Contract signed, now for the Finale – Round 16

Hi all,

I’m thrilled to be able to tell you about the news that I have signed a new long term deal to stay at Team Penske. 

It’s a deal we had agreed on for a couple of months – and finally put pen to paper leading into this weekend’s season finale at Laguna Seca. 

So I’m over the moon as you would imagine.

It’s been the best year already with our three wins – and now we can have a real crack at the title this weekend. 

We know we’re wild outsiders – but we’ll be having a serious crack!

The boss Tim Cindric was so kind with the comments he made today about bringing me to the States – and then with the progress we’ve made. 

They stuck by me – especially last year when it was a school of hard knocks in my rookie season. 

It was a big gamble to come over and take on this gig… and there were times I feared I’d made the wrong decision to head to the USA.

I mean we came over to run open wheelers when I’d never even driven them before – and last year was BRUTAL… but it’s so satisfying to see the hard work this year had paid off. 

We’ve exceeded our expectations by a mile – which makes me so proud. 

Three wins.

Three poles. 

A bunch of podiums.

And now we sit top five in the title fight with a live chance to win the championship ahead of this weekend’s find round. 

I’m proud to be a part of the Team Penske powerhouse – it’s an unbelievably impressive setup – I love showing people around the workshop and seeing their jaws hit the ground at the enormity of the place, and how magnificent it is. 

And to have had so much success – firstly with DJR Team Penske back home in Supercars – and now to show that we belong in IndyCar, is just the best. 

This is my dream – and you all know how much fun I’m having over here. 

It’s the absolute best racing on earth – and Karly and I are enjoying every single second of it. 

But by no means are we content – or do we think we’ve made it. 

My passion is to win a championship in this series with this team, and then I want to win an Indianapolis 500 for Roger to add to his collection. 

And I won’t stop until it’s done!

I can’t thank Roger Penske and Tim Cindric for all they’ve done for me. 

Thanks for all the messages since the news dropped. 

I’m thrilled to bits with how it’s all worked out – and now I simply can’t wait to jump in the car and get rolling this weekend. 

My teammates Will Power & Josef Newgarden are more likely to vie for the title – but if they have any issues, then we will be there to pounce. 

We’re 41 points behind so I know we need a few things to go our way – but we just have to be try and score maximum points and give ourselves a shot. 

I’d love another weekend like we just had at Portland! 

We just have to be at our best in all of our sessions, keep it clean, qualify well and then race as hard as possible to try and be up the front. 

It’s a great race track Laguna Seca – about as close to Mount Panorama as I anything I’ve seen. 

We’ll give it all we’ve got and see where we land. 

Hope you enjoy the race – Monday time back home. 

I’ll talk afterwards, 

Scotty

You beauty! – Round 15

Hey guys,

Well how cool was that?!?!

The perfect weekend – the weekend I’ve dreamt of achieving over here… and now we’ve been able to do it twice this season. 

The only thing that went wrong really for my weekend was the Bulldogs losing back home in the Elimination Final… 

But this was a great weekend. 

Unbelievably satisfying. 

We were fast all weekend in every session which has been a real goal of our #3 team. 

That allowed us to have a major swing at qualifying which netted us pole – our third of the year.

And then we went on to have a brilliant run to win Sunday – our third win for the season. 

So a great year just got even better. 

We move up from sixth to fifth in the standings – and that’s been the aim all season to be running top five in the championship. 

And now we can go to Laguna Seca next weekend with a live chance to win the title. 

We remain mega underdogs obviously – but I like that. 

Doubt us at your peril! 

So it’s a grandstand finish for the sport – the tightest it’s ever been in our championship. 

And that’s great for everyone for our Grand Final. 

Will Power & Josef Newgarden will take most of the headlines and we’ll all be working hard at Team Penske to ensure one of us are winning the title… but if something goes wrong with them, it’s game on!

If we had a weekend like we’ve just had – and some of the boys up the front have troubles, then it could all open right up! 

We’ve come so far this season – and I’m so proud of my team and myself with how we’ve shown to all that we belong. 

Even to have a race like yesterday – to be able to get out the front and stay there. 

We controlled the race, we set the tempo, and we were able to dominate. 

