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IndyCar news 2022 | The defining stat in Scott McLaughlin’s title chase


IndyCar title contender Scott McLaughlin has heaped praise on his Team Penske pit crew, who can lay claim to being the fastest in the field.

The proof is in the stats. The No.3 team leads the Firestone Pit Stop Performance Standings with just four races remaining.

The standings are determined by whoever spends the least amount of time on the pit lane in-race and mirrors race points.

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Scott McLaughlin has hailed the efforts of his Team Penske pit crew (Supplied)

As it stands, that honour belongs to McLaughlin’s team who have amassed a whopping 420 points.

Countryman Scott Dixon and his No.9 crew lie second on 396 points while Australia’s Will Power completes an antipodean top three in third on 359 points in the No.12 entry.

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Notwithstanding a loose wheel nut in the first of two races at Iowa Speedway, it’s been a successful season for McLaughlin.

“They have been awesome all year,” the New Zealander said of his pit lane crew.

“I think we’ve led the pit stop competition all year, which is a testament to those guys.

“I said to them in a text last week, every time I go into pit lane, I don’t worry about what’s going to happen. 

Scott McLaughlin celebrates with his No.3 crew after winning at Mid-Ohio. (Supplied)

“Unfortunately, we had a moment (at Iowa Speedway), and they bounced back straightaway to be second on pit road Sunday.

“I texted them and I said ‘These things happen, we’re going to get through this as a team’. 

“I’m one of the only drivers that go down pit road and don’t have to worry about what’s going to happen next in this pit stop or what is going to hold me up or whatever. 

“As long as I know that I stop on my marks, I have one of the greatest crews in pit lane to get me going.

“I’m very privileged to have that. I hope for their sake we can keep on keeping on and get those points and get the championship at the end of the year. 

“I think that’s a great reward for them.”

Scott McLaughlin sits seventh in the IndyCar Series standings (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

McLaughlin won the season-opener on the streets of St Petersburg and made it two at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Since his second win, he’s come close to making it three. 

If not for the pit stop problems at Iowa he might have contended for victory. A day later, he finished third.

At the road course-configured Indianapolis Motor Speedway, McLaughlin finished shy of the podium in fourth.

As far as incentives go for getting another win, McLaughlin said he appreciates just how hard it is after his first two triumphs.

“I understood victory lane, what it was all about, more so in the second win,” he explained.

“I sort of understand the festivities, hat dances, whatever you got to do. St. Pete was just a whirlwind in terms of what happened.

Scott McLaughlin is in his second full year of IndyCar competition (Supplied)

“You could say it was unexpected, as well. We poled it, but at the same time, it’s a lot to put a race together in IndyCar.

“That was just a really, really special moment in my career, my life. I’ll never, ever forget that one.

“Now for me, I look at it as business as usual. I’ll celebrate the wins as much as I can, but at the same, I expect myself to go out there and I’ve got a car that’s good enough to win the race, win the race.

“That’s how I’ve always been. I’ve been very lucky to have cars that have allowed me to do that. It’s all part of it. Just keep ticking them off hopefully one by one.”

McLaughlin continues his campaign with the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix on the streets of Nashville on August 8 at 5am AEST.

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Source by [Livezstream.com]

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