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IndyCar Nashville

McLaughlin explains why he’s too heavy for IndyCar cool suit

Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin admits that he should have worn a cool suit in Sunday’s red-hot Nashville IndyCar race, but joked he’d eaten “too many pies” to wear one.

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet

After he finished a close second for the second season running in Nashville, at what’s become renowned as IndyCar’s trickiest street course, McLaughlin was clearly extremely hot and nearing exhaustion in both his post-race TV interview and the press conference that followed.

When the race was red flagged with five laps to go, McLaughlin desperately gesticulated for his cockpit cooling fan to be brought to his car – eventually persuading an IndyCar official to hand it to him as team personnel weren’t allowed to touch the car at the time.

He finished the race 0.7633s behind Andretti Autosport’s Kyle Kirkwood, who overcut him in the first round of pitstops, having lost by just a tenth of a second to Scott Dixon 12 months earlier.

“I gave it my all, tried my hardest, but Kyle and his team did a hell of a job,” McLaughlin told NBC after the race. “Days like today I shoulda probably worn the cool suit but ate too many pies, so it’s a bit heavy for me.

“Proud of everyone, the pitstops were unreal and just really proud of the effort. Going to have a few waters and then maybe a few beers.”

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet, Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet, Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Photo by: Josh Tons / Motorsport Images

After the race, McLaughlin explained how much weight he’d have to lose for the cool suit system to not impact his car’s minimum weight.

“How many do I have to lose? Well, it's 15 pounds, I think the system,” he said. “I've already lost 20. I'm still fat. Yeah, I want to have a beer tonight and McDonald's, so...”

Fellow podium finisher Alex Palou, who was also in the press conference, quipped “That's not the way to lose [weight]” to which McLaughlin responded “No, no”.

“My whole life, I've always been the heavy kid,” he added. “It's just annoying. [Turning to the diminutive Palou] You can go and have, like, a pie tonight and be fine. What do you weigh?”

Palou: “160 [pounds].”

McLaughlin smiled and replied sarcastically: “Right, that's where I'm at. I'm like right on the number…”

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet, podium, Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Autosport Honda, Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet, podium, Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Autosport Honda, Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

The Kiwi has moved up to fourth in points with his fifth consecutive top-six finish, 16 behind Dixon in third.

He went on to explain that he once had a bad experience with a cool suit in his three-time championship-winning Supercars days in Australia.

“I decided not to wear one because as well I've had one fail in Supercars,” he said. “It was so hot. It was almost hotter than it was [today].

“The hardest thing today was yellows and red flags. As soon as you stop, it gets 30 degrees hotter right away, knocks you around a little bit.

“Yeah, we were [physically] good. No dramas.”

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