Every time we had to push we were able to, and then even at the end with two icons of the sport breathing down my neck – we were able to comfortably hold our place.

So it was awesome.

We belong here… it’s cool just to say that. 

And then to share a podium with Will & Scotty Dixon was an historic and seriously bloody cool moment.   

The three boys from Australasia have done good! 

So next week we head to the coolest race track in the USA – Laguna Seca. 

Our focus will be pretty simple – just qualify well on Saturday and give ourselves the best shot to be there for race day Sunday. 

The footy starts over here this week so it’ll be a bumper sporting weekend and it’ll be great to play our part. 

We’ll be giving it our all and keep our fingers crossed!

Thanks everyone back home for the support & messages,

Scotty

Two to go! – Round 15

Hi folks, 

Here we go – the final two races of our year – and it’s never been tighter for the Championship battle in the sport’s history.

It’s awesome to be tangled up in it – and I have no idea how things are going to play out, but it’s great for the sport to have the title fight so ridiculously close. 

For the team it’s great that we have all three of our cars up the pointy end – obviously Will & Josef are at the top of the standings so more focus will be on them – but we’re still in there fighting! 

As it is, we’re 54 points behind Will so we will just give it our absolute best shot and see where we end up. 

All I want ideally are two super solid finishes to round out what’s been a great year for our #3 team – and just let the championship play out. 

It’ll be what it’ll be!

We’ve come so far this season – we have already had a better year than we could ever have hoped for – so now it’s about finishing strong and ensuring we have momentum for next year. 

I’ve been a bit reflective the past week off since Gateway – which as you know is a bit unlike me… 

When I think back to last year, there were times I was wondering why on earth I’d made the leap across the earth to come and race in the USA… and get beaten up each week! 

It was hard yards – and I’ll talk more about it after the season – but I’m just super proud of my team and myself and my crew who stick by me for getting through this and coming out the other side with the results we have to show for it this year. 

Even when it was rocky as all hell last year, I knew if we worked even harder we’d come out the other side on top. 

We had the potential to do some cool things – and I think we’ve achieved that this year – especially with a couple of wins and a couple of poles and a bunch of podiums. 

I’m not satisfied – and I know there’s a whole heap more to do next year – but I’m just really happy (& relieved) that we’ve proven to everyone that we belong over here.

And I do think that – and it’s super important to me – we have been a force this year and we will be a force for many years to come, regardless of how these next two weeks go. 

Which leads me to this week! 

I’m feeling good for the weekend at Portland  – we tested here last week and things went OK. 

I feel like a broken record sometimes here – but we just need to qualify well and be perfect across all sessions to give ourselves the best shot at being up the front for race day. 

IndyCar is SO competitive and this will be such an intense fortnight ahead that we just need to be in the right place at the right time and we’ll all see what happens!

But the season finishes on two epic tracks which I love – so I’m super pumped. 

Hope you’re able to get up for an early breakfast Monday and catch the race back home. 

And we’ll report back afterwards – no regrets – give it our all, right! 

Scotty

PS. Good luck to my Doggies in their opening Elimination Final in Perth on Saturday night back home in Perth!

Close but not cigar! – Round 14

Hey crew,

We left St Louis with a really weird feeling.

I mean third is great – on the podium is what we’re here for and it’s super points for our championship, but man, I was flat for a while afterwards.

We were in the lead thanks to a brilliant strategy play from my guys when the rain hit – and for a hell of a long time it looked like the race would be called and we’d get handed the win. 

I mean it rained really heavily – so it looked like they’d call the race.

Then there was lightning – so it was an immediate 30 minute stoppage, and it looked like it was done. 

And we blew past our TV window so it looked more and more like they’d end it. 

But still they tried to get us back out on track. 

I admire IndyCar for trying – and in the end, it’s cool for the sport to finish properly… but I would have taken the win in a heartbeat!!

All up we were halted for two hours until we were back on track – so that’s an incredibly long stoppage. 

Unfortunately when we went back green we were under lights and my car just didn’t quite feel the same – we knew it straight away – so we were never going to be able to keep my teammate Josef Newgarden behind us. 

