Close friends with McLaughlin, Slade acknowledged that picking up three penalties and losing the title one day after winning to put himself in the box seat would be tough to take.
“It was all panning out to be a fairly perfect weekend for him,” he said.
“It was a horror run for him in the race. I know that he’d probably be kicking himself after that.
“I guess it’s a high-pressure game and things like that happen.”
Having finished third in the Saturday race, Slade was moving back through the order with Lowndes and Chaz Mostert after pitting for fresh tyres with 25 laps to go, under Safety Car conditions.
They rejoined at the base of the top 20, but made progress through a willing pack led until the closing stages by Garry Rogers Motorsport pair James Moffat and Garth Tander.
Slade, who fell to the back of the field after a clash with Cameron Waters during the second stint, picked up 11th with McLaughlin’s penalty.
“You’re probably going to see a fair bit of that around a track that's hard to pass on,” Slade said of the action in the group.
“Any pass around [Newcastle], there’s either got to be a big tyre-quality difference and you don’t really see all that much because the strategies don’t vary that much and there’s not that much degradation because the surface is pretty decent.
“Some of my moves were a bit on the desperate side, but you just have to try to make it work after getting turned around early on and losing all of those positions.
“It was pretty chaotic in front, with Moff and Garth coming together at the last corner [starting the penultimate lap], I managed to miss that and round up them.”