How to Bet on Car Racing

Car racing betting has grown in popularity in recent years, as the sport continues to pull in new fans all the time. In addition, the ease of betting on auto races via online gambling websites has also contributed to the boom. To that end, we’re here to help you learn about all of it with this car racing betting guide.

NASCARFew sports can claim a following as devoted as motor racing. Whether you’re talking about the stock racing of NASCAR or the open-wheel action found in Formula One Racing, it provides incredible thrills and attracts huge crowds. You might not realize it, but if you know a little bit about the sport, you can parlay that same knowledge into profit with motor racing betting online.

In the following article, we’ll tell you all you need to know about the practice with this car racing betting guide. We’ll look at the different types of racing and also profile the different types of wagers you can make on the sport. On top of that, we’ll talk about how to choose the gambling websites that will let you do real money racing betting with convenience and peace of mind.

Best Car Racing Betting Sites

We like to start our betting guides by providing our readers with the best online betting sites. If you decide to bet on car races, we recommend you use these sites listed below. They have been thoroughly vetted and reviewed to ensure you have a safe and entertaining time car racing betting.

Rank Gambling Site Deposit Bonus Get Started
125% Up To $2,500 Visit Site
BetOnline Sports
50% Up To $1,000 Visit Site
50% Up To $1,000 Visit Site
50% Up To $1,000 Visit Site
Bovada Sports
50% Up To $250 Visit Site

Types of Auto Racing Bets

Each type or motor racing wagers will present you with different aspects in terms of risk and potential reward. Read on to find out the kind of wager that you think works best for you.

Win Bets

This is as simple and as popular as it gets when it comes to betting on motor racing. You will be betting on a driver to win a particular race. While that concept is easy enough, you might not know how to figure out what the odds mean as listed by a sportsbook or a top sports betting site.

When you see the car racing betting odds listed with a plus or minus listed after a driver’s name, you are looking at a moneyline. Most gambling sites use the moneyline concept to separate between favorites and long shots. It’s also a way for them to even out the betting money going to different drivers, so that they don’t take a big hit if a lot of action if placed on a driver who eventually wins.

Some basic factors about the moneylines in auto racing betting online:

  • All moneylines wagers are based around the concept of $100.
  • If there is a minus in front of the listed odds, it means you have to wager that amount to win $100.
  • If there is a plus in front of the listed odds, it means you have to wager $100 to win that amount.

Let’s take a look at how that might work. Imagine that you wanted to bet on Denny Hamlin to win a particular race and his NASCAR betting odds were listed as follows:

Denny Hamlin

If you wager $100 on Hamlin to win the race and he does indeed win, you will receive $500 in return. That means you’re getting paid back at odds of 5 to 1.

Keep in mind that the $100 is a baseline amount and you don’t necessarily have to bet that amount on the race. You would just use the ratio set by the moneyline to determine all paybacks. For example, the 5 to 1 on Hamlin to win in this case would bring you the following win amounts for amount bet:

  • $25 bet = $125 payback
  • $50 bet = $250 bet
  • $200 bet = $1,000 payback

One other thing to note with moneyline win bets in auto racing betting is that you will rarely have a driver listed with minus odds. There are so many competitors in a typical auto race that it would be unlikely for odds to be set that would favor a single driver so dramatically.

Win bets are great for those who like to win a lot on a single wager in motor racing wagering. But it can be a difficult wager to hit, because there are so many drivers involved. Luckily, other types of auto racing bets can give you a better chance of winning.

Matchup Bets

Matchup bets are popular when it comes to how to bet on auto races online because they are both easy to understand and give the bettor more of chance to come out on top than a win bet. A matchup bet simply pits two drivers against each other in a particular race, and whoever finishes in a better position out of the two wins the bet.

For example, imagine that you were betting a race and saw the following Formula One betting odds:

Marco Andretti

Graham Rahal

Here is an example where you can see a minus on a moneyline, simply because there are only two drives involved. In this case, Andretti is the favorite and you need to wager $150 to get a $100 return. Rahal is the underdog and you need to wager $100 to win $175 in return.