And then on the final lap we were passed by David Malukas who absolutely sent it, and we were left third. 

So it’s podium number six for the year, and it’s great that two of those have come on ovals – I’m learning more and more each time we race on them.

And I guess in the end it just goes to show how far we’ve come over here. 

This time last year I would have been over the moon with a podium. 

But now – we want more and more with each week we spend together at the track. 

And that’s wins. 

Sure podiums are nice, but it’s not the ultimate. 

So we stay sixth in the standings and it’s unbelievably tight. 

My other teammate Will Power leads the series by just three points over Josef, with Scotty Dixon 11 points behind him, and Marcus Ericsson three points behind him. 

In all, I’m 54 points behind Will – so it’s really hero or zero over the final two events, I’ll be giving it my all. 

But it will be some sort of grandstand finish to the season – which is just awesome. 

Next up is Portland in a fortnight, and then we head to Laguna Seca – so it’s two seriously great tracks to finish on, and two places I absolutely love. 

Thanks all for the support and messages back home – hope you’re enjoying the ride. 

And well done to by Western Bulldogs – awesome to see they made it through to the AFL Finals series again!

Talk in a few weeks, 

Scotty

Crunch Time! – Round 14

Hey guys,

The stakes are just massive for us as we gear up for the third last event of the Indycar Championship this weekend in Illinois. 

It’s the final oval of the year at Worldwide Technology Raceway – and it’s crunch time. 

We sit sixth in the points and we’ve had a good past few races – so we have some momentum to work with a few days out from the race. 

Last start at Nashville was really promising – pole and a second behind Scott Dixon was a great confidence lifter. 

Our past month has been seriously solid – race #2 at Iowa, Indianapolis and then Nashville were great for our points.

I want to still have a swing at winning this year’s title… and if we can’t win it I want to try and finish as high up in the standings as possible.

So that makes this weekend crucial. 

Right now we cannot afford a bad result – so that’s where all my focus is right now. 

We just need to be perfect from opening practice and qualifying on Friday, right through to the unique Saturday night race. 

But the good news for us is we finish on three tracks I really enjoy. 

We’ve got the oval this weekend and then Portland and Laguna Seca – two serious old school race tracks which I love, so we’re in with a great shot.

Will Power leads the championship – but it’s so close, and Josef Newgarden and I are both right in the mix – so it’s going to be some sort of wild finish to this season!

Every time I’ve been here at Gateway we’ve had a good run – and the Penske cars are always good here, so fingers crossed. 

But it’s IndyCar… so anything can happen! 

And you know it probably will… 

We just need to firstly qualify well and then have a slice of luck in the race. But I feel good. 

We’ve been chipping away and we need a big finish to our second season in the sport. 

We’ll be giving it our all.

We’re back in the Odyssey Battery colours this weekend – the last time it brought us good luck with victory at Mid Ohio, so we’ll see how we go. 

A reminder – we have a Saturday race here – so it’s Sunday morning back home in Australia and New Zealand. 

Thanks all for the support and messages. 

Talk to you after the race!

Scotty

Gave it everything! – Round 13

Hey crew,

Well that was a wild old weekend at the race track wasn’t it?! 

But it was a pretty good one as well!

A pole position, a podium finish behind a guy I grew up idolising, throw in some scorching heat, wild electrical thunderstorms, and an insane race – and I was due for a beer last night. 

I won’t lie – the crew and I had a few because we had well and truly earned them! 

But what a race!

It’s such a fun event – the closest I can say to the Gold Coast street race, with the event so close to the Nashville party strip. 

It’s got a vibe I’m telling you. Another one for your bucket list!

Everyone there has a great time – even while we waited for lightning to pass across Saturday and Sunday afternoon. 

It’s a brutal and punishing track, and with the extreme humidity it was about as tough a conditions as I’ve faced. 

So it was really rewarding to have such a great run. 

My car was a weapon all weekend. 

We were fast across both practice sessions and then our qualifying lap to grab pole was a ripper. It was SO satisfying to get my second pole – I was absolutely pumped afterwards. 

We made a great start – although I was nervous having Romain Grosjean beside me on the front row.

I was relieved we beat him to turn one and then it was just head down to get out the front and stay there. 

