speedway, Indiana||1997|
Like other governing bodies, IndyCar awards points based upon where a driver finishes in a race. The winner of a race gets 50 points. The top three drivers are separated by ten and five points respectively. The fourth through tenth-place finishers are separated by two points each. Eleventh through twenty-fifth are separated by one point each. All other drivers who start the race score five points. Bonus points are awarded as follows: one point to the driver that earns the pole each race (except at Indianapolis), one point to any driver that leads at least one lap in a race, and two additional bonus points to the driver that leads the most laps each race.
For the Indianapolis 500, qualifying points are awarded for all 33 cars at the Indianapolis 500. The point scale slides based on the teams that qualify for the top-nine shootout, then descending by speed and position.
As of 2014, the Indianapolis 500 now awards double points for the finishing place.
In the case of a tie, the IndyCar Series will determine the champion based on the most first-place finishes. If there is still a tie, IndyCar Series will determine the champion by the most second-place finishes, then the most third-place finishes, etc., until a champion is determined. IndyCar Series will apply the same system to other ties in the rankings at the close of the season and at any other time during the season.
The following table is a list of championships going only as far back as the latest sanctioning body's existence. However, championships that took place before that period (under previously existed sanctioning bodies) are also counted as part of one continuous championship following the merger of CART/Champ Car into the Indy Racing League in 2008. That is when the IRL acquired all intellectual property and historic records, going as far back as 1909.
|Rookie of the Year||Most Popular Driver|
|19961||Scott Sharp||28||11||A. J. Foyt Enterprises||Lola||Ford-Cosworth||not awarded||not awarded||not awarded|
|Buzz Calkins||25||12||Bradley Motorsports||Reynard||Ford-Cosworth|
|1996–97||Tony Stewart||26||2||Team Menard||G-Force||Oldsmobile||Oldsmobile||Jim Guthrie||Arie Luyendyk|
|1998||Kenny Bräck||32||14||A. J. Foyt Enterprises||Dallara||Oldsmobile||Oldsmobile||Robby Unser||Arie Luyendyk|
|1999||Greg Ray||33||2||Team Menard||Dallara||Oldsmobile||Oldsmobile||Scott Harrington||Scott Goodyear|
|2000||Buddy Lazier||32||91||Hemelgarn Racing||Dallara||Oldsmobile||Oldsmobile||Airton Daré||Al Unser, Jr.|
|2001||Sam Hornish, Jr.||22||4||Panther Racing||Dallara||Oldsmobile||Oldsmobile||Felipe Giaffone||Sarah Fisher|
|2002||Sam Hornish, Jr. (2)||23||4||Panther Racing||Dallara||Chevrolet||Chevrolet||Laurent Rédon||Sarah Fisher|
|2003||Scott Dixon||23||9||Chip Ganassi Racing||G-Force||Toyota||Toyota||Dan Wheldon2||Sarah Fisher|
|2004||Tony Kanaan||29||11||Andretti Green Racing||Dallara||Honda||Honda||Kosuke Matsuura||Sam Hornish, Jr.|
|2005||Dan Wheldon||27||26||Andretti Green Racing||Dallara||Honda||Honda||Danica Patrick||Danica Patrick|
|20063||Sam Hornish, Jr. (3)||27||6||Penske Racing||Dallara||Honda||not awarded4||Marco Andretti||Danica Patrick|
|2007||Dario Franchitti||34||27||Andretti Green Racing||Dallara||Honda||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Danica Patrick|
|2008||Scott Dixon (2)||28||9||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara||Honda||Hideki Mutoh||Danica Patrick5|
|2009||Dario Franchitti (2)||36||10||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara||Honda||Raphael Matos||Danica Patrick|
|2010||Dario Franchitti (3)||37||10||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara||Honda||Alex Lloyd||Danica Patrick|
|20116||Dario Franchitti (4)||38||10||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara||Honda||James Hinchcliffe||Dan Wheldon7|
|2012||Ryan Hunter-Reay||31||28||Andretti Autosport||Dallara||Chevrolet||Chevrolet||Simon Pagenaud||James Hinchcliffe|
|2013||Scott Dixon (3)||33||9||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara||Honda||Chevrolet||Tristan Vautier||Tony Kanaan|
|2014||Will Power||33||12||Team Penske||Dallara||Chevrolet||Chevrolet||Carlos Muñoz||Juan Pablo Montoya|
|2015||Scott Dixon8 (4)||35||9||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara||Chevrolet||Chevrolet||Gabby Chaves||Justin Wilson9|
|2016||Simon Pagenaud||32||22||Team Penske||Dallara||Chevrolet||Chevrolet||Alexander Rossi||Bryan Clauson10|
|2017||Josef Newgarden||26||2||Team Penske||Dallara||Chevrolet||Chevrolet||Ed Jones||Conor Daly|
|2018||Scott Dixon (5)||38||9||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara||Honda||Honda||Robert Wickens||James Hinchcliffe|
|2019||Josef Newgarden (2)||28||2||Team Penske||Dallara||Chevrolet||Honda||Felix Rosenqvist||not awarded|
|2020||Scott Dixon (6)||40||9||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara||Honda||Honda||Rinus VeeKay||Alexander Rossi|
|2021||Álex Palou||24||10||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara||Honda||Honda||Scott McLaughlin|
Starting in 2010, the series began recognizing two sub-set championship trophies alongside the season championship. The two primary disciplines of IndyCar (ovals and road courses) were named after respective legends of the sport: A. J. Foyt and Mario Andretti, respectively. The discipline trophies were created as the series moved closer to a 50/50 split of oval and road races, and to encourage incentive for part-time entries – specifically, those that might prefer to compete in one discipline over the other.
