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Scott McLaughlin Bio

Scott McLaughlin

Scott McLaughlin continues to establish himself as one of the most accomplished race car drivers in the world as he begins his eighth season with Team Penske and his fourth season competing in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES (NICS) in 2024.  McLaughlin produced his best NICS championship finish in 2023 as he closed the season ranked third in the standings while driving the No. 3 Chevrolet with support from Pennzoil, DEX Imaging, Gallagher, Good Ranchers, Sonsio, XPEL, Odyssey Battery and Freightliner. The New Zealander has improved his championship finish in each of his three previous full-time NICS seasons after transitioning from the Australian Supercars Series - the popular full-fender, touring car series where he was a three-time champion and winner of its biggest race, the Bathurst 1000. 

In 2023, McLaughlin continued to build on his impressive resume as a Team Penske driver. The 30-year-old native of Christchurch, New Zealand won at Barber Motorsports Park in April for his 52nd victory since he joined Team Penske in 2017. The victory also placed him third on the team's all-time wins list behind Brad Keselowski and Team Penske Hall of Fame driver, Mark Donohue. In addition to his win at Barber last season, McLaughlin powered to the pole position at World Wide Technology Raceway for his first career NTT P1 Award on an oval track. He and teammate Will Power enter the 2024 season tied for the most pole positions won in Team Penske history with 64. McLaughlin enjoyed a remarkably consistent season in 2023 as he recorded 14 top-10 finishes in 17 races. He also tied series champion Alex Palou for the most laps completed (2,258) over the course of the season.

After learning the intricacies of competing in the NICS during his rookie season of 2021, McLaughlin and the No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet team enjoyed a breakout year in 2022. The No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet team opened the 2022 campaign in grand fashion with a win and McLaughlin's first NTT P1 Pole Award on the streets of St. Petersburg to lead the NICS standings for the first time in his career. After an early summer stretch brought some challenges, McLaughlin got back on track to earn his second win of the season at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in July and score his 50th career victory for Team Penske. Another victory and pole position sweep in the penultimate race of the year at Portland International Raceway vaulted McLaughlin back into the top five in the standings and a chance at the championship in the season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. A sixth-place finish at Laguna Seca propelled McLaughlin to fourth place in the series standings to close out the 2022 season.

One of the most successful racers in the history of Australian Supercars, McLaughlin jumped at the chance to move to the United States and compete full-time for Team Penske in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2021. Racing the No. 3 Chevrolet, McLaughlin overcame the expected obstacles that come with learning a new discipline to produce a solid debut INDYCAR season. After solid finishes of 14th and 11th in the first two races of the 2021 INDYCAR season at Barber Motorsports Park and on the streets of St. Petersburg, McLaughlin opened some eyes with an impressive second-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway in his first start on an oval track. Following a challenging stretch of race results during the summer months, McLaughlin and the No. 3 Chevrolet team closed the season strong with another top-five finish at World Wide Technology Raceway and a top-10 result at Portland International Raceway. He then wrapped up top rookie honors in the series with good performances at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and on the streets of Long Beach. The talented New Zealander outscored the other high-profile first-year drivers to capture the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Rookie of the Year Award, as McLaughlin became the first Team Penske driver to win the honor since its inception in 1979. 

McLaughlin joined Team Penske in 2017, signing on with the DJR Team Penske (DJRTP) squad as a rising star racing in the ultra-competitive Australian Supercars Championship. He proceeded to take the Supercars world by storm as McLaughlin produced 48 wins, 59 pole positions and three series championships over the next four seasons with the team. In 2019, he also delivered a victory for Team Penske in one of the biggest races in the world - the Bathurst 1000. Over the course of his nine-year career competing in the Supercars series, McLaughlin recorded 56 race wins, 106 podium finishes and 76 poles. 

