What is Push to Pass in Indycar?

Think about your favorite Indycar driver being in second place on the last lap. He is just behind the leader. He pulls out in order to make the pass. It would be great if there was a button that he could push in order to make his Indycar go a little faster. There is now push-to-pass.

Push to Pass is an Indycar button that the driver presses to increase the Indycar’s horsepower. The driver can use push-to-pass to make a pass, defend against being passed, or increase lap times. 

Push to pass: Is this Mario Cart for Indycar’s? Let’s examine the push-topass system and how it works. And finally, let’s see if it gives Indycar drivers enough power to pass. 

What is push to-pass? 

Push-to-pass is a button on the Indycar driver’s steering wheel they can press to increase the Indycar’s horsepower for a short period. The increased horsepower can be used to help improve lap times, make it easier for another Indycar to pass you, or prevent you from being overtaken. 

How does it all work? 

Push-to-pass is activated and closes the wastegate on Indycars exhaust. If the exhaust wastegate is not closed, the exhaust gas pressure will rise. The supercharger spins faster when the exhaust gas pressure is higher. 

Exhaust gasses that spin the supercharger more quickly will increase the amount fresh air being pulled through the supercharger to the engine. More fresh air will make the engine more efficient and produce more horsepower.

Here is a short video The process is shown in detail. 

That’s too technical can you make it easier? 

You can! In simple terms, push to-pass will allow the engine to get more air. This will increase its horsepower, which in turn will raise the Indycar’s top speed. 

How big an impact will push-to–pass have on the engine’s performance? 

The Indycar’s engine will experience a slight increase in power by pushing-to-pass. This is a 60 horsepower improvement. This tiny boost can give the Indycar driver the power they need to make a pass.  

It is how long? The whole race? 

Unfortunately, the Indycar push-to-pass feature is only available for a short time during each race. This is both for the drivers and us. The average time for street and road courses is 150 to 200 seconds. It can vary from track to track. On high-speed oval tracks, push-to pass is not possible. 

Can they all use 200 seconds at once? 

Push-to pass is limited to 20 second increments. Indycar drivers have the option to either use all of the 20 seconds, or deactivate it before the time runs out. They can also save their push-to pass time for later. 

After the button is pressed, they can deactivate push to-pass before using any boost. It is up to the driver to decide where, when and how much boost is needed at any given time.

Are there limitations on how and where the device can be used? 

Indycar’s first push-to pass system was implemented in June 2022. Drivers had to be within 1.5 seconds from another car to activate the push to-pass system. In June 2022, changes were made to reduce the distance required to activate push-to-pass.  

Push-to-pass is therefore a universal tool that can be used at any moment. 

Push-to pass is not permitted in all circumstances. Push-to-pass is not allowed for Indy car drivers on race starts, restarts or the first lap following a restart or start. Push-to-pass can only be used on street and road courses. It is not possible to push-to-pass on high speed oval courses.  

Other downsides of the push-to pass system

Push-to-pass is limited in time and consumes more fuel. This can impact the driver’s decision making process about where and when to use it.  

Is push-to pass available at all tracks? 

Push-to pass is only for street or road-car drivers. Push-to pass is not available on high-speed oval track tracks. 

Is it new? When did push-to-pass become effective? 

For over eight years, push-to-pass has been a part of motorsports. It was introduced in the Champ Car Series in 2004. It was also implemented in Indycar Series in 2015. 

Why not let them race? 

Push-to pass may be viewed as cheating by some. Some may view it as cheating. Push-to-pass is actually available on all Indycars. All have the same technology. They all have access to the same button. 

Each race has been more excited and strategic because of push-to pass. It has given drivers a sense of mystery about their competitors’ push-to pass. The excitement and strategy that goes into this race are only enhanced by the unknown. 

Are there any other motorsports that have push-to pass? 

Formula 1 drivers have the Drag Reduction System, (DRS), installed on their cars. DRS does NOT increase horsepower. DRS can be activated at predetermined locations to reduce drag, allowing an F-1 car to travel faster.  DRS cannot be activated within 1 second of another F-1 vehicle.  

Formula E offers an attack mode. The race can use the Attack Mode for 8 minutes to get a power boost. To receive the boost, they must complete the activation zone. Fanboost is also available and can be voted on by the drivers. 


Push-to-pass can be used to increase the power of an Indycar’s engine. It is located on the driver’s wheel. This button is only accessible for 20 seconds. It can be used to pass or defend, increase lap times, or help improve lap times. 

Push-to pass increases fuel consumption, but it is limited to 200 seconds per race. Push-to pass can enhance the race strategy. This gives fans an exciting race.