Chevrolet Indycar at Laguna Seca: McLaughlin Leads Team Chevy in Season Finale

Scott McLaughlin launched his No. 3 XPEL Team Penske Chevrolet from his front-row starting spot at the drop of the green flag ready to lead the field to turn one. But the newly re-paved 2.2-mile WeatherTech Raceway had other ideas. As drivers headed to turn two a melee ensued with cars slipping and sliding off into the gravel pit that set the pattern for the remainder of the 95-lap race.

 

Differing fuel strategies and timing of yellow flags made for an exciting albeit chaotic race.

 

Pole winner Felix Rosenqvist, No. 6 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet was in the lead group until another dust up pushed him down in the running order. He was credited with a 19th place finish.

 

Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, had a fast car and led for 15 laps, but pit strategy with a ill-timed caution dropped him back. He fought his way back to finish ninth.

 

Chevrolet in the INDYCAR Series will resume competition early 2024.

 

 CHEVROLET AT LAGUNA SECA (V6 era), since INDYCAR’s 2019 return:

  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Awards: 2
  • Podiums: 4

 

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING:

 

Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Chevrolet at Arrow McLaren INDYCAR:

“Our race was looking so strong, and that was a very disappointing end to what could’ve been a great result. We kept our nose clean, did a nice job on track, and the team nailed it in the pit stops. It’s frustrating having our day thrown away by other people’s mistakes.

 

“It’s been a strong season for us and performance has been consistent. We still need to clean things up here and there, but I’m proud of the job that I’ve done. We’re going to come back next year even stronger and see where we can stack up, racing hard and pushing for wins.”

 

Felix Rosenqvist, No. 6 Chevrolet at Arrow McLaren INDYCAR:

“What a ride. It really was a roller coaster for my final drive with Arrow McLaren. We started on pole with a mega car and a strong first half of the race. Then Marcus came into me and our day was ended from there. The No. 6 crew fought hard to stay in the race, but it’s a shame considering the potential we had going for us. I have to thank the team and especially my crew for the speed we had all season long. To have two poles and two podiums in the wild season that we had, I’m really proud of us and I leave with my head held high. It’s been really special racing with Arrow McLaren, and now I’m excited for what’s to come in 2024.”

 

Alexander Rossi, No. 7 Chevrolet at Arrow McLaren INDYCAR:

“I think we learned a lot this year. There were a lot of very positive things to draw upon. It was just a year of a lot of weird things. Today’s race was a perfect example. We had to manually jack the car up for the last two pitstops. It’s the little things like that that we need to work on, but ultimately the team grew massively. On the No. 7 side, I feel like we improved tremendously throughout the year and have a lot of things to learn from when we see all these tracks again for the second time together next year. We’ll focus on the positives, try to improve on the negatives and go into the off-season.” 

 

Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 EXPEL Chevrolet at Team Penske:

THE STRATEGY PLAYED IN YOUR FAVOR AND THERE IS A SMILE ON YOUR FACE, LET’S TALK ABOUT THAT

 

“Halfway through the race, I was like, this is not working out and this is not our day.  At the start of the race the Xpel Chevy was just not getting off and I was mad there for a bit. It was just annoying and I had a really fast car, but we just kept our heads down. I had a mega restart and got a heap of spots that put us in position there.  So yeah, just super proud.”

 

YOU LOCKED DOWN THIRD IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP AND I THINK THAT HAS A LOT TO DO WITH WHAT THE THUMBS UP WAS TO THE FANS THERE

 

“Yeah, ultimately, we didn’t win as many races as we did in 2022, but I think it was a better season overall.  I mean we were solid when we needed to be and we haven’t been out of the top 10 since the Indy 500 and just these guys and girls on the team, the pit stops were phenomenal.  When I had left front wing damage, they fixed it straightaway to get me out. It’s a really good team and we are really building toward 2024.  I said to the guys today, next year starts today, and I am very proud of that.” 

 

 Will Power, No. 12 Verizon 5G Chevrolet at Team Penske:

“I just can’t believe we got back to fourth, that was crazy. We probably could have been a bit better actually.”

 

SOME OF THOSE RESTARTS WERE REALLY, REALLY WILD WITH THAT FINAL RUN INTO THE CORNER. WHAT WAS YOUR TAKE ON SOME OF THE CHAOS YOU SAW?

 

“I reckon they will basically change that rule next year because those dive bombs just create more yellows.  You shouldn’t be able to pass until you are out of the last corner at least.”

 

Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 20 Chevrolet at Ed Carpenter Racing:

“It was a good day for the No. 20 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet team. Mission accomplished is what we see here at the end. It’s always tough when you are trying to points race while also being aggressive and competitive. We tried to balance those two in what was a pretty chaotic race. It was difficult at times to think about points but also wanting to move forward. All in all, we ran in the Top 3, finished in the Top 10 and secured a position in Leaders Circle. Mission accomplished!”

 

Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Chevrolet at Ed Carpenter Racing:

I stayed out of the initial chaos in Turn 2, but then got hit by (Scott) Dixon. They gave him a drive-through penalty, which then helped him get on the right strategy. How lucky can he be and how unlucky can I be? It took three minutes to get my car restarted which was very frustrating. I felt like I was trying to create a tornado with my hand, signaling the safety team over! But from there my race was pretty much over, I just had to concentrate on staying out of all of the mess. It was a good day for the team, good day for Ryan (Hunter-Reay) and good to get both cars in Leaders Circle. Unfortunately, just not a great finish for the No. 21 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet, we should have had a shot at winning. Now we will wait a few months and try again!”

 

Santino Ferrucci, No. 14 Chevrolet at AJ Foyt Racing:

“Honestly it was going to be a solid day and an easy top 10 finish for the team. On the last restart, they checked up on the bottom, and when they started to crash, one of the cars came out and jumped in front of me and I had nowhere to go. Overall, the team did a fantastic job all day, it’s just a shame that we have nothing to show for it.”

 

 Benjamin Pedersen, No. 55 Chevrolet at AJ Foyt Racing:

“Definitely one of the craziest races of the whole year. Happy to have finished it. Finished p16 so one of our better road course results for the year. I think we had quite a bit in the bank still but unfortunately got hit on one of the restarts and cycled to the back. I think if that wouldn’t have happened, we were on track to be P-7 or right around there. With such a crazy race happening, to have finished p 16, which is one of our better results, I’m pretty pleased to finish the year that way–and also helping Chevrolet get the manufacturer’s championship. Looking forward to next year.”

 

“I think it’s the nature of the track especially now with the new pavement and how much faster the cars are going. That makes it even harder to follow closely so I think it will be really interesting. I don’t think the tire deg is going to be bad either so I think for everyone its going to be a matter of not making any mistakes in the race.”

 

Callum Ilott, No. 77 Chevrolet at Juncos Hollinger Racing:

YOUR FINISH HELPED CHEVROLET WIN THE MANUFACTURERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP TODAY

 “I think they were quite happy with that, and they weren’t expecting that.  It was a great day all around for us. Obviously, I wish it was a bit more, because we would have been in for a good position unfortunately.  But yeah, great finish.”

 

HOW NICE IS IT TO HEAD INTO THE OFFSEASON WITH SOME WIND IN YOUR SAILS AND A TOP FIVE FINISH, MATCHING A CAREER BEST?

 

“Yeah, I can’t complain. Honestly, it’s been a tough year and putting it together a bit more at the end there, with the way the race panned out, it was a good one. I think we are going to have a nice offseason.”

 

NTT IndyCar Series PR