Double points, double pressure, double delight – Round 11

G’day everyone,

From our maiden trip to Canada last weekend, this weekend we gear up for a doubleheader at the baking hot Iowa Speedway near Des Moines.

They’ve already warned us to expect scorching temperatures this weekend – and with races on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, it’s going to be hot as hell!

But having raced in steaming hot Supercars on street circuits where it’s scorching – I think I’m as well prepared as I can be!

It will be my first race weekend at Iowa (it wasn’t on the schedule last year) – but we tested there last month and it’s left everyone at Penske confident we can be right on the pace this weekend. 

We topped the timesheets at the test – and I immediately felt comfortable at the track. 

So it’s left me with a good feeling about what’s to come. 

What is to come are two races – and a stack of championship points up for grabs. 

We have a 250-lapper Saturday, and a 300-lap marathon Sunday. 

I just have a feeling it will be a pivotal weekend for the title fight between everyone of us in the top ten. 

Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson continues to lead the championship – but he has plenty out after him, including the Penske trio. 

Will is second, Josef is fourth, and I’m seventh in the standings – so we’re all gunning for a great couple of races. 

Josef in particular is a weapon at this place, having won here three times before. 

So I’m like a sponge this week – listening, taking notes and watching and studying everything that has been said and done before from my teammates. 

Every single bit helps, especially with how tight the competition is right now!

But the important thing – and I can’t stress this enough, is to have two good results.

It could be enormous for car #3, just as it could be for everyone up and down the lane. 

There’s big stakes up for grabs with only seven races left – so it’s GO time for everyone in the field.

This series is so bad ass – it’s sheep stations, and we all know it. 

And that’s why I love it.

And from everything I hear from you guys, that’s why you love it as well. 

I will say as well what else is hot this weekend, is our new Freightliner livery. 

Penske cars always look ridiculously good – but I think this is the best looking car I’ve ever been able to race… so I’ve got to give it a good showing!

Thanks everyone for the support, hopefully you can catch the action across the weekend. 

I’ll talk in the aftermath – hopefully with a smile on my face!

Have a good weekend, 

Scotty 

One costly misstep – Round 10

Hi folks,

I think some days I sound like a broken record on this. 

But this series is so competitive, it’s so brutal, it’s so manic and wild and crazy, and it’s such a game of inches. 

And if you’re an inch out – it can really spoil your day.

Which is how our Sunday in Canada played out. 

Up to the final restart we were having a brilliant weekend on our first ever visit to the famous Toronto street circuit. 

We were on the pace from the outset on Friday and made it through to the final six in qualifying on Saturday. 

So we were really optimistic of a good Sunday showing – and that’s exactly how we were placed. 

We started sixth, and we ran fifth for a large chunk, before moving forward to fourth. 

At what became the final caution – I was even eyeing off a podium – until Graham Rahal got us at the restart.

I know some of you thought Rahal hip and shouldered us – but the move was legit. 

I was just asleep.

It was a good move that I wish I had made myself!

But what it did do was push us off the racing line into the marbles and I was unfortunately just a sitting duck as we got leapfrogged by a bunch. 

From fourth we slipped to ninth and that’s where we ended up. 

So I was satisfied to get some decent points, but a little bummed with how things played out towards the end. 

Again this sport – you HAVE to be at the top of your game for every moment, or you get what we got at the restart. 

It’s draining and taxing and punishing – but it’s why our sport is the best in the world right now, in my opinion. 

And I guess it just goes to show how far we’ve come as a team, and me as an individual over here that we are getting angry with good finishes. 

Last year I would have cut off a leg to make the final six in qualifying – and yet a year on we did that again this weekend. 

But we were slightly disappointed Saturday night not to be higher than the third row.

Ditto with Sunday.

Ninth is OK.

But we always want more. 

So we qualified sixth, finished ninth and remain seventh in the standings.

Up the front it was great to see Scott Dixon get the win – his 52nd victory equalling the legendary Mario Andretti. 

It’s a pinch me moment really – I don’t mind admitting I grew up idolising Scotty as a fellow Kiwi, and the fact we’re now mates and rivals, is something that still blows my mind. 

In the end it was a tough day for all three Penske entrants – but the good news is we have a short week before we’re back racing again. 

Next weekend we have a doubleheader at Iowa – which I’m really looking forward to.

Feature races on consecutive days is something I’m used to, having done it for so long in Supercars, and we tested at Iowa last month and it was a really positive day. 

