20 May 2024

NZ's Scott McLaughlin posts fastest ever Indy 500 pole

12:21 pm on 20 May 2024
Team Penske's Scott McLaughlin exits turn one during practice for the the Indianapolis 500.

Team Penske's Scott McLaughlin exits turn one during practice for the the Indianapolis 500. Photo: Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire

New Zealand motor racing driver Scott McLaughlin will start from pole in next week's Indy 500.

"Was it? Hell yeah, you guys got to see it too. Welcome to the party," McLaughlin exclaimed when told of his record setting speed.

The Christchurch-born former Australian Supercars champion was thrilled to take pole for the race.

"A lot of pride. Hello to my mum and dad back home in New Zealand and there's one person I know that is watching that has helped me all week, you know who you are brother. Thank you so much. There's a couple of people in my corner that I'm thankful for."

McLaughlin conceded he hadn't had a lot of past success at the Indy 500 and was pleased to show he could perform at the "Brickyard".

"Indy hasn't been kind to me and a lot of that was my doing. I need to work on things and this is the first step."

McLaughlin set the fastest time in the 108-year history of the race, posting an average speed of just over 234 mph or nearly 377km/h over his four laps.

It's McLaughlin's second pole start in an oval race having secured pole at the Indycar race at Gateway in Madison, Illnois, last year.

"It's been a lot of hard work, a lot of visualising, mental game, trying to figure out what the best execution for me looks like.

"Let's get this yellow submarine back in victory lane."

In his three Indy 500 races so far McLaughlin's best finish is 14th.

Will Power qualified second for the Indy 500 with defending champion Josef Newgarden third, with Team Penske taking the top three positions.

Fellow New Zealanders Marcus Armstrong will start from 16th on the grid while Scott Dixon, who won the event in 2008, is at 21st.