Betting on auto racing is similar to betting on golf. The most basic wager involves picking the winner of a race. Typically a sportsbook will list 20 or more individual drivers along with a field (all others) option, at various odds.
For example, Jeff Gordon may be listed at 4-1, Jeff Burton at 15-1, Casey Atwood at 100-1, etc.
If the bettor wagers $10 on Burton 15-1 and he wins the race, the bettor wins $150 plus his $10 stake, for a total payoff of $160.
Auto racing match-ups may also be available. Here two drivers are paired against each other in a head-to-head wager, with a betting line on each driver set by the oddsmaker. The driver with the better finish wins the match-up. (Both drivers must start for action.)
For example, a matchup may pit Dale Jarrett (minus 145) against Bobby Labonte (plus 125). If the bettor wagers $145 on the favored Jarrett, the payoff would be $100 plus his $145 stake, for a total of $245. If the bettor wagers $100 on the underdog Labonte, the payoff would be $125 plus his $100 back, for a total of $225.
Some sportsbooks also post unusual auto racing propositions such as the over/under on the number of cautions in a race, or which car manufacturer (GM, Ford or Dodge) will win the race.
Sportsbooks also offer bettors the opportunity to wager on the outcome of a season - for example, which team will win the Formula One or the NEXTEL Cup. These are known as "futures".