No. 3 Shell V-Power Nitro+ Dallara/Chevrolet – Scott McLaughlin
Laps Completed: 46/100
Laps Led: 0
Three-time Australian Supercars Champion Scott McLaughlin turned some heads as he made his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut on Sunday afternoon on the Streets of St. Petersburg. McLaughlin ran laps times as fast as the race leaders and moved his way up the running order, before contact ended his race just before the halfway point on Sunday. The 27-year-old native of New Zealand finished the race in 22nd place.
As the green flag flew to begin the race, McLaughlin took it easy heading into the first turn to get through his first INDYCAR start cleanly. With the goal of finishing every lap and taking the checkered flag, McLaughlin used the early stages of the race to get the feel of his No. 3 Shell V-Power Nitro+ Chevrolet INDYCAR.
Utilizing an alternate pit strategy to gain track position, McLaughlin and the Shell V-Power Nitro+ team came to pit lane for the first time at lap nine. The move allowed McLaughlin to run laps with a clean track ahead of him. While getting comfortable with the car, McLaughlin made up a few spots on the track. After the first round of green flag pit stops, McLaughlin advanced from 22nd to 18th place in the running order.
Following a caution period, McLaughlin tried to advance further on the race restart. Unfortunately, the rear tires locked up and the No. 3 car spun, making contact with another car. The damage was too extensive to continue the race and McLaughlin was forced to retire. After it was announced Friday that McLaughlin will compete with a full-season entry next season, he will return to St. Pete in March to begin what he hopes will be a dynamic rookie INDYCAR season in 2021.
Quote: “What a day. The best day of my life, except for my wedding. The Shell V-Power Nitro+ INDYCAR was going really well then I just made a move trying to block Marco (Andretti). Then I felt like I made a half of a rear lock, but I’m not exactly sure. Cold tires caught me out a little bit. But I had a lot of fun today. I just can’t thank my guys, Roger (Penske), Tim (Cindric), Shell V-Power and the entire organization for the weekend. It was so much fun. I wish the 2021 season was starting tomorrow. I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of this car.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!