McLaughlin confident after first Indy 500 practice

Scott McLaughlin. Image:

Scott McLaughlin has come away from the first day of practice Indianapolis Motor Speedway brimming with confidence in the Pennzoil #3 ‘Yellow Submarine’.

The New Zealander proved the fastest of the Team Penske trio, and the second fastest Chevrolet with a fifth-placed result after a 228.473mph lap in the six-hour long session.

Takuma Sato topped the session in a one-two for Chip Ganassi Racing, with Scott Dixon in second.

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McLaughlin’s Penske team-mates, Josef Newgarden and Will Power, were ninth and 12th-fastest respectively.

“Awesome to get back on track in the Pennzoil Chevy. The yellow sub is always a crowd favourite, but yeah, really good day for us,” McLaughlin said.

“We ticked a lot of boxes. Don’t know where we are speed-wise right now, but every time we wanted to do some speed, we managed to do a reasonable time. It feels nice. We’ll see what we’ve got for the rest of the week.”

McLaughlin’s fastest run came on his 12th lap around The Brickyard, with his final tally of 136 laps more than anyone else in the Top 10, with only Alexander Rossi (142 laps) and Rinus Veekay (151) logging more.

Heading into the Month of May, McLaughlin comes off the back of victory at The Children’s of Alabama Grand Prix, before being caught short of fuel on the Indy road course last weekend to come home 16th.

While McLaughlin finished second on his oval debut at Texas in 2021, he crashed out of last year’s Indy 500 while running in 11th place.

The previous year he finished 20th, which was still a strong enough result to be Indy 500 Rookie of The Year, Team Penske’s first in 20 years – the previous being Helio Castroneves en route to his first of four Indy 500 wins in 2001, his latest in 2021.

Practice continues this week, ahead of Fast Friday and Qualifying before further practice next week.

The 107th Indianapolis 500 starts at 12:45 Sunday May 28 local time/02:45 Monday May 29 AEST.

Results: Opening practice for the 2023 Indianapolis 500.

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