There’s a stack of points up for grabs, so it will be a pivotal weekend for the title fight and what’s to come. 

And the forecast is a scorcher – absolutely stinking hot, so bring on the oval! 

Thanks for the support,

Scotty 

O Canada, Here we come! – Round 10

Hey guys,

What a weekend ahead we have.

It’s my first time to Canada, and my first time to Toronto’s famous street track – which I’ve heard so much about. 

I remember sitting on the couch years and years ago watching it on television back home, so to actually be heading there, having won the last race, it’s a very cool feeling.

I’ve spent the past week in the simulator getting up to speed on the track – for a street track there are some really, really fast parts, so it’s going to be a great challenge. 

There’s much to be excited for – and I have a good feeling about things this weekend. 

Our street package is super strong as you’ve seen across our team throughout the season.

And I have a good feeling about street tracks – especially with my history in Supercars back home. 

So we think Toronto will suit our team and our car – and we have some good confidence in the #3 camp after our win a couple of weeks ago at Mid Ohio. 

As a team we’ve won six of the nine races held so far this year, so we’re all looking to add to that tally. 

It’s funny – Will Power has one win – the least of our three drivers, but is best in the championship. 

He sits second and is damn consistent. 

Josef Newgarden has three wins and is third in the standings. 

And I’m seventh in the series points.

We’re not giving up on the charge at the title – but right now we’re just focusing on getting great results. 

Again – qualifying this weekend will be key. 

You have to be on your game from Friday practice – we saw that at Mid Ohio, especially with passing so difficult on a tight street track.

So Saturday qualifying will be crucial – and hopefully we can be right up the front like last start. 

I can’t wait to get back on track – it’ll be awesome. 

For those who need a laugh – make sure you tune into the Chicago Cubs baseball game tomorrow. 

I’m throwing the opening pitch, which I’m already losing sleep over. 

Hopefully it goes OK and I don’t make a fool of myself. 

Thanks for the support back home, hope you enjoy the racing this weekend.

Talk Monday to wrap it all with you.

Scotty

The Sweetest Feeling – Round 9

Hey guys,

Well how about that then?!!?

Without being cocky – I had a really good feeling about Mid Ohio all week in the leadup. 

I know our results the past couple of months haven’t been anything flash – in fact they’ve been well below what I’ve wanted – but I felt we were gaining momentum as a “team”.

So to knock it out of the park like we did across this weekend is unbelievably satisfying for all of us on the #3 car. 

I’ve been blessed with the team assembled around me – they inspire me and drive me and give me everything I could ever want, so I’m so pleased to pay them back with a result this weekend.  

To qualify on the front row is exactly what we were hoping for – we’d put so much effort into improving our qualifying, so Saturday was a big tick. 

And that gave us the confidence for Sunday to get the job done – and make sure we finished on the podium and got ourselves a trophy. 

In the end we had something that we haven’t had much on the past couple of months – and that was a slice of luck.

We’ve had mostly bad luck since the Indy GP – so to be on right side of luck on race day was a nice change.

We were lucky the full course caution wasn’t thrown until we’d pitted.

We got a little lucky with Pato O’Ward’s issues. 

And we were lucky to hold off Alex Palou in the run to the end – which was a great challenge having the defending champ breathing fire down our neck.

To hold him off was huge for me – just like it was at St Pete at the start of the season, so I’m absolutely pumped. 

And to have mum and dad by my side in victory lane was enormous.

It’s a proud moment for me.

To see them both in tears brought me to tears – and after so long apart, it was just wonderful to have them with me to see my new life here in the USA. 

The only one missing was Karly – who was back in New York for the weekend with her family. 

But we’ll make up for it with some drinks this week to celebrate! 

I can’t wait to get home to watch the replay with the team – I’ve heard there were some good fireworks behind!

I guess July 4 is the perfect weekend for some fireworks! 

So we get our second ever IndyCar win and move from ninth up to seventh in the championship. 

To get our two wins at two of the great events – Mid Ohio is such an awesome circuit, after our success at St Pete’s fantastic street track, is really rewarding. 

We now join Josef as the only repeat winner this year – so even that is huge for us. 

On our team, it was great to see Will Power have such a great run.

He is such a weapon at this place… and to hear how he carved his way from last through to the podium was just awesome. 

So Will’s happy. Roger is happy. My folks are happy. I’m happy. All is good right now. I’m a lucky boy. 

Next up for us after a week off is a trip to Canada – my first crack at the famous Toronto street circuit. 

