A Kiwi in NASCAR? Roger Penske says Scott McLaughlin could make switch
Search Driven for vehicles for sale
After claiming a memorable maiden Supercars Championship win last year, Kiwi Scott McLaughlin could have a future of some kind in NASCAR on his horizon according to team boss and American motorsport stalwart Roger Penske.
Speaking to Motorsport.com, Penske said that the championship win "opens the door" for McLaughlin to at least get a taste of the American series.
"We’ve talked about it, because we’ve already been able to accomplish two things in Supercars – in 2017 we won the Teams’ championship and last year Scott won the Drivers’ championship," said Penske, who runs teams in NASCAR, IMSA, and the IndyCar Series.
"I think that opens the door for him to take a look around. Tim [Cindric] and I will look at strategies and what our [NASCAR] driver line-up will be in the future. I know [McLaughlin] wants to come over here, and certainly he deserves the chance to drive here."
"I think if he comes here, he’s got to start lower down and work his way up, like through ARCA, Xfinity and like that. You don’t just put a guy in a Cup car. I think that’s probably the mistake we made with Sam Hornish when he switched over from IndyCar.
"But certainly Scott’s a great driver and a candidate to get a good opportunity here."
McLaughlin has rarely shied away from talking about his curiosity to race overseas — particularly in the US. During his days racing with Garry Rogers Motorsport, he went to Europe to compete for the factory Volvo team in the Swedish Touring Car Championsip.
More recently, he and teammate Fabian Coulthard were given an opportunity to hoon around the Gold Coast street circuit in one of Roger Penske's NASCARs; a No. 22 Ford Fusion formerly driven by 2017 series champ Joey Logano.
McLaughlin would be the first Kiwi since Hayden Pedersen to try and take on the huge rolling NASCAR circus if he did decide to move in that direction. He'd also be the first Supercars driver to make the switch since Marcos Ambrose did at the end of 2005. Ironically, one of the few other Aussies to give NASCAR a crack was Dick Johnson — the co-owner of DJR Team Penske.