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IndyCar News: IndyCar is less competitive than F1. What gives?

IndyCar is a ‘spec’ series where all the teams race the identical cars, yet F1 is more competitive despite all the F1 teams having to design and build their own cars.

–by Mark Cipolloni–

Aside from the Indy 500 where the cars are tweaked to artificially run close, IndyCar is even less competitive than F1 at the front.

Unless you drive for Team Penske or Chip Ganassi Racing, you’re probably not winning an IndyCar race, and almost definitely not a championship.

Those two teams have won the last 11 races and almost all the championship since 2013. Three Formula 1 teams have won since last month alone.

IndyCar Championships since 2013

Year Driver Team
2013 Scott Dixon (NZL) Chip Ganassi Racing
2014 Will Power (AUS) Team Penske
2015 Scott Dixon (NZL)[e] Chip Ganassi Racing
2016 Simon Pagenaud (FRA) Team Penske
2017 Josef Newgarden (USA) Team Penske
2018 Scott Dixon (NZL) Chip Ganassi Racing
2019 Josef Newgarden (USA) Team Penske
2020 Scott Dixon (NZL) Chip Ganassi Racing
2021 Álex Palou (ESP) Chip Ganassi Racing
2022 Will Power (AUS) Team Penske
2023 Álex Palou (ESP) Chip Ganassi Racing

It has been more than 10 months since a driver for any other team stood atop an IndyCar podium. Andretti’s Kyle Kirkwood won on the streets of Nashville in early August.

As much as IndyCar diehards like to think Andretti Global and Arrow McLaren are a top team, they average 1 win per year if they are lucky.

Are their drivers less talented?  Perhaps.

Are the non-Penske/Ganassi teams cars not prepared as well? Perhaps.

Do Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing have better race strategy? Perhaps.

Do Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing have ways of cheating that the race officials cannot detect or turn a blind eye toward? Perhaps.

Whatever it is, Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing eat their lunch week-in and week-out despite having identical cars.

Roger Penske and his sidekick Chip Ganassi have made IndyCar their little playground. Photo by Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment.
Chip Ganassi By_ Joe Skibinski
Roger Penske’s sidekick Chip Ganassi Photo By_ Joe Skibinski

Is the Nashville Speedway too dangerous for IndyCars?

The 1.33-mile Nashville Superspeedway is concrete, bumpy and speeds will be over 200 mph for the IndyCars. Is it an accident waiting to happen?

Banked at 14-degrees in the corners and 9-degrees on the D-Shaped track’s curved front straight the track was dangerous when the IndyCars last visited the track and it will be even more dangerous now with the higher speeds today.

 Lap Record: Scott Dixon • G-Force Toyota (IndyCar Series) • 206.211 mph (23.271 seconds) • July 19, 2003 – very fast for such a short track

Scott Dixon won the last three times the IndyCars raced on the Nashville Super Speedway in 2006, 2007 and 2008

Pato O’Ward already crashed his Arrow McLaren IndyCar in testing last week.


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