NASCAR vs IndyCar vs F1 vs MotoGP: Which Racing Series Holds the Most Impressive Track Record at COTA?

Published 05/21/2021, 1:16 PM EDT
May 9, 2021; Darlington, South Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) and Denny Hamlin (11) race in front of William Bryon (24) during the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


This weekend, the NASCAR Cup Series will race at the Circuit of the Americas for the first time. The stock car series is the last of the major racing series to visit the track after Formula One, MotoGP, and IndyCar. Naturally, plenty of comparisons between all three series at the same track and it won’t be long before NASCAR joins in.

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So this begs the question, which series holds the most impressive track records at COTA? In terms of lap time, Formula one rules the roost, with the fastest lap being 1:36.169. That is a full 12 seconds faster than IndyCar, where the fastest lap is 1:48.8953. Finally, MotoGP’s fastest lap is 2:03.575, nearly half a minute slower.

In the top speed department, F1 cars and MotoGP speeds come close with of 360 kph and 362 kph respectively. Meanwhile, IndyCar trumps them both, with a top speed of 380 kph. Admittedly, NASCAR sort of lags behind at 321 kph as its top speed, so in a drag race, an IndyCar car would win.

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How will NASCAR fare in the statistics?

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Admittedly, there are still a few days before the NASCAR cars take to the track. Only then will people be able to accurately gauge the differences between all the series. It is also worth noting that NASCAR vehicles have slower acceleration, going from 0-100kph in 3.4 seconds. All these records and timings have taken place on the full 5.5 km layout of the circuit.

Apr 18, 2021; Richmond, Virginia, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Briscoe (14) races NASCAR Cup Series driver Austin Cindric (33) during the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, when the NASCAR cars take to the track, they will have qualifying for the second time this year. The first time was at the Bristol dirt track, as none of the drivers have raced there. This time as well, since the drivers are unfamiliar with the circuit, there will be a qualifying session. Obviously, it would be foolhardy to run a race directly on a new track.

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Dhruv George

11616 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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