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Scott McLaughlin: 17 things you didn't know about the IndyCar driver

Scott McLaughlin dominated Supercars racing before switching to IndyCar. (image credit: Supercars)

He came, he saw and he conquered Supercars racing - and now Scott McLaughlin is trying to do the same in IndyCar racing in America.

The Kiwi racer blazed his path across the Australian motorsport scene in the last decade, rising from rookie to multiple series champion and Bathurst 1000 winner.

He first drove a V8 Supercar as a 16-year old, became a star when he “gave it some jandal” in the Volvo S60 Polestar before he evolved to be a champion with DJR Team Penske. 

Together McLaughlin and his Ford-backed team ended the dominance of Holden’s Triple Eight squad.

His talent impressed Roger Penske, the American who heads an automotive and racing empire, who has transplanted McLaughlin to his front-running IndyCar team for 2021 and beyond.

How old is Scott McLaughlin?

At time of publication (August 2021) he’s 28. His birthday is June 10, 1993.

Where was Scott McLaughlin born?

He was born in Hamilton, New Zealand but moved to the Gold Coast when he was nine years old.

Where does Scott McLaughlin live?

He relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina late in 2020, near Penske Racing’s headquarters. Charlotte is a hub for motorsport in the US, with dozens of teams, specifically NASCAR which Penske also competes in, calling the area home.

Who are Scott McLaughlin's parents?

His parents are Wayne and Dianne McLaughlin. Wayne relocated to Australia to run his transport company, McLaughlin Freightlines, and helped Scott get his career started in karting before progressing to cars.

Scott also has a sister, Samantha, who previously worked in the marketing and communications department of Supercars Australia. 

Is Scott McLaughlin married?

Yes, he married Karly Paone in Malibu, California on December 14, 2019.

Who is Scott McLaughlin’s wife?

Karly McLaughlin is a New York native and the pair met in Las Vegas in 2016. They were introduced through mutual friends while McLaughlin was attending the annual Karting SuperNationals.

Karly told Supercars.com in 2020 that Scott underplayed his day-job when the pair first met.

“We asked what each other did and you said you were a mechanic and I was like ‘oh OK, cool, whatever that means,’” Karly told the official website.

“Next couple of days I followed him on social media and he had like 40,000 followers at the time and I’m like, ‘what?’ No one I knew has that many followers on Instagram, so I was like, ‘oh weird.'

“You were like, ‘yeah I’m actually a race car driver’ and I’m like, oh.

“Yeah, I didn’t really quite get it until I first visited in April and went to Phillip Island and then I was like, ‘oh, so you’re kind of like a big deal, you’re pretty good at this.’”

What Supercars team did Scott McLaughlin drive for?

During 11 years in Supercars he drove for Stone Brothers Racing, Matt Stone Racing, Garry Rogers Motorsport and DJR Team Penske.

After a successful karting career McLaughlin got his break into Supercars late in 2009 when he tested a Ford Falcon for Stone Brothers Racing. 

He impressed the team so much he was offered an apprenticeship for 2010 as well as a driver in the second-tier Supercars Development Series that same year. 

He was still only 16-years-old at the time so he missed the first round because he was too young to get a racing licence.

He stayed part of the Stone Brothers Racing organisation until 2012, when he won the Development Series for Matt Stone Racing.

He graduated to the Supercars Championship Series for 2013 with Garry Rogers Motorsport, making a name for himself in 2014 when he began racing the Volvo S60 Supercars and became a regular front-runner.

In 2017 he moved to DJR Team Penske, a partnership between Dick Johnson’s famous team and Roger Penske's global motorsport program. He raced the same #17 Ford (Falcon then Mustang) that Johnson made famous.

How many Supercars Championships has Scott McLaughlin won?

Three - 2018, 2019 and 2020.

They all came with DJR Team Penske as he and the team became the dominant force in Supercars racing during that three year period.

How many Supercars races has Scott McLaughlin won?

His current tally stands at 56 race wins, 106 podium finishes and 76 pole positions.

How many Bathurst 1000 has Scott McLaughlin won?

One - in 2019.

Driving for DJR Team Penske McLaughlin and teammate, Frenchman Alexandre Premat, won the race in their Ford Mustang.

Why did Scott McLaughlin go to IndyCar and how will he go?

Roger Penske was supportive of McLaughin’s long expressed desire to compete on the international stage. McLaughlin’s move to IndyCar coincided with Penske’s decision to sell his stake in the Supercar team and focus on his US racing interests.

Penske is the most successful team in US motorsport so he doesn’t pick drivers for any reason other than talent.

Given his ability to pick and support successful drivers, expectations are that McLaughlin has the potential to be a race winner and future champion in the US open-wheeler series.

Who are Scott McLaughlin’s IndyCar teammates?

His 2021 teammates include Australia’s Will Power, American Joesf Newgarden and Frenchman Simon Pagenuad. All three are former IndyCar champions with Penske Racing.

Is Scott McLaughlin doing well in Indycar?

IndyCar is a highly competitive category but he has made a strong impression in his rookie season, having scored one top five finish and three top 10 results.

The highlight of his Indycar career so far is undoubtedly finishing second in his first oval race at the high-speed Texas Motor Speedway. 

He backed that up by being the leading Penske Racing driver at the prestigious Indianapolis 500.

However, he’s also had struggles including crashing out at the Detroit street circuit and he hasn’t (at time of publication) finished inside the top 10 on a road or street course.

How much does Scott McLaughlin earn?

It’s unclear exactly how much McLaughlin is paid by Penske Racing as IndyCar driver salaries aren’t often made public in the same way as other US sports.

Best estimates are that he probably earns somewhere in the region of $500-700,000 which is in line with similar IndyCar drivers of his experience and a team of Penske’s stature. 

Does Scott McLaughlin have his own limited-edition car?

Yes. Herrod Performance released the special edition Mustang SM17 in October 2020. It features a supercharger, new intercooler, new fuel injectors and new exhaust to help it make 570kW/870Nm.

Is Scott McLaughlin on social media?

Like so many young racing drivers McLaughlin is very active on social media. He has Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, all @scottmclaughlin93. 

He has used the hashtag - #scottlearnsamerica - to document his move to the US and acclimatisation of the differences between America and Australia; including culinary treats (In ‘n’ Out hamburger), shopping (Bed, Bath and Beyond) and even picking an NFL team to support (see below).

McLaughlin is also a regular gamer and streams on the Twitch services, where he uses the same @scottmclaughlin93 handle.

Who does Scott McLaughlin support in the NFL?

The Carolina Panthers.