Penske Pulls Plug on Supercar Program, McLaughlin to Move to IndyCar Full-Time for 2021

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Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images / Courtesy of IndyCar

On the eve of his IndyCar debut, Team Penske has announced that Scott McLaughlin will pilot a fourth car for the team in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season, and has confirmed that they will not return to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.

After only eight full seasons in the series, McLaughlin is already in fourth place on the series all time wins list with 56, and second in all time pole positions with 76. Now, the 27-year-old New Zealander will join his new teammate Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power stateside to take on a whole new challenge.

“I’m so excited for the opportunity to take the next step in my career and compete against some of the best drivers in the world in the IndyCar Series,” said McLaughlin.

“The last four years racing for DJR Team Penske has been amazing. I want to thank every single person on the team, and everyone that has helped me reach this point in my career. I wouldn’t be in position to continue to chase my dream without the hard work of so many people along the way.”

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of joining one of the most iconic motorsports programs of all time – Team Penske’s IndyCar team. I wish the 2021 season would begin tomorrow.”

Since partnering with Dick Johnson Racing to enter the series in 2015, the Penske Supercar team has won 56 wins, 62 pole positions, and six championships. McLaughlin has been the catalyst for three of those titles, winning the drivers championship in 2018, 2019, and 2020.

Due to COVID-19, however, Roger Penske said that it wasn’t possible to stay in the series.

“We have enjoyed an incredible six seasons competing in the Supercars series with DJR Team Penske,” said Roger Penske.

“Partnering with Dick Johnson and Ryan Story to form DJR Team Penske was an incredible experience that produced success on the track and in the boardroom. We have built so many lasting partnerships and friendships, and competing in Supercars has certainly helped strengthen our brand and our business in Australia and New Zealand.

“Unfortunately, with the challenges we have faced in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to readjust our business initiatives for 2021 and beyond. We want to thank Dick Johnson, Ryan Story, Fabian Coulthard and all of our team members for their hard work and dedication as we reestablished a championship organization together over the last six years. I know that Dick, Ryan and the team will continue to build on that success moving forward.”

The team is expected to reveal their plans going forward in the near future.

McLaughlin will get his first IndyCar race weekend underway tomorrow at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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Lifelong sports junkie, currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Hofstra University. Lead writer for Indycar at The Checkered Flag.
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