I’ll hit the simulator this week to ensure we’re at our best – it feels a lot like the street tracks I’m used to from Supercars so hopefully we hit the ground running.

Thanks for the support and messages, it means the world to me!

Scotty 

Ready to go! – Round 9

Hi all, 

We’re back on track this weekend after a few weeks of R & R. 

After a really busy month and a bit – it’s been nice to take a breather. 

Karly and I got back to New York to see her family, and my folks are still here – so it’s been great to show them around the place. 

I can see the old boy putting a few kilos on by the week eating American food! 

So it’s been a nice break, but we’re ready to go this weekend at Mid Ohio. 

It’s a cool weekend to be racing here in the USA – being July 4 weekend – and they’re predicting a wild and full crowd, which should be heaps of fun. 

The crowds IndyCar is pulling this year has been phenomenal, and awesome to see – especially after the last year or so dealing with COVID – and since the 500 the attendances have been enormous.

IndyCar is doing a lot of great things right now – and we’re on main stream TV over here this weekend so it’s a huge opportunity for the sport. 

Now it’s up to us to hunt another great result.

Round 1 at St Pete feels like a million years ago – and I want to get back on the podium – and hopefully we can do that this weekend. 

I love the track – it’s long and sweeping and there’s run off which makes you more committed to having a crack.

It’s such a wild place – the elevation changes are massive – there’s serious high speed corners, plus enough tight stuff to make overtaking possible. 

It’s a real favourite for both the drivers and the race fans. 

I think we’ll be OK as well.

Obviously it’s a place where the team has had a lot of success – Josef Newgarden got the win here this time last year – so we’re reasonably optimistic. 

We’re on track Friday for opening practice – so we have time to work our way into the weekend, with qualifying simply crucial on Saturday. 

We’ve been spending heaps of time on that to be better and give ourselves the best shot in the race on Sunday. 

I think we got a bit of confidence back last start at Road America with a solid top ten finish (7th) – so I’m feeling good. 

We sit ninth in the standings – Will Power is second, Josef is third – and we’re all chasing the 500 winner Marcus Ericsson. 

So it’s game on. 

I can’t wait to get back in the car and give it everything and hopefully grab a trophy for my #3 crew. 

Qualifying back home is early Sunday morning, with the race early Monday morning. 

I’ll report back then. 

Let’s have ourselves a good weekend!

Thanks for the support,

Scotty  

Solid result what we needed – Round 8

G’day guys,

One thing you can say about IndyCar races – they’re never normal, they’re never dull, they’re never straight forward. 

And to be honest – that’s all we wanted as a team for car #3 at Road America… a normal, dull, straight forward race. 

We just wanted a solid run. 

We just wanted a decent finish. 

We just wanted to bank some decent points after a rough month. 

And despite the chaos of it all – that’s fortunately what we were able to bring home. 

But by golly – it was intense that entire race.

Every single lap out there on Sunday is like a qualifying lap.

And then the cautions came.

And the restarts are wild.

And everyone is willing to punt you off to grab a spot – you sleep well the night of each race I tell you! 

In a Road America snapshot – we qualified 9th, started 8th, finished 7th, and now sit ninth in the championship. 

So at the end of the day – we’re happy as a team and the bloke behind the wheel is a little relieved as well. 

I’m a driver who races on confidence – and I still have plenty – but I won’t lie, it had taken a toll the past four races. 

I had to lift and was putting pressure on myself to do so – especially with Sonsio on our car and the naming rights sponsor of the event – so it was satisfying to have a solid run and get some momentum back in the #3 squad.

It’s nice to show promising signs on Saturday making it through to the fast 12, and then being up the pointy end throughout race day. 

It was another great weekend for Team Penske as well – Josef was in a class above across the weekend and it was great for the team to get another victory.

And Road America is honestly such a fun place to race – it’s every bit as good as Bathurst. 

And the event is awesome – such a fun vibe, a huge crowd and it’s a place where you want to get a decent result. 

So box ticked. 

I’m happy and pleased and relieved. 

Now after a bloody busy two months, we’ve all got a few weeks off. 

My crew desperately needs it – and will be nice to take a few days to get some R & R away from a race track with Karly. 

We’re back in action at Mid-Ohio at the start of July. 

Thanks for taking the time, 

Scotty 


Birthday weekend – Round 8


Hi everyone,

It’s my birthday – 29 today!

Feeling good about things after a good week – sitting writing this before our opening practice later this afternoon here in Wisconsin.

