Scott McLaughlin didn’t have to directly pass Sage Karam for the NTT Data IndyCar Series iRacing victory at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday, but he certainly stole the show.
When it looked like Karam was going to speed away with another victory, McLaughlin stayed focused, found some luck, and rode a unique strategy to the win.
“I actually brought in the IndyCar engineer I’ve been working with in the States,” McLaughlin said on the NBCSN broadcast. “He put me on an awesome strategy.”
Scott McLaughlin wins Second IndyCar iRacing Event
The race featured a competition caution on Lap 15, and McLaughlin chose to come in for fuel before it came out.
Meanwhile, especially on the ensuing restart, Karam was getting out to 1.5 and even 2-second leads with ease.
It was looking like it could be another show with Karam leaving the rest of the field in the dust.
That would change the No. 24 car came out of the pits after getting fuel. Karam ended up tangled with Felix Rosenqvist after the No. 10 car hopped the curb, spinning out and putting some damage on Karam’s car.
With 15 laps left in the event, Karam pulled out of the race.
The pair were two of the faster cars on the track all day, and McLaughlin had been waiting around right behind them.
The Australian – who owns 44 Supercar wins – took the opportunity and ran with it, capturing the checkered flag as well as a virtual race-winner ring.
“I’ll just have to work my butt off to try and get a real one someday,” McLaughlin said after hearing about the ring.
McLaughlin has aspirations of making his IndyCar debut in real life when things get to starting back up again.
iRacing helped him show what he had, on Saturday.
“I started iRacing 10 years ago,” McLaughlin said. “It was one of the best things I did. For an aspiring race driver coming up through the ranks, I think to be able to drive and keep sharp between races, is fantastic. That’s what iRacing provides.”
The series will return to the track next week at a currently undetermined location. NBCSN is planning to televise the race once again, and they hinted at it being raced at an oval.