IndyCarScott McLaughlin to make INDYCAR debut with Team Penske at St. Pete

Scott McLaughlin to make INDYCAR debut with Team Penske at St. Pete

By Sarah Handy, Staff Writer

Team Penske has announced that Scott McLaughlin will make his much-awaited NTT INDYCAR Series debut in the 2020 series finale on October 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg.

McLaughlin, a two-time and the defending Supercars Champion for DJR Team Penske was set to make his series debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier in the year. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic things had to be shifted around.

Prior to the pandemic, McLaughlin participated in the IndyCar Series preseason open test at Circuits of Americas in Austin, Texas. He went on to run consistently during the test, even posting the third-fastest time for the test session.

“This is something I haven’t stopped thinking about, but I wanted to ensure my focus was on winning our third-straight Supercars championship for DJR Team Penske and all our partners in Australia,” said McLaughlin.

“We are still laser-focused on that and have three more rounds to get it done, but I’m equally as excited to finally get the chance and make my INDYCAR debut. I’ve been doing everything I can to keep up with the series this year, from watching as many races as I can on TV to even talking to the drivers and some of the engineers back at the Team Penske shop. I never knew if I would be able to get behind the wheel of one of these cars this year due to all the COVID-19 restrictions, but I wanted to be ready if it became an opportunity.”

Earlier this year, McLaughlin made his virtual IndyCar debut when he competed in the iRacing Challenge, winning two races in a full field of current NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers while actual on track racing was on a hold.

In only his fourth season competing for Team Penske, McLaughlin ranks third in the organization’s all-time wins list, he only trails Brad Keselowski and Mark Donohue.

McLaughlin currently leads the SuperCars points standings with only three rounds of competition remaining on this years schedule. Earning a series-best 10 wins and 10 poles he holds a 143-point lead over Jamie Whincup heading into this weekend’s event at The Bend.

Overall, in his Supercars career, he has won 53 races, 71 poles and helped DJRTP claim team championships in both 2017 and 2019, respectively. In addition, he has also won the drivers’ championship the last two seasons as well.

“Our plan has always been for Scott to run a race in the INDYCAR SERIES this season, but we never wanted to take the focus away from the main goal, which is winning another Supercars Championship,” said Team Penske President Tim Cindric.

“COVID-19 certainly altered those plans early on, but with the way the schedules have lined up at the end of this season, St. Pete became an available option and we remain committed to getting him some INDYCAR seat time. We know Scott is ready for this challenge and this should add even more excitement to the 2020 season finale in St. Petersburg.”

Scott McLaughlin will pilot the No. 3 Shell V-Power Nitro+ Dallara /Chevrolet at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, October 25. The race can be seen live at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

Photo Credit: Barry Cantrell / NKP

Sarah Handy
Sarah Handy
A native of Rhode Island, and not growing up in a family that followed much racing, she watched it on occasion as a youngster, but her passion for the sport truly came to light around 2002-2003. Sarah is a 2021 graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a BA in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. In 2016, after starting her own blog but without much success, Sarah was approached to join Rubbings Racing as a Staff Writer. She went on to spend about three years writing for the outlet and helping manage their social media accounts. Following her time with Rubbings Racing, Sarah went on to join Kickin’ the Tires in May of 2019 with this year being her second full season with the outlet. Her favorite tracks include her home track of New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway to name a few. In addition to her racing work with Kickin’ the Tires, Sarah is also the Director of Marketing for NASCAR driver Ryan Ellis. When not at the racetrack, she enjoys reading, running, soccer and hanging out with her friends.
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