I had a cool experience yesterday with a tour of the University of Wisconsin – it was awesome and mind blowing at just the enormity of their setup. 

Met a heap of their players and their head coach and had a full tour of their facilities and home ground – I’m a full sports fan nuffie so it was great to see it all. 

College sport is at this ridiculous level over here – and it’s so popular and there is so much money involved – the base is absolutely first class. 

My spotter Adam Fournier is a lifelong fan and has been cheering for them – so I’m onboard now as a fan after they were so good to me!

I definitely need to get to a game out here one day soon. 

And I’ll leave this here – I think everyone in the program was impressed with my punting! (Check my socials – I absolutely hit it sweet!)

I don’t think they could believe how good I was at kicking.

I’ll tell you a secret – my buddy Tim Hodges from Melbourne came over for the 500 and brought me a new Sherrin. 

Every night in Indy week I went over – just me on my own – having a kick on the golf course, so I was in some form! 

Yesterday was a nice distraction to the grind of where we’re at right now. 

The past few races haven’t been what we want or expect – and I’m dirty to have dropped down to tenth in the championship standings… but it is what it is, right? 

We have to have a better run this weekend, a solid run. 

There’s plenty on the line as well for us. 

Sonsio is back on our car this weekend and they’re the title sponsor of this weekend’s race at Road America – so they expect a good run. 

But I still feel good. 

This place is a radical race track… right up there with Bathurst back home.

So we’ll be giving it our all and we hope for a much better showing than the past month. 

Qualifying again on Saturday (Sunday back home) will be crucial as always – and then we need a slice of luck on race day which seems to have escaped us of late. 

Hopefully a great run is just the birthday present I’m looking for. 

Talk to you after the weekend, 

Thanks for taking the time,

Up the Badgers!

One Simple Error – Round 7 

It’s a tough grind right now. 

Our season has really taken a turn for the worse – we’ve had no luck at all, there’s been a couple of errors from the bloke behind the wheel – and it’s turning into a grind. 

And the harder I try the worse things are going – so it’s testing me. 

I think expectations were raised so high at the start of the year with our super opening – and it’s been difficult to live up to them.

And that’s on me. 

It’s nothing we can’t fix – but we just have to lower expectations, and not put quite so much pressure on ourselves on race weekends. 

I’ve been saying it for a while now – this competition is the most brutal in the world in motorsport. 

If you’re an inch off… you’re in strife.

And that’s what caught me out yesterday at Belle Isle. 

A silly mistake, a brake lock-up, a messy visit down the escape route, an even messier exit into a tyre bundle, and it demolishes our entire day. 

That’s how competitive things are right now. 

So we lost a lap, went to the back and fought like hell to scrape out a 19th placed finish. 

It’s disappointing and clearly not where we want to be. 

It drops us down to tenth in the championship standings – which is a bitter pill to swallow, especially considering we led the thing earlier this year. 

So we have to be better in the #3 camp.

I have to be better. 

But I’m positive it’ll correct. 

I’ll keep my chin up and keep boxing on.  

But just our run of luck has been really tough to cop. 

Think the Indy GP rain hitting while we had the lead out on slicks. 

Then qualifying for the 500 when we rolled the dice and again the elements hurt us.

And like qualifying on Saturday – we were on our fastest lap of the entire weekend and then Grosjean whacks the wall and the red comes out and we lose our lap. 

The good news for us – is that we’re back at the track again this weekend. 

Road America is great in the fact that I don’t have time to sit and kick the dog (sorry Chase) – we just have to get back on the horse and get better. 

We’ll reload and get going 

The positive for the team – was Will’s form, especially after a disappointing Indy 500 for the team. 

It was great to see Will get his first win of the year and to win for Roger at the final race on Belle Isle, after he’s been so instrumental in running the event. 

He now leads the championship.

And Josef got the pole – so my teammates are setting the bar high and I have to follow. 

That’s the challenge right now – we’ll be giving it everything this weekend. 

Thanks again for the support,

Scotty 

Indianapolis 500: Not how we dreamt it’d end – Round 6

Hi guys,

Well it’s Monday, the day after the 500 and my body is a little sore and banged up.

Normally on this day the head is a little foggy after a few beers – but last night was a quiet one after our hard hit – not exactly how we wanted the day to end.

Thankfully I’m feeling fine after the biggest hit I’ve ever taken and the first proper contact I’ve had in IndyCar. 

