McLaughlin “learnt a lot” from pack racing at the PPG 375 in Texas

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On Instagram a couple of days ago, the three-time Australian Supercars champion posted a comment under a video shared by IndyCar from an onboard of his car on the penultimate restart of the race at Texas Motor Speedway last Sunday.

With 32 laps remaining, McLaughlin was running in P7, behind teammate Josef Newgarden and just ahead of David Malukas.

Below the video, you can see what the Kiwi had to say about those first two laps after going green again and the valuable lessons he took from it.

“Great video. That sequence I learnt a lot,” said McLaughlin.

  • “Too much of a run at the start, had to check up, then Malukas passed me [for P7].
  • “Top was choked up coming off 2, had to take bottom, backed out of it because would’ve been 4 wide [McLaughlin, Malukas, Carpenter and Ericsson].
  • “Good choice running top off 4, helped me get around Helio [Castroneves] and David [Malukas to regain P7] keeping the momentum up.
  • “Maybe should’ve considered high line at 1/2 but Marcus [Ericsson] was up there and the bottom was choked up.
  • “Took high line again, another pass [on Alexander Rossi], good.

“Pack racing [on ovals] is new to a lot of us. But I really enjoyed the game of chess at 230mph!”

McLaughlin finished P6 on Sunday as he bagged some solid points following his costly incident with Romain Grosjean at St. Pete in the opening round last month.

The New Zealander – who dominated this race last year until he was denied victory on the final lap by teammate Josef Newgarden – could only manage 15th in qualifying as Newgarden and Power placed P4 and P8 respectively in the other Team Penske machines.

McLaughlin dropped back three places early on but then started to slowly move forward as the day went on. He gained seven positions following that relatively average beginning to run in 11th by the time the first caution came out.

A good stop moved him up to P8 and he remained in the top 10 for the rest of the day after lots of great racing. He avoided all the crashes as well and brought it home in an excellent P6 on a day where he lacked the raw speed to fight for a victory.

“Overall pretty good day for the XPEL Chevy to move from 15th to sixth and that’s no mean feat. We actually went back to like 18th at the start so really proud of the team,” stated McLaughlin.

“We had one bad pit stop. I made a couple of mistakes in the race so that wasn’t a perfect day but to still come back and salvage the sixth place, big props to the team and my car and my team and my engineer, Benny. I feel really good going into the next Speedway.”

Photo credit: Penske Entertainment | Joe Skibinski