Best Motorsports Race: Indianapolis 500

Readers chose this IndyCar classic from a pool of 20 nominees

From F1 and NASCAR to IndyCar and endurance racing, motorsports offer high octane thrills in spades, as drivers push themselves and their vehicles to the limits. High speeds, tight corners and cars just inches apart trying to overtake the competition combine to create a nail-biting experience where high-speed crashes aren’t uncommon.

  • Indianapolis 500
    Indianapolis

    Billed as the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”, the Indy 500 has been a cornerstone of American sports for over 100 years and serves as one of the biggest races in the world, raking in nearly 300,000 spectators on race day. Average lap speeds of over 220 miles per hour also make this race the fastest circle-track event on our list.
    Photo courtesy of Joe Skibinski / IndyCar

  • Daytona 500
    Daytona Beach, Fla.

    Most sanctioning bodies save their biggest race for the end of the season or the mid way point. NASCAR however hosts The Great American Race to kick off the NASCAR season in style in mid February. The 500 miles long Daytona 500 is preceded by nearly two weeks of preliminary events all collected under the banner of Speedweeks, so there is always something worth watching.
    Photo courtesy of AP Photo/David Graham

  • Monaco Grand Prix
    Monte Carlo, Monaco

    Grand Prix races have been held on the streets of the Principality of Monaco since the 1920s, but when Formula One was formed and placed the Monaco GP as its second ever race in 1950, the sanctioning body inadvertently placed the already lavish event firmly in the halls of racing glory. Whether for the race, or the mega-yachts and celebrities, this is one event motorsports fans can’t afford to miss.
    Photo courtesy of Formula 1

  • 24 Hours of Le Mans
    Le Mans, France

    The 24 Hours of Le Mans was and still is the single greatest test of automotive tech in the world. For well over half a century, global auto manufacturers from Ford to Ferrari have waged war on the high speed 8.469 mile Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France in a battle of technological minds, driver willpower and corporate egos.
    Photo courtesy of Gabi Tomescu / AdrenalMedia.com

  • Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix
    Salinas, Calif.

    This sports car race on WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in September sees grand touring cars and prototypes racing for glory during the penultimate race of the season. A fan favorite is the section of Turns 8 and 8A known as The Corkscrew.
    Photo courtesy of Presidio of Monterey / Flickr

  • United States Grand Prix
    Austin

    When F1 racing returned to the United States in 2012, it came to the all-new Circuit of the Americas in Austin. The United States Grand Prix takes place on this 5.5-kilometer circuit, comprising 20 turns along the anti-clockwise track. Track designers took advantage of the natural topography of the Texas Hill Country with some of the most dramatic elevation changes in Formula 1.
    Photo courtesy of Formula 1

  • 24 Hours Nürburgring
    Nürburg, Germany

    Nürburgring Nordschleife is 15.5 mile long behemoth of a race track. Formula One legend Jackie Stewart dubbed the track “Green Hell” and once every May, over two hundred cars and 700 drivers descend into the depths of this lake of fire for a twenty-four hour race to determine who will become the new King of the ‘Ring.
    Photo courtesy of 24 Hours Nürburgring

  • Canadian Grand Prix
    Montreal

    French Canadian driver Gilles Villeneuve won his first Formula One race during the Canadian Grand Prix in 1978, and the Montreal circuit has since been renamed in his honor. Some tickets include rotating grandstands, offering spectators different views during practice, qualifying and the big race.
    Photo courtesy of Formula 1

  • Bathurst 12 Hour
    Bathurst, Australia

    Inspired by the Bathurst 1000, this endurance race at the Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, Australia features four classes of GT and production cars competing in one of the most important endurance races on the calendar. 
    Photo courtesy of jason goulding / Flickr

  • Italian Grand Prix
    Monza, Italy

    The fastest circuit on the Formula 1 calendar is located in Monza, Italy and although the track has changed drastically over the decades, it’s still one of the crown jewel events of the F1 tour. Just how fast is Monza? Lewis Hamilton once won the pole position on the 3.6 mile long circuit with a lap time of one minute and twenty-four seconds.
    Photo courtesy of Autodromo Nazionale Monza

The top 10 winners in the category Best Motorsports Race are as follows:

  1. Indianapolis 500 - Indianapolis
  2. Daytona 500 - Daytona Beach, Fla.
  3. Monaco Grand Prix - Monte Carlo, Monaco
  4. 24 Hours of Le Mans - Le Mans, France
  5. Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix - Salinas, Calif.
  6. United States Grand Prix - Austin
  7. 24 Hours Nürburgring - Nürburg, Germany
  8. Canadian Grand Prix - Montreal
  9. Bathurst 12 Hour - Bathurst, Australia
  10. Italian Grand Prix - Monza, Italy

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Michelle R. Martinelli (USA TODAY's FTW) and Bridget Schuil (Motorsport Sisterhood) were chosen based on their knowledge of the U.S. motorsports scene.

Congratulations to all these winning races!

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AlertThe Experts

Michelle R. Martinelli

Michelle R. Martinelli

Bridget Schuil

Bridget Schuil