The body is sore, my knee took a pounding – as well as my ego!! – but everything else is OK.

It’s a bummer. 

I’m a bit flat about it all. 

But we were pushing as hard as possible and just got caught out, and made a simple mistake which turned into a very big hit. 

That’s Indy for you.

It’s been breaking hearts for years and years – and unfortunately got me good yesterday.

The shame of it all is that we were having a really great run.

From 26th on the grid we were able to pass plenty of cars, we had great stops and found ourselves just outside the top ten with 50 to go.

But lap 151 ended it for us.

We were finally in clear air and I was pushing hard – we knew we could jump a bunch still to pit and I was optimistic of a solid finish inside the ten – but a gust of wind caught us and we were done.

It was a wild month of weather and yesterday was such a strong wind – it sweeps around the walls and just caught me out, which is on me.

Running in traffic for basically the entire race I just wasn’t quite prepared for the force of it on a single car.

The hit in turn three was decent but then in a canoe minus wheels and brakes I was just a passenger as we thumped the turn four wall. 

It wasn’t a great few seconds staring down the wall preparing for the hit!

So on May 29 we finished up 29th at the biggest race of the year.

We drop from third to seventh in the championship points which again is a bummer.

But the good news – we’re back on track in a few days time at Detroit to try and make amends.

It was a rough day for all of us at Penske – so we have to be better.

I was thrilled for Marcus to get the win – that’s a cool moment for he and his family.

Talking of family, it was great to finally have mine here at a race weekend for the first time – I loved showing mum, dad, my sister Sammy and a bunch of others from home around.

It’s been an amazing few weeks here. 

It promised heaps and delivered absolutely zero, but I promise I’ll get on top of this place one of these days soon.

Thanks for the support,

Scott

THE BIG DANCE AWAITS! – Indianapolis 500

G’day guys.

No real way to sugar-coat that one.

We rolled the dice for qualifying… and unfortunately we lost!

Felt like we were at Vegas…  

Second straight weekend Indy has bitten us with the rain… so it’s a bummer.

What it means is we start 26th for the big daddy – the Indianapolis 500.

That means we’re off the ninth row of the grid.

Again, not ideal. But that famous saying – it is what it is.

We were a bit bummed for a few hours after the rain arrived to end qualifying – it was deflating knowing we were trying our best to have a shot at glory – but then the rain hit and we knew were screwed.

After a little while we picked our bottom lip up off the ground and started planning how to get to the front.

At the end of the day, it’s a long race.

So much focus is placed on qualifying – especially here for this race, but really Sunday is a marathon and you can win it from anywhere.

I like the fact that the team gambled on trying to make the fast 12 – and unfortunately that gamble left us vulnerable should the weather close in.

And close in it did.

But Ben and the team are working overtime on strategies and we’re confident we can still give it a serious shake on Sunday.

We have a brilliant crew, we have the best people around us, and as we’ve shown all year we have one of the quickest cars out there – so we will have a crack!

It’s like Bathurst this race in so many ways – just keep it clean – especially at the start, keep on the lead lap, and make it to the last stop in one piece – and ANYTHING can happen.

I’ve watched so many Indy 500s over the past year that I feel like I’m prepared for anything it can throw at us.

Now we just need a smooth race and a slice of luck in the run – and fingers crossed!

Apart from qualifying – everything else is going great. We’re having a ball here.

Mum and dad arrived on the weekend – it’s been two and a half years since I last saw them – so we’ve had a great couple of days catching up.

My sister arrives tomorrow and a heap of people are flying in over the next few days, so it’s a great vibe.

The city is honestly going nuts for this year’s race – the hype around it is so special.

Please put in on your bucket list if you haven’t done it before.

They’re talking about a race day crowd approaching 350,000 which is just absolute nuts!

But it’s great for the sport and the series – and I hope we can put on some sort of show on Sunday.

We sit third in the standings (not second like my last report – my buddy Leigh Diffey gave me the wrong info!) and it’s double points – so there’s still a lot to play for and you have to make sure you get to the end in one piece.

And like you guys, I’m a fan of the sport – so I must admit it was kinda cool to see Scott Dixon – who is a friend (and a hero of mine) stick it on pole for the 500.

It’s been a crazy few weeks here – and I hope Sunday is kind to us.

I appreciate the support from everyone – and hope you all enjoy the race.

I know it’s on super early for those back home – but appreciate you all getting up early to watch!

Thanks as always for the support,

We’ll give it our best shot.

Scotty