In 2020, McLaughlin claimed his third consecutive Supercars championship with DJRTP as he scored a series-best 13 wins and 15 poles. He paced the series in virtually every key statistical category on his way to another dominant season driving the No. 17 Shell V-Power Ford.

The 2019 season may have been McLaughlin's best year on track. He produced a Supercars series single-season record 18 victories to go along with 15 poles and 22 podium finishes as he secured his second-consecutive driver's title. McLaughlin also earned his first career win in the legendary Bathurst 1000 race as he and co-driver Alex Premat won from the pole for Team Penske's first-ever victory in the Supercars endurance classic.

McLaughlin secured his first Supercars driver's title in 2018 as he won nine races and 13 poles while posting 21 podium finishes. With a strong performance under the intense glare of a championship weekend in Newcastle, McLaughlin earned a win and a runner-up result to clinch the title.

The fast Kiwi joined DJR Team Penske for the 2017 season, as he teamed with Fabian Coulthard to form one of the most exciting combinations in the rich history of Supercars competition. McLaughlin had an incredible first season with DJRTP as he earned eight wins and a record-breaking 16 pole positions on his way to finishing second in the 2017 driver's championship.

Before he began his journey with Team Penske, McLaughlin carved an interesting path to the top of the motorsports mountain. He made his racing debut at age eight, progressing through the New Zealand and Australian Karting scenes before he earned a test in a Stone Brothers Racing Supercar. The Stone Brothers saw potential in the young McLaughlin and made the decision to promote him straight into the 2010 Supercars Dunlop development series at just 16 years of age.

The 2012 season was a breakout year for McLaughlin as he competed in - and won - both the Supercars Dunlop Series in Australia and the New Zealand V8 Super Tourer series. He also made his Supercars Championship debut the same year, partnering with Jonathon Webb at Tekno in both the Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000. At the 2012 Sydney 500, McLaughlin made the most of an opportunity as he stepped in for the ill Alex Premat at Garry Rogers Motorsport (GRM) for the final Supercars Championship race of the season. McLaughlin finished in 17th place after starting at the rear of the field and the performance earned the talented young racer a full-time drive at GRM for the 2013 season.

McLaughlin became the youngest-ever winner of a Supercars Championship race when he triumphed at Pukekohe Park Raceway in front of an adoring home crowd in 2013.  He closed that season ranked 10th in the series standings and captured the prestigious Mike Kable Young Gun Award that recognizes the achievement of a top rookie racer.

Over four seasons competing for GRM, McLaughlin produced eight victories and 17 poles as he finished inside the top 10 in the championship standings each year. The promise and performance he showed at GRM as a consistent winner and title contender led to the opportunity to join Team Penske.

McLaughlin resides in Charlotte, N.C. with his wife Karly. He has adopted the Carolina Panthers as his favorite NFL team and he is also a fan of the University of Wisconsin Badgers in college football. McLaughlin continues to root for New Zealand's All Blacks rugby team and he is an avid golfer. 

McLaughlin Key Accomplishments

  • Earned best NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship result for Team Penske in 2023 finishing third in final standings
  • Became first Team Penske driver to win the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Rookie-of-the-Year Award after strong debut season in 2021
  • Third on the all-time wins (52) list for Team Penske and tied with teammate Will Power for the most pole positions (64) in team history
  • Crowned Australian Supercars Champion in 2018, 2019 and 2020 
  • Won 56 races and 76 poles while producing 106 podium finishes during Supercars career
  • Established Supercars former single-season record 18 wins en route to the 2019 series title
  • Earned Team Penske's first win in the legendary Bathurst 1000 race in 2019, winning from the pole
  • Captured the 2013 Mike Kable Young Gun Award presented to the top rookie racer after finishing 10th in his first Supercars Championship season
  • Awarded the coveted Barry Sheene Medal in 2014, 2016 and 2020 recognizing leadership, character and fan appeal in the Supercars Championship
  • Made NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut in the 2020 season finale in St. Petersburg