We got caught out in our first stop with a caution robbing us a few spots – but I always felt like we were on for a great finish. 

Our second stop wasn’t great though – my boys have been great all year, but we had a slow one, and came out 16th

Still, I never lost my cool.

I know, unlike me, right?!?!

I was ticked off don’t get me wrong – but I knew I had the car to be able to work our way back to a decent position. 

And we just went for it when we went back green – it was the most fun I’ve ever had in a race as we sliced and diced our way through the field. 

The first lap when we went back racing I picked up half a dozen spots. 

So we just chipped away at it and fought our way from 16th back to a podium finish. 

In all we had eight caution periods – which is the second time is as many years this place has tore a heap of cars up and ensured a grandstand finish with the final caution bringing out the red flag. 

I like that – it set up a wild green-white-checkered like NASCAR. 

We’re an entertainment sport, and I’m glad we are making sure we can put on a hell of a show. 

The final run we realistically only had one and a half laps to have a crack at Scott Dixon for the win. 

Just the moment when I was behind him behind the safety car was so surreal – Scotty D is a guy I’ve adored for so long.

He’s been so good to me over the years – and even now still looks out for me. 

I threw everything at him to try and pass – but we just needed one more lap. 

As it was we landed our second Kiwi quinella – which is super cool for New Zealand motorsport. 

We were still thrilled with second… it was a great points day… and a great weekend to keep our name in lights at such a landmark weekend for our sport. 

That’s now our second second on top of our two wins – plus our second pole, so the year has been full of positives. 

We gain one position in the title fight – up to sixth in the standings, and I’ll be punching as hard as possible to get up inside the top five with three races to go. 

After four straight race weekends we have a week off to have a breather before going again at Gateway. 

I’ll speak to you then. 

And for those back in Australia – I have some exciting news I’ll tell you about soon. 

Thanks all for the support and messages. 

Scotty

Bring on Nashville – Round 13

Hey guys,

It’s an exciting time in our sport right now – as we head for Nashville, one of our biggest events, which is crazy to say in just its second year.

Last year the place was wild – the organisers did such an amazing job.

The street circuit is insane – with the bridge crossing, racing around the footy stadium, with so many blind turns, and the fact it’s only a short walk from the party district lends itself to one wild event!

We go there in a little bit of form – third at Iowa followed by fourth last week at Indianapolis, so I feel good about our chances. 

And our street track form has been really strong this year – both for myself and our team, so here’s hoping it’s a good one. 

It’s great to be in the car for a fourth straight week on the back of Toronto, Iowa and Indy.

I love racing and to do it so much is great for your confidence.  

Looking back on last year’s race at Nashville was hard to do – we’ve come so far in the space of twelve months, but last year was a SHOCKER!

We had near misses, then we were taken out, then we had some more wild moments – including a wild slide off the bridge, and then the ultimate kick in the pills – my teammate speared me off to end our day.

A 22nd was a wild and unflattering way to kick off our Nashville experience – so I’m really confident this year will be better!

Again, qualifying will be absolutely, positively crucial. 

We showed at St Pete to start the year that if you’re up the front you miss all of the commotion which comes, especially on a street track, especially at Nashville. 

So Saturday is pivotal to our chances. 

But at the end of the day – you only have to look to last year at Nashville… the eventual winner had the biggest crash of all of us, yet was still able to box on and get the win. 

That’s IndyCar – it’s bloody wild. 

But I love it. 

I like the fact we’re spaced out a bit more this weekend – practice on Friday and a second session on Saturday allows us time to process how we’re going. I like that. 

Then qualifying before the big race on Sunday. 

Nashville is a cool place – so definitely put it on your bucket list!

Catch the race Monday morning back home. 

I’ll chat to you afterwards.

I also want to just say how pumped I am for the return of the Adelaide 500! 

I’ve loved reading about the new launch… and I love the fact the Killers are playing – how cool is that.

It makes me happy to hear one of the best motorsport events anywhere in the world is back. 

So I’m really pleased for the series and the fans back home.

Thanks guys,

Scotty

Good points day! – Round 12

Hi again folks,

I write this on Monday morning after an awesome weekend at the track.

