McLaughlin: I got caught out by an inch

After a near-perfect start to the IndyCar Series, Scott McLaughlin reflects on a more difficult outing at Long Beach in his exclusive column, Hired Gun.

Scott McLaughlin at Long Beach. Picture: Chris Owens

Hey guys,

It’s a game of inches, this sport. I’ve said that to you before. If you’re off your game – even by an inch, it’ll get you.

Unfortunately we had a couple of moments that caught us out on the weekend, and it put paid to a great result. Which is a huge bummer, because I was so confident we were in for a good showing at Long Beach.

We were just at the wrong place at the wrong time in qualifying and got caught out – and were left in the middle of the pack for the race.

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After our success at St Pete in qualifying I was hoping for much better than ninth on the grid – but unfortunately that’s where we ended up.

It was a messy qualifying – and we were in the middle of a complete cluster with too many cars and not enough space out there.

Again guys – a game of inches…!

So then came Sunday race day – and dead set, I got caught out by an inch, and we made contact with the inside wall at the hairpin.

I was actually pretty lucky to hit the wall on our side where we did – an inch later and we would have ripped the rear wheel clean off.

The contact while trying to pass Tatiana Calderon spun us and ruined our race – which was such a shame.

I don’t think we were in a position to win – but we were running with the lead group and we were on for a great points finish.

In the end we finished 14th which was disappointing – but it is what it is.

We lose our championship lead to Josef Newgarden – who won the race and made it back-to-back wins for him, and three straight wins for Team Penske to start the 2022 season after our success at St Pete in Round 1.

So let’s keep it positive.

We passed the most cars in the race, so that’s one thing.

Our pace was really good all weekend.

We are still second in the title fight.

And it was another weekend learning with Ben Bretzman and the #3 team.

I just have to work on being perfect when it counts the most.

We’ll get there – I promise.

We have a few weeks off now before Barber, and then it’s massive month at Indy – so things are really ramping up back at the shop.

This is what we are here for to try and do well over the next handful of events – and I already can’t wait to get back in the car.

And May 29 is getting that bit closer – bring on the 500!

Thanks for the support to everyone back home – it means the world to Karly and I.

Talk soon.


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