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McLaughlin: IndyCar “is where I want to be… no other aspirations”

Scott McLaughlin says that he has no desire to move on from the IndyCar Series, although he admits that NASCAR “has been talked about”.

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet

The three-time Supercars champion joined Team Penske’s IndyCar squad for the final round of the 2020, before embarking on a full season in 2021 in which he won the Rookie of the Year title.

Last year was a major breakthrough for the 29-year-old New Zealander as he produced three wins and finished fourth in the championship. Talking to Motorsport.com, he said that racing in IndyCar – and living in America – had been his ultimate goals while racing Supercars Down Under.

“I said to my wife during the week, ‘This is where I want to be… there's no sort of other aspirations,’” he said. “Sure, I'd like to drive some different races, I'd like to test different cars. But, you know, for me, I'm very excited to be a part of this category moving forward.

“The documentary series that's coming out, the way that the sport is getting recognized globally, more so now, and especially here in America – it's on a really good upward trajectory. I really can see myself driving here in America for as long as I can. And that's exactly what I want to do.

“My goal was always to be here in America. I've done what I wanted to achieve in Australia and now it's about trying to finish up my career in the States.”

Asked if NASCAR was something he might try, McLaughlin stated: “Look, man, you put a Team Penske sticker on the side of a wheelbarrow, and I'll race the thing. I don't care.

“So it's one of those deals where NASCAR is definitely something that has been talked about a lot because of my past. I'm sure one day if I keep doing the job that I'm doing, opportunities might arise, they might not. But I'm certainly very privileged in the opportunity I've got in IndyCar and if nothing else sort of happens after this, that's fine. I've ticked the goals.

“I love America. I love living here. Like I said, I've always wanted to be here and the reason I've always wanted to be here, it's just one of the biggest countries, if not the biggest country in the world. It has so much to offer – a great future for my future family, hopefully. My wife is American. I have no doubt in my mind that if I'm here long enough, I'll probably be a US citizen, and I'll probably hopefully retire here.”

McLaughlin sounded enthusiastic about the prospect of IndyCar venturing outside of its traditional U.S./Canada territory, but echoed the sentiments of his team boss Roger Penske in not wishing to see the series run before it can walk.

“I think we've got a great opportunity to make this category go to other places,” he said. “I know Mark Miles has been to Argentina and I know we have a massive fan base down there. Even when I was in Supercars I had so many Argentinian fans that would follow me on Twitter and tweet me! I had to translate them a lot, but I got a lot of positivity out of Argentina, so that'd be cool.

“And then, yeah, I'd love to go back to Australia, New Zealand, Down Under race. Mexico City would be cool with the amount of support that Pato [O'Ward] has. And obviously… to go to places I've never been before would be so cool.

“But at the same time, we've also got to maximize that home base. We're not by any means the top class in America just yet and we don't want to bite off more than we can chew and take the sport too far away. I think Roger [Penske] has those same beliefs.

“I'm just excited to be part of a category that's moving forward, and hopefully we can show it off to more people in the future.”

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