It was obviously helped with a great run for car #3 on Saturday – with fourth a strong points result – and great for all Team Penske cars to be in the top five, especially with Josef cleared to run after his injury last week. 

But then I got to turn race fan yesterday and sit back and watch the NASCAR race. 

It was an awesome show – and I was lucky to have great access – watching on from my teammate Ryan Blaney’s pit box for much of the day, and spending a bunch of time with Roger Penske roaming around IMS throughout. 

A real pinch me day!

I know the finish was slightly controversial – but the action NASCAR put on is unlike anything else in motorsport.

It was awesome fun. 

And that’s a lot like what Indycar is dishing up every week right now. 

Our race on Saturday was run at a million miles an hour – honestly it feels like every lap of our races now are run at qualifying pace. 

Which is quite the challenge when you’re dealing with rubber that is absolutely cooked!

It’s an unbelievable test – and it’s taxing and mentally draining (I’m absolutely fried post-race) – but I’m having so much bloody fun! 

I’m loving it over here right now. 

And I’m just loving being in the car each and every week. 

Indy was our third straight week racing following Toronto and Iowa – with a fourth ahead this week at Nashville. 

So it’s a grind for the crews – but it’s super to get consistency and continuity in the car. 

Which leads to this past weekend. 

We had some confidence after our podium last week in Iowa on Sunday – so I was really optimistic of a good showing.

That was enhanced after we rolled out straight on the pace in opening practice. 

But unfortunately we just missed qualifying which is a massive bummer – and we were stuck down the back.

We took a real swing at the race starting back in 15th and made massive gains – starting on reds we were able to race our way through the field and the car felt magnificent. 

A caution came at the best time and we jumped on the backs for a super short second stint – and then we were stuck behind Will Power for much of our last run and kind of just held station. 

So it was great for him to jump to the championship lead with his third place – and to be fourth after starting 15th is about as good as we could have hoped for… I absolutely would have taken that at the start of the day. 

It was super important to have a good run in the Gallagher colours in their race – that’s really crucial to Roger. 

And I just want to give my Thirsty3 crew a collective pat on the back – last week at Iowa we weren’t at our best, but they were bullet proof this weekend – at the absolute top of their game. 

I’ve been blessed to be teamed with them. 

 So a couple of solid runs – but unfortunately we still remain stranded seventh in the standings. 

Hopefully if we can have another good run next week we can continue to compile points. 

Thinking back over the weekend I couldn’t recommend it more to anyone – especially those back home – to come over for this weekend. 

To catch an IndyCar and NASCAR doubleheader is so unique. 

And the Brickyard is the most magical place – I know the boss owns it, but it’s looking a million dollars right now so it is well worth the visit. 

I loved it – I’m sure you will as well. 

And then go to Nashville – trust me that place is awesome!

The organisers blew us all away last year with their inaugural running of the street race – and we’re hearing great things that it will be even bigger and better next weekend.

We have opening practice Friday – and I think the parties all start tomorrow! 

It’s a mega party town so it’ll be wild come Sunday night!

Thanks for all the messages – I read everything as you all know… I’m on my phone too much as Karly tells me daily! 

Scotty 

Back to the Brickyard! – Round 12

Hi guys,

It’s an awesome weekend ahead as we head back to the Brickyard for Round 12 of our season.

It is such a spectacular weekend this one – as a race fan I love it – being in the same pit area as the NASCAR boys, it’s such a great concept that probably only Roger Penske could pull off!

It’s a real bucket list weekend – if you can’t get to the 500 here, then definitely try and put this on your “to-do” list. 

To watch both series is really awesome – for both categories, and I look forward to Sunday to be able to sit back and watch the Cup boys do their thing. 

Personally, it feels so good to be back to our sport’s holy grail – it’s a second shot at this place.

It’s a chance to make amends for what happened at the 500 when we gave the wall a decent thud. 

But more importantly, a second shot at the road course where we were so strong at the start of May. 

We were on for such a good showing – and had a clear shot at the win when the rain hit in the GP which ruined our chances late.

So I want to make a statement this weekend. 

In many ways, I don’t have much to lose right now and everything to gain – so we will be having a massive swing at a great result. 

