McLaughlin Delights in Podium Achievement at St. Pete: Feels Like a Victory

Published Categorized as Cars No Comments on McLaughlin Delights in Podium Achievement at St. Pete: Feels Like a Victory
McLaughlin: Charging to podium in St. Pete is “like a win”

The 30-year-old New Zealander commenced the 2024 IndyCar Series season from the ninth spot in the lineup for the 100-lap race.

However, his No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet wasted no time in making strides forward.

Right after the race commenced, as they approached Turn 1, he swiftly surged to sixth place, engaging in a close maneuver with Rinus VeeKay that involved slight contact, also brushing against Romain Grosjean in the process.

McLaughlin, alongside teammate Will Power, adopted a strategic approach differing from most competitors. They opted for a tire combination featuring the harder primary compound for the initial two stints before transitioning to the softer alternates for the final 33 laps.

McLaughlin (Credits: Racing Nation)

Utilizing this blend of strategy and relentless pace, McLaughlin steadily advanced, securing the third position on the podium, trailing just behind Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward.

Furthermore, McLaughlin contributed to a triumphant day for Team Penske, with Josef Newgarden claiming victory and Power securing fourth place.

“I’m thrilled; it’s an unreal achievement for the team,” expressed McLaughlin, now boasting 13 career IndyCar podiums. “With Will right behind me, he was urging me on till the end.

“The car performed exceptionally well, and we had a fantastic day. Switching to the alternates towards the end was a blessing for me; it would have been intriguing if I had overtaken Pato. We had an absolute blast.”

“Starting from ninth and advancing to third feels like a win for us. It resembled a championship day, considering the points; you just have to seize whatever you can. Chevy collaborated closely with us over the off-season, resulting in four of the top five spots. I’m exhilarated.”

The Lap 72 restart featured one of the race’s defining moments when McLaughlin executed a daring inside maneuver on Colton Herta into Turn 10—an area posing challenges due to fluctuating wind directions—that ultimately determined his finishing position.

“I felt confident entering Turn 10 throughout the race, and I knew I had green (alternate) tires, so I had to capitalize on them,” remarked McLaughlin.

“I wished I had overtaken him on the first lap. I managed to do so on the second restart, which might have enabled me to challenge Pato more effectively when the tires were fresher.

“However, Colton made it difficult, but that’s part of the game. I just threw caution to the wind and made the move. It turned out well, and I was particularly pleased with my start. I think I went four-wide and made it through, so that was exhilarating.

“Honestly, I had a blast out there today. It was genuine racing, with strategic fuel considerations, precise car positioning, and aggression—this is what defines IndyCar. There are no certainties; it’s all about seizing opportunities, and I relish it.”


By Annie Linardos

I'm a journalist student and completed my masters in Journalism and Mass Communication. With a strong track record as an intern at Mathrubhumi News and The New Indian Express as a reporter and content writer, I'm creative, motivated, and have a keen eye for the truth and attempting to use the expertise and talents to contribute to the emerging field of journalism. I have also been working as a freelance writer and have the capability of producing interesting and bold articles.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments