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IndyCar Indy 500

McLaughlin: Race-ending 2022 Indy 500 shunt a "blessing in disguise"

Team Penske IndyCar driver Scott McLaughlin has labelled his race-ending shunt at last year's Indianapolis 500 as a "blessing in disguise" ahead of this weekend's 107th running.

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet Pit stop

McLaughlin will mount his third assault on the Borg-Warner Trophy at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday from 16th, with Will Power the only Penske runner to make the Fast 12 pole shootout.

In last year's race the Kiwi showed strongly before his race came to a sudden end with 50 laps remaining when a snap of oversteer sent him into the Turn 3 wall.

His damaged car then skated across the infield and back across the track for a secondary contact at the final corner.

Although many would be keen to wipe such an incident from their memory, McLaughlin explained that the experience had helped deepen his understanding of how to avoid a repeat incident in practice.

"Believe it or not, you never want it to happen but it's nice to have the bogey of having been in the fence now and crashing last year out of the way," McLaughlin told select media including Motorsport.com.

"It's really taught me a lot of lessons about this place and what the car feels like before disaster in some ways.

"I've had a lot of those moments throughout the month where I could feel the car getting similar to how it ended in the 2022 Indy 500 and I've found a really good spot with my tools and how to fix all of that.

"It's been a bit of a blessing in disguise in some ways, having that shunt last year. I certainly feel I understand the cadence of the race as well which is certainly a big help."

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Despite his struggles in qualifying trim, all four Penske cars have shown significantly stronger long-run speed, which has given McLaughlin cause for optimism.

"It's going to be pretty full on," he added. "It looks like it's going to be one of those races where there's a lot of drafting. I don't think you'll have an idea of the winner until the last few laps.

"The leaders will find it very hard to drive away so we've just got to slowly move our way forward.

"I certainly think we've got a racecar that can move forward through the sequences, through the stops and eventually find ourselves with a ticket to the top five for that final stint."

McLaughlin ended Friday's final practice session in 10th, with two-time Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato setting the pace for Chip Ganassi Racing

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