As Formula 1 increases its popularity across the United States, stateside racing series are plotting their next moves to get more people to watch their product. The NTT IndyCar Series will follow the docuseries trend with 100 Days to Indy.
Unlike F1’s Drive to Survive, 100 Days to Indy is a quick-turnaround docuseries similar to Hard Knocks, where the events taking place on the show just recently happened. Along with that, an IndyCar champ is going after Drive to Survive’s authenticity.
At a Q&A session in Long Beach, California, two-time IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden praised the style of racing IndyCar provides, claiming that it’s exciting enough that 100 Days to Indy doesn’t have to fabricate anything.
According to The Wrap, Newgarden said, “The competition is so good that there’s no need to fabricate anything. Unlike…some motorsports products.”
That elicited a laugh from the crowd and those on stage, including drivers Pato O’Ward, Marcus Ericsson, and Scott McLaughlin, as well as co-executive producer Patrick Dimon.
Newgarden followed up on his previous comments by saying, “The product, as-is, is good enough that they don’t have to go and try and search for things or twist things around.”
While Drive to Survive is a top-notch series that helped increase the popularity of Formula 1, it has been criticized for fabricating storylines and conflicts to the point where Red Bull Racing drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez once stopped participating in the show. They have since returned for the most recent season.
There is a very good argument that IndyCar has better on-track competition than Formula 1. IndyCar races on street circuits, road courses, and ovals. Because the cars are mostly spec and is much more affordable than an F1 car, it results in much closer racing and a wider variety of winners over the season. For instance, IndyCar had nine winners in 17 races in 2022, while F1 had five winners in 22 races.
That being said, many people enjoy Formula 1 because it’s not only the pinnacle of motorsport in terms of car development but also for the glitz and glamour of each grand prix. With F1 being a worldwide series, each race is treated like a Super Bowl in terms of the event surrounding the race, which is missing with IndyCar other than the Indy 500. A lot of the appeal of F1 is the stuff that’s off the track, which is diametrically different than IndyCar, where it’s about what’s on the track.
It remains to be seen if 100 Days to Indy will increase the IndyCar fanbase, but everyone in IndyCar is hopeful. The first episode will air on April 27 on The CW.