Eighth place for eighth place was the outcome from Scott McLaughlin’s fourth start in this year’s IndyCar championship series.
Starting from fifth for the GMR Grand Prix on the infield course at Indianapolis, McLaughlin was solidly in the Top 10 runners throughout the 85-lap race.
He continued his rookie learning year by finishing third of the Team Penske drivers in the field, as Josef Newgarden made fourth and Simon Pagenaud was sixth, but ahead of Will Power in 11th.
Scotty Mac also managed to finish one spot ahead of fellow New Zealander, and IndyCar legend, Scott Dixon, who was ninth.
“That’s all she wrote for us today,” said McLaughlin.
“P8 and our third Top-10 in a row.”
The first race of the Month of May, the traditional title for the fanfare surrounding the Indy 500 each year, was won by Dutchman Rinus Veekay as he became the third first-time winner – after Pato O’Ward and Alex Palou – of the 2021 season.
Romain Grosjean, who is battling for Rookie of the Year honours after losing his drive in Formula One, led for much of the race after starting from pole position but was runner-up at the end. He, like fellow rookie Jimmie Johnson – who showed no sign of an IndyCar breakthrough despite his legendary status in NASCAR and trailed home 24th – will not be racing the ovals this year and will skip the Indianapolis 500.
But that is already the focus for McLaughlin, who has installed a motorhome – with his wife Karly and their dog – on the infield behind the famous Gasoline Alley for the rest of May.
“Building nicely before the Indy 500,” McLaughlin said.