You can usually find a lot of matchup plays available for each popular Formula One and NASCAR event held each week. When you think of all the drivers involved in those races, there are many different ways you can pit drivers against each other until you find the matchup that seems like a profitable one to exploit.

Group Bets

A group bet combines some of the same characteristics of a matchup bet with some of the moneymaking potential of a win bet. In a group bet, you will be choosing from a bunch of different drivers to see who performs the best in a particular race.

For Example:

A car racing betting site of sportsbook might include five different top drivers in a single group. You’ll choose which one you think will win. As always, your return will be based on the moneyline odds.

Whereas with a matchup bet, your payback won’t ever get too much higher than even money (getting roughly the amount of your bet in return), you can usually make a little bit more with group bets. But betting sites will try to make it touch by bunching a group of drivers together who are evenly-matched.

Podium Bets

In the world of auto racing, the podium refers to the celebration after the race when the top three finishers stand on a makeshift podium to be honored for their performances. As a result, a podium bet requires the driver you pick to finish either first, second and third.
Podium bets give you a little bit more breathing room in terms of what you need from your driver. But they will pay less than straight win wager.

Futures Bets

IndyCarFutures wagering is a popular concept in the world of sports betting because it offers excellent payback in return for the higher degree of difficulty. You will be betting on an event that could be months down the line in the hopes of winning big. Futures wagers are usually tied into some of the bigger races in the sport, such as the Daytona 500 in NASCAR or the Indianapolis 500 in IndyCar-style racing. As an example, here are sample odds to win the Indy 500:

  • Scott Dixon: +400
  • Alexander Rossi: +750
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay: +800
  • Marco Andretti: +850
  • Josef Newgarden: +1100
  • Will Power: +1200
  • Simon Pagenaud: +1400
  • Rinus VeeKay: +1400
  • Takuma Sato: +1600
  • James Hinchcliffe: +1800

For example, imagine that you think that there is a driver in NASCAR who will get hot and be a real threat to win the Daytona 500, even though that race is still months away. With a futures bet, you can make a wager at that moment on that driver, often at very favorable odds.

If that driver gets hot on the lead up to the race, it’s likely that his odds as the approaches will drop. As a result, the early futures bet that you made could be much more lucrative than if you had waited longer to make a win bet the week of the race.

Prop Bets

Prop bets, also known as proposition bets, are common in auto racing, especially with major races. There are also prop bets that can be tied to something other than how a driver will perform in a race.

Here are some possible prop bets you might find in the world of motor racing:

  • Who is going to win a particular yearly championship?
  • How many caution flags there will be in a particular race?
  • How long the race will take, factoring in cautions and weather delays?

Prop bets might differ from website to website, depending on how creative the oddsmakers are. Although prop bets can seem random, you can definitely profit from your knowledge of the sport to make good money on these wagers.

Types of Auto Racing You Can Bet On

As we said earlier, there are many different types of auto racing. There is dirt track racing, motocross, and many other smaller racing circuits where top athletes compete. And you might be able to wager on races like this in some cases.

But for the most part, motor racing wagering, at least in terms of betting, comes down to two major categories. NASCAR-type racing, also known as stock car racing, and Formula One racing dominate the scene.

NASCAR Betting

NASCARNASCAR events draw big crowds all over America, with each pretty much each weekend bringing a new race. The same top drivers tend to face each other week after week in these exciting events. NASCAR’s biggest race is the Daytona 500, which holds the most prestige for the winner and attracts the most betting interest.

Recent NASCAR Cup Series Champions

  • 2020: Chase Elliott
  • 2019: Kyle Busch
  • 2018: Joey Logano
  • 2017: Martin Truex Jr.
  • 2016: Jimmie Johnson
  • 2015: Kyle Busch
  • 2014: Kevin Harvick
  • 2013: Jimmie Johnson
  • 2012: Brad Keselowski
  • 2011: Tony Stewart

Formula One Betting

Formula OneFormula One is distinguished by the types of cars used, which are far different than the NASCAR cars that closely resemble the everyday vehicles, albeit much faster. The cars used in Formula One use the open-wheel concept, are extremely sleek and low to the ground, and go at faster rates of speed than NASCAR vehicles.

Recent Formula One World Champions

  • 2019: Lewis Hamilton
  • 2018: Lewis Hamilton
  • 2017: Lewis Hamilton
  • 2016: Nico Rosberg
  • 2015: Lewis Hamilton
  • 2014: Lewis Hamilton
  • 2013: Sebastian Vettel
  • 2012: Sebastian Vettel
  • 2011: Sebastian Vettel
  • 2010: Sebastian Vettel

IndyCar Betting

IndyCarIndyCar is another open-wheel racing league, but this league is based in North America. The IndyCar Series is the main competition in IndyCar, with the Indianapolis 500 being the featured race. Starting in 1996, they’ve crowned a Drivers’ champion each year, and below we have included a list of the ten most recent.

Recent IndyCar Drivers’ Champions

  • 2020: Scott Dixon
  • 2019: Josef Newgarden
  • 2018: Scott Dixon
  • 2017: Josef Newgarden
  • 2016: Simon Pagenaud
  • 2015: Scott Dixon
  • 2014: Will Power
  • 2013: Scott Dixon
  • 2012: Ryan Hunter-Reay
  • 2011: Dario Franchitti

Car Racing Betting Resources

NASCAR Betting Sites

NASCAR has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past several years. Nowadays, it is easily one of the most popular sports in the US for racing fans and bettors alike. There are countless auto racing circuits all over the world, but NASCAR occupies a special place in the heart of American sports fans. If you’re interested in learning more about the top-ranked sites for betting on NASCAR online, check out our comprehensive page detailing what makes these sites the best in the industry.

Formula 1 Betting Sites

While NASCAR is king in the United States, Formula 1 has a far bigger base of fans spanning the globe. Several of the most well-known drivers in the world race in F1, which makes it arguably the most popular auto racing circuit on earth. Billions of dollars are wagered on F1 every single year and there is no signs of slowing down. For more information about the best F1 betting sites on the web, consult our detailed F1 betting sites guide.

Car Racing Betting Strategy

The sport of racing comes in many different forms. While most forms of racing take on similar general characteristics, there are still certain characteristics and intricacies that set auto racing apart from the rest. Our racing strategy guide takes a longer look at certain tips you can employ to help you improve your overall bottom line when it comes to wagering on auto racing online.

Car Racing Legends

NASCAR and F1 have both produced their fair share of legendary drivers over the decades. From Dale Earnhardt to Michael Schumacher to Lewis Hamilton to Jeff Gordon, auto racing has given us no shortage of big names. Our auto racing legends guide gives you a complete look at some of the best drivers to have ever gotten behind the wheel.

NASCAR Betting Blogs

NASCAR is essentially a year-round sport these days. With races seemingly happening each and every week, you may need some help to keep up with everything. Our team of writers is always on top of things, and our NASCAR blogs are here to assist you with your auto racing betting endeavors. The blog is constantly updated to reflect the latest developments from around the world of NASCAR.

How to Bet on Car Races

Land-Based Sportsbooks

Sportsbooks are physical locations where it is legal to wager on sports events. In the United States, most sportsbooks are located within casinos. In Europe and elsewhere around the world, it’s more likely that you’ll see sportsbooks that are standalone locations.

Formula One CarIn terms of betting on motor racing at sportsbooks, you have to look and see what the offerings they have for each race. You can then use a teller or employee to give them the following information:

  • Type of bet you want to make.
  • Race or event you want to bet.
  • How much you want to wager.

There are also self-bet kiosks at these locations which can provide you the information you need and allow you to wager directly through them. At the completion of the bet, you’ll be provided with a bet ticket with all the information. When the race is over, if you’ve won, you can return with the ticket to the location where you made the bet to collect your winnings.

Car Racing Betting Websites

In some cases, betting on car races online may be difficult because you don’t have one near you. It could just be inconvenient or a hassle for you to get there. Or you might just prefer to keep your wagering activity private.

