Scott McLaughlin is the hottest prospect in the IndyCar paddock after his showing at the COTA test. Team Penske appears to be so impressed with his performance they want to capitalize on it immediately.
On his This Week In IndyCar podcast, Marshall Pruett mentioned he has heard Penske’s latest prized driver could participate in as many as 8 IndyCar races in 2020.
Coincidentally enough there are exactly 8 races that do not interfere with his Supercars schedule down in Australia. Penske has already announced McLaughlin will compete in the Indy GP on May 9th but have not announced anything past that.
What Races Are In-Play
The Long Beach GP falls on an off weekend for McLaughlin but with the Indy GP already announced it doesn’t make sense for Penske to run him earlier than expected. So we’ll scratch that one off the list.
That leaves McLaughlin with 8 races (Detroit doubleheader) included.
May 9 – Indy Grand Prix
May 30-31 – Detroit Doubleheader
June 21 – Road America
July 12 – Toronto
August 16 – Mid-Ohio
August 22 – Gateway
September 6 – Portland
Seven road/street courses and an oval debut for the 2-time Supercars champ would be a solid introduction into the series. If Team Penske is planning on running him full-time in 2021 as some have indicated this would be the ultimate try-out before a full-season.
If McLaughlin does come to IndyCar for more than a one-off he would join the likes of Dario Franchitti and Robert Wickens who move from touring/stock cars to the open-wheel IndyCar Series. Both found success quickly and Team Penske appears to believe McLaughlin will as well.
For now, the only confirmed dates on his schedule are a complete Supercars campaign where he will be going for a three-peat and of course the Indy GP. Penske is doing something fun, embrace it like an unexpected bonus in your check.
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