IndyCar rookie of the year Scott McLaughlin wants an Indy 500 win next year
He's also aiming for a top 10 finish in the championship
Scott McLaughlin's rookie of the year title in this year's IndyCar championship has been well-deserved. The former V8 Supercars driver has taken to American open-wheel racing like a duck to water, especially when it comes to the oval races. His most impressive result on the ovals was a second place finish at Texas Motor Speedway. That's pretty amazing for somebody who had no prior experience of oval racing before coming into IndyCar!
With his rookie season now behind him, McLaughlin has his sights set on more lofty achievements. Specifically, he wants to get a win at the greatest race on the entire calendar; the Indianapolis 500. "I'm going next year to Indy with the idea of winning," McLaughlin, who also won the Indy 500 rookie of the year award this year, told Motorsport.com. "I'm going to be in a car that can win the race. I know I'm quick there. I know I'm quick on ovals. I feel like I've got a handle on it. It's just a matter of having a good month, building up to it – dotting my Is, crossing my Ts, not speeding in pitlane. That really hampered me. I think we were on for a top five…" McLaughlin had been on for a top 6 finish in the Indy 500 before dropping down to 20th after having to serve a penalty for speeding in the pit lane.
"I was infatuated with the Bathurst 1000 before I won it. Now I'm infatuated with the Indy 500. With my wife, I'll watch old Indy 500s on telly, YouTube videos, watch anything. I just will be infatuated with it until I go good there and get a result. Certainly I want to get there next year."
McLaughlin doesn't just want an Indy 500 win next year, either. He's aiming for a top 10 finish overall in the championship too. He told the media at Long Beach that his 2021 goal had been "top 12, top 10 in the championship" and that he was dissapointed when he eventually ended up in 14th place by the end of the season. That hasn't dampened his motivation, though. He told Motorsport.com that he feels like that top 10 championship position could be in reach next year. "I need to be pushing there… I think we've got that merit," McLaughlin said. "I think we took a few risks on strategy the last few races because of where we were in the championship, we had nothing to lose. … But it's exciting where I am and where I feel. I certainly believe in my mind that I can be right there in that top eight, really be contesting for wins and podiums more regularly."
"I've still got a lot to learn. I think next year being able to go back to all these tracks that I learnt, it's going to feel amazing."