If any of that applies, you should consider wagering on motor racing via a betting website. It is a simple process. Take a look at the process:

  1. Search for auto racing betting websites. Make sure you look for the real money gambling sites that have a strong auto racing wagering component. And also keep in mind the reliability of those sites (more on that below).
  2. Sign up and create an account. This usually just entails providing some personal information. You’ll probably also have to add a username and password so you can sign in on any device.
  3. Fund your car racing betting account. You’ll have to put some money into your account so that you can bet real money on auto races. This money will come from credit cards or other methods of funding allowed by the site.
  4. Apply any bonuses. Most sites will offer you some sort of bonus for giving them your business. You might have to type in your promotional code.
  5. Make your bets. The best betting sites allow you to navigate between different bets and auto races easily.
  6. Collect your winnings. In the case of car racing betting sites, you can withdraw some money from your account by making a request of the site in question. Keep in mind that there will be guidelines attached to this process, which will take a little bit longer than if you were betting at a sportsbook in person.

When choosing where to bet on auto races online, you need to make sure you choose wisely. After all, you’ll be dealing with real money changing hands.

For that reason, we suggest our top-rated auto racing betting sites which we have provided at the top of this page.

Tips for Car Racing Betting

  • Identify what you want out of your bet. If you’re hoping for a big payoff for a small bet, choose win bets and futures bets. But if you’re looking for a steadier experience, you should stick with matchup bets, which are far less volatile.
  • Pay attention to location. Some drivers tend to do better on certain tracks than others from year to year. That can help them outperform their expectations.
  • Bet teams. Many folks get too fixated on the drivers when making their auto racing wagers. But the overall support system surrounding the driver can be just as important in winning a race as the driver’s talent.
  • Watch the weather report. In auto racing, weather can obviously have a significant impact on the outcome. Some drivers or cars might be better suited to off conditions than others.
  • Do your research. The best bettors are the ones who are the most informed. In the case of motor sports racing, where there are so many variables at play from week to week, you should really take a close look at all possible contributing factors to how drivers might perform if you want to be successful.

Car Racing Betting FAQ

How Does Car Racing Betting Work?

While you can likely find odds to bet on all types of motor racing, most of the action is centered on the major Formula One and NASCAR races held each week (usually on the weekend). These big events will always feature prominently on major gambling websites. You can also wager on the races in person (more on how to do that in a bit).

The idea is simple: You make wagers based on odds quoted by a sports betting site or a sportsbook. If your wagers are correct, you will win real money in return if you’re wagering legally with a reputable organization.

Is It Legal to Wager on Motor Racing?

For the bettor, you don’t need to worry so much about the legal ramifications for betting on car racing online. The gambling sites listed above are all legally able to take bettors from all over the world. In the same way, sportsbooks couldn’t be in existence without first being deemed legal in the location where they operate. Operators are the ones who need to worry about legality, not the gamblers themselves.

Can I Bet Real Money on Motor Races Online?

You can not only bet real money, but you can win real money in return. Top betting websites will both keep money in your gambling account but will also pay out when you win. As always, when betting on auto racing, make sure you only wager what you can afford to lose.

Where Can I Bet on Motor Races?

You can bet on motor races at legal sportsbooks, which are usually found in casinos (though not every casino has one). Or for your convenience and privacy, you can wager on auto races through legal sports gambling websites. In either case, you make wagers on a large variety of auto races at either location.

What Are the Best Motor Racing Betting Websites?

We listed them at the top of this page and we’ve researched and have determined them to be the best for wagering on auto races. They offer lucrative bonuses, fast payouts, and a safe and secure betting experience for those looking to place bets on car racing.

Should I Use More Than One Site for Car Racing Betting?

There are pros and cons to each approach. On the one hand, if you use one site, you can keep all your information and betting money in one place. But if you choose to use different sites, you might be able to benefit from bonuses at each one, which will help out your bankroll’s bottom line.

Can I Bet on a Race That Has Already Started?

Many betting websites allow something known as live betting on car races. The concept behind live betting is that you can bet in the midst of the race, with the car racing betting odds being changed on the fly to reflect what is happening in the race. Live betting isn’t easy, but it can be profitable if you can really think quickly in the heat of the moment.

Final Words on Auto Racing Betting

We hope that you now have a better handle on car racing betting online. Keep this guide handy and consult whenever you have a question that pops up. Remember that betting on motor racing can be lucrative for you, as long as you take the time to research both the races and drivers as well as the sites where you’ll do your betting.