McLaughlin claims historic IndyCar honour

4 weeks ago 13
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Reigning Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin has capped a singular debut play successful IndyCars, claiming the Rookie of the Year award.

McLaughlin finished 11th successful the last contention astatine Long Beach, and 14th wide successful the championship, 1 spot up of chap rookie, erstwhile F1 operator Romain Grosjean.

The Kiwi becomes the archetypal operator successful the storied past of the Penske squad to assertion Rookie of the Year honours.

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"I deliberation it conscionable shows that Roger doesn't truly employment rookies," McLaughlin said with a smile.

"I consciousness privileged to beryllium successful that position. But I besides consciousness a spot vulnerable. Look, it's a arrogant moment. Like I said, you get 1 accidental to triumph this Rookie of the Year.

"I was fortunate to triumph Rookie of the Year astatine Indy, Rookie of the Year this twelvemonth successful the championship.

Scott McLaughlin successful enactment for Penske astatine Barber Motorsports Park. (Getty)

"Any clip you're winning for Roger successful immoderate way, signifier oregon signifier he's happy. Yeah, hopefully it's conscionable a small spot of occupation security."

Previous winners of the Rookie of the Year rubric see Nigel Mansell (1993), Jacques Villeneuve (1994) and Australia's Will Power (2006).

The jewel successful the IndyCar crown remains the iconic Indy 500 successful May, and having finished 20th determination this twelvemonth after a mid-race penalty, McLaughlin is aiming overmuch higher successful 2022.

"Oh, I'm going adjacent twelvemonth to Indy with the thought of winning," McLaughlin said emphatically.

"I'm going to beryllium successful a car that tin triumph the race. I cognize I'm speedy there. I cognize I'm speedy connected ovals. I consciousness similar I've got a grip connected it. It's conscionable a substance of having a bully month, gathering up to it. Dotting my Is, crossing my Ts, not speeding successful pit lane. That truly hampered me. I deliberation we were connected for a apical five.

Scott McLaughlin finished 20th successful his archetypal Indy 500. (Getty)

"I consciousness similar this full rookie happening could person been sealed a batch longer if I could person finished wherever I was going to decorativeness astatine the Indy 500. I was infatuated with the Bathurst 1000 earlier I won it. Now I'm infatuated with the Indy 500.

"With my wife, I'll ticker aged Indy 500s connected tele, YouTube videos, ticker thing astatine the extremity of the day. I conscionable volition beryllium infatuated with it until I spell bully determination and get a result. Certainly I privation to get determination adjacent year."

McLaughlin, who won the Supercars title 3 years successful a enactment from 2018-2020, is scheduled to contention successful the Bathurst 1000 successful December with his aged DJR team, but has precocious admitted that's improbable to happen owed to question restrictions.

He admitted "bad habits" from Supercars had held him backmost successful IndyCars, noting that his occurrence connected ovals came due to the fact that helium was starting fresh, without having to set his driving style.

Scott McLaughlin during an unfastened trial astatine Texas Speedway. (Getty)

"The roadworthy people stuff, it's conscionable wholly different," helium explained.

"I don't person a extortion implicit my caput anymore. I've got a windscreen, but it's different. I person open-wheels. I'm not banging doors immoderate more. I can't bang doors due to the fact that if I bash that, I'm going to beryllium successful a batch of trouble.

"It's a batch of hard enactment trying to understand, trying to represent that to the media and the public. I've enjoyed the transition, consciousness similar I've done an good job."

Spain's Alex Palou took retired the IndyCar title aft finishing 4th astatine Long Beach, with Power ninth successful the rubric race.

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