No. 3 PPG Dallara/Chevrolet – Scott McLaughlin
Laps Completed: 90/90
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 14th (-37 pts)
Scott McLaughlin accomplished many of his goals to open the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, qualifying 12th and finishing 14th – but most importantly finishing all the laps – on Sunday afternoon at Barber Motorsport Park.
After the talented rookie earned a starting spot inside the top 12 during Saturday afternoon qualifying, McLaughlin looked to complete every single lap of the 2021 season opener. On the opening lap of the race, McLaughlin skillfully avoided a multi-car accident and moved into the top 10, settling into ninth place when the race finally resumed under the green flag. The action on the track was short lived as a series of early-race cautions slowed the field.
McLaughlin made his first stop of the day on lap 25, pitting from the seventh position, as the No. 3 PPG Chevy received four black Firestone tires and a slight wing adjustment. McLaughlin continued to click off quick laps while learning the tricky road course. He pitted once again on lap 45 for four fresh tires and fuel.
The remaining portion of the race thankfully ran as planned as McLaughlin worked to get comfortable with the handling of his PPG Chevrolet over the long green-flag runs. As a slight vibration hindered the handling of the No. 3 Chevy over the closing laps, McLaughlin had to surrender a position late to another competitor.
The rookie closed on reining Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato at the finish, but he ultimately wasn’t able to get by him. The result was a 14th-place finish for McLaughlin in the opening race of the 2021 season as he and the No. 3 team look ahead to next week’s second race on the streets of St. Petersburg.
Quote: “We got p14, which isn’t bad. I got held up mid-race, which was disappointing, but I didn’t have the car and I didn’t want to push it either. We ended up getting to them, but it just took too long. I wanted to get a whole race under my belt, which we did. The PPG Chevrolet was great and the pit stops were fantastic. I can’t wait for St. Pete.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!