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 

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!