McLaughlin confirmed for IndyCar debut

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 18/09/2020
  • By Connor O'Brien

Team Penske has announced Scott McLaughlin will make his IndyCar debut next month in Florida.

Speculation had swirled around the 27-year-old contesting the October 25 event at St. Petersburg ever since it became clear the Supercars season would conclude the week before.

Having completed successful pre-season tests at a number of American circuits, McLaughlin was originally to make his IndyCar race debut on the Indianapolis road course mid-year before COVID-19 derailed plans.

McLaughlin revealed during the week his chances of competing at St. Petersburg were pending a government-approved travel exemption – and now Team Penske this morning has locked in his place.

“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.”

McLaughlin is pumped to drive the No. 3 Shell V-Power Nitro+ Dallara/Chevrolet.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

McLaughlin holds a 143-point lead over Jamie Whincup in the Supercars title race ahead of the Repco SuperSprint at The Bend this weekend.

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