We’re 86 points behind championship leader Marcus Ericsson – which is heaps, so we need plenty to go right with five races to run. 

I’m more looking at Pato O’Ward – he’s fifth in the standings, 50 points ahead of me. 

I’d love to finish the season top five – so we’ll have a crack and see where we end up. 

As it is, we’re seventh – so there’s plenty of work to be done. 

It’s a rapid fire weekend, we practice and qualify on Friday before racing on Saturday to clear the way for the NASCAR boys. 

So there’s no time to waste – you have to be on it as soon as we roll out of the truck.

But it’s nice to be back at a track I know reasonably well.  

It’s a great time to be racing – it’s our third weekend in a row so it’s just the best to be in the car consistently as much as we are right now. 

Now, I’ve had plenty of questions on my teammate Josef this weekend. 

It was a real scare how things finished last weekend in Iowa – but I know he’ll do everything he can to be racing with us this weekend. 

He’s in good spirits – which is the main thing. 

A reminder – it’s a Saturday race here – so the early hours of Sunday back home.

Hope you enjoy the action.

Thanks all for the support!

Scotty

Rollercoaster weekend – Round 11

Hi guys,

That was such a wild weekend of emotions and feelings – not to mention results! 

In the end – we were on track for two cracking results – but only walk away with just one decent finish. 

We had despair and pain with a late pit lane mishap which demolished our Saturday. 

We got to spray some champagne on Sunday with a podium finish. 

But in the end – my main concern is with my good buddy and teammate Josef Newgarden – who thankfully has just been released from hospital as I write this on Monday morning.

It was all a bit confusing after the race – I felt for him crashing after dominating the whole weekend, but then heard he’d taken a turn. 

It was certainly a scare for a few hours for all of us.

The bloke owns Iowa – he was simply untouchable in both races, and it’s cruel he was denied the win on Sunday to add to his Saturday success. 

Anyway, I hope he’s fit to race next weekend at Indy – but he’ll be monitored and checked over later in the week. 

I was really confident heading to the circuit for the first time on a race weekend – and was really optimistic we could have great results.

And that’s how it was looking, Saturday we were running fourth and I thought we were definitely on for a podium.

We’re all pushing in this sport – and our #3 crew just pushed a fraction too hard on our final stop. 

I’ve said this plenty of times to you this year – that we are pushing SO HARD in every single session, and unfortunately it just caught us out late in the piece. 

The car was dropped a fraction of a second too early and we had a loose wheel which ruined our run. 

The boys felt terrible about it – but I’ll never say a bad word about them… their stops have been enormous all season long. 

So it was a kick in the guts – we lost a couple of laps and then finished the race down in 22nd when it all looked so good for so long. 

I’ve never been so determined to make amends on Sunday. 

It was such a great weekend – we caught the Gwen Stefani concert before the race – the money and promotion and effort Hyvee put into the weekend simply had to be seen to be believed. 

It was so impressive and was awesome for the sport. 

Even hanging out with Marky Mark Wahlberg before the race in the hauler was awesome fun – he absolutely loves our sport. 

We were pumped to then jump in the car and get going and get the champagne. 

It wasn’t an easy race – and was harder than Saturday.

Our car was a handful at times which worked me up – and then traffic was a nightmare, and managing tyres going off is something I’m still dealing with – so I was a tad stroppy. 

But we were always up the front battling for a podium. 

To fight it out with Scotty Dixon was a highlight – it still gives me tingles racing him on the track after idolising him for so long. 

And then to beat him – well that was just cool. 

And he’s so great with me – congratulating me afterwards with my family there was just a great thing. 

So we finished third behind Will – with Pato getting the win. 

We remain seventh in the standings which is still good but I was hoping it might be a bit better after the weekend…

Anyway, we’re running again for a third straight week next week back at the Brickyard. 

I hope we can replicate our pace from the start of May when we were in a position to win the thing until the rain hit late. 

We’ve got four podiums now, plus two wins – so things are still good. 

I’m loving every second over here and hope we can keep clocking a couple of great results before the season is done. 

There’s five races left and I’ll be giving it my all. 

Thanks all for the support!

Scotty