This arrangement also creates a reasonable opportunity for a team to employ the services of two drivers for one season entry. A team could hire a specialist for ovals and a specialist for road/street courses, who combined would maintain the entry's total owner points but individually work towards their own separate disciplines.
Note that street courses are included as part of the road racing discipline. Since 2013, the individual discipline trophies have received markedly less fanfare.
|Season||A. J. Foyt
Road Course Trophy
|2010||Dario Franchitti||Will Power|
|2011||Scott Dixon||Will Power|
|2012||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Will Power|
|Season||A. J. Foyt
Former Oval Trophy
Former Road Course Trophy
|2013||Hélio Castroneves||Scott Dixon|
|2014||Juan Pablo Montoya||Will Power|
|2015||Juan Pablo Montoya||Will Power|
|2016||Josef Newgarden||Simon Pagenaud|
|2017||Hélio Castroneves||Josef Newgarden|
|2018||Will Power||Scott Dixon|
|2019||Simon Pagenaud||Scott Dixon|
|2020||Scott Dixon||Josef Newgarden|
|2021||Pato O'Ward||Álex Palou|
|Scott Dixon||6||2003, 2008, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2020|
|Dario Franchitti||4||2007, 2009, 2010, 2011|
|Sam Hornish Jr.||3||2001, 2002, 2006|
|Josef Newgarden||2||2017, 2019|
|Chip Ganassi Racing||10||2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2020, 2021|
|Team Penske||5||2006, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019|
|Andretti Autosport||4||2004, 2005, 2007, 2012|
|A. J. Foyt Enterprises||2||1996, 1998|
|Team Menard||1997, 1999|
|Panther Racing||2001, 2002|
|Manufacturer||Total||Drivers' titles||Manufacturers' titles|
|Honda||18||2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2018, 2020, 2021||2004, 2005, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021|
|Chevrolet||14||2002, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019||2002, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017|
|Oldsmobile||10||1996–97, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001||1996–97, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001|
The three-race inaugural season was televised on ABC. The 1996–97 season was broadcast by ABC, CBS and ESPN. In 1998, TNN was added to the rotation. In 1999, Fox Sports Net aired the majority of the races, and the remaining ones aired on Fox, ABC and ESPN2. From 2000 to 2008, ABC and ESPN were the exclusive television partners of the Indy Racing League.
In 2009, Versus (later NBCSN) began a 10-year deal to broadcast 13 IndyCar races per season, whereas the remaining races, including the Indianapolis 500, would remain on ABC through 2018. As of the 2018 season, ABC aired 5 races per-season (plus two days of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500), with NBCSN or other NBCUniversal networks (in the event of scheduling conflicts) airing the remainder of the schedule. On March 21, 2018, it was announced that NBC Sports would become the sole U.S. rightsholder of the IndyCar Series beginning in 2019, under a new three-year contract. NBCSN will continue as the primary broadcast outlet for most races, and overflow content will be available through its subscription service NBC Sports Gold. Eight races per-season will be televised by NBC—including the Indianapolis 500, marking the first time in 54 years that the race was not televised by ABC.
In the United Kingdom, since the launch of BT Sport in August 2013 races are shown on one of the BT branded channels or ESPN. Previous to August 2013, the IndyCar Series races were broadcasts on the Sky Sports family of networks, with the viewing figures of the IndyCar races in the UK outnumbering those of NASCAR races. The IndyCar Series also had highlights of all the races on the channel Five British terrestrial channel and Five USA, but has since been discontinued since the 2009 season. For the 2019 season broadcasts returned to Sky Sports, with the series being shown on their F1 channel.
In Portugal, all of the IndyCar Series are broadcast on Sport TV.
In February 2013, Sportsnet announced that it would become the official Canadian broadcaster of the IndyCar Series beginning in the 2013 season in a five-year deal with the series. The new contract will include broadcasts on the Sportsnet regional networks, Sportsnet One, and City, along with mobile coverage and French rights sub-licensed to TVA Sports. Additionally, Sportsnet would also originate coverage from the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Indianapolis 500, and Honda Indy Toronto with Bill Adam, Todd Lewis, and Rob Faulds. Canadian driver Paul Tracy also joined Sportsnet as an analyst.
In Brazil, DAZN is IndyCar's broadcast partner in that country since 2019, with all races, qualifying and practice sessions live. Previously, SBT broadcast the first two races of IRL, but following complaints by Tony George because of the schedule of the transmission (VTs at 1:30AM), and because they also aired the CART series, he took the transmission rights from Emerson Fittipaldi gave them to Rede Bandeirantes to broadcast that year's season from the Indy 500 onwards. Band aired the series from 1996 to 2001 and from 2004 until 2020 (the latter period together with BandSports). SporTV also broadcast races from 2001 until 2004. Since the 2021 season, the event is being broadcast by TV Cultura.
ESPN was the international broadcast partner of IndyCar Series in the rest of Latin America until 2018.
Eurosport has been the international broadcast partner of IndyCar in most of Europe (except in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, and the United Kingdom).
In the late 2000s, the official website streamed online all races, qualifying and practice sessions unrestricted. That service is now limited in the United States to television subscribers of the respective television network broadcasters.