Just how fast can Indy cars go? Well, to give you an idea, Indy cars can make it down the length of a football field plus some in less then one second. Jet airliners takeoff speeds are between 160 to 180 miles per hour. Throw some flaps or slats and a pair of wings on an Indy car, point it into the wind and there would be take off; that is how fast Indy cars can go.
Back in 1911 Ray Harroun won the very first Indianapolis 500 averaging just a hair under 75 mph. However, how fast can an Indy car go today? The average speeds of Indy cars today range from 185 to speeds over 230 miles per hour. Qualifying speeds range from 215 to 227 miles per hour. The lowest qualifying speed was recorded back in 1912 when Theodore Pilette ran 75.52 mph for a quarter mile. Back then, you had to run at least 75 mph in a quarter mile to qualify. Kenny Brack did the fastest speed recorded in qualifications at 227.598 mph in a quarter in 2005, followed up by Billy Boat in 2002, running a quarter at 226.589.
So when you ask how fast can Indy Cars go, think of this. Indy cars can accelerate from zero to 100 mph in less than three seconds and use up a gallon of gas in less then two miles. Drivers experience G-force while driving through turns on the track equal to what the space shuttle leaves a launching pad. At speeds of 220 miles per hour, Indy cars generate 5000 pounds of down force. At that speed the tread on the racing tires turn to tar like consistency helping car to adhere to the track.
Indy cars have evolved through time to higher levels of sophistication. In the beginning of the 20th century, speeds of 125 mph on the track where considered impressive. Rules have been modified as technology has improved with racing organizations ensuring the safety of both the drivers and the fans. With the strict rules and regulations, today’s Indy cars are far safer then their earlier counter parts such as the roadsters designs.
In 2010, the Indy Racing League will be implementing new engine rules that will allow the return of turbocharged engines that will have a output of about 750 horsepower ; having either 4 or 6 cylinders. Current specifications in regulations are an output of 650 HP. The 3.5 liter Indy cars on a average produce more then 675 horsepower which is four times more then your average car. So when you question how fast can Indy cars go, averaging 220 mph is pretty fast, but we can expect to see even quicker acceleration and speeds on the raceways in the near future.