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 

BACK ON THE HORSE – Round 7 

Hi everyone,

It’s a great time of the year in IndyCar as we gear up to go racing again this weekend, just days after the biggest event of our season.

For me it’s good to get back on the horse after the Indy 500 ended in the wall and in disappointment on Sunday. 

We haven’t stopped this week – after the Monday night gala at Indy we were back at Charlotte first thing Tuesday where I hit the simulator to prepare for this weekend at Detroit. 

It’s a fun period over the next few weeks – we feel like NASCAR drivers with our stacked schedule. 

After Belle Isle this weekend then it’s on to Road America – so it’s busy – and it’s a chance to make amends for what happened at Indy. 

We dropped from third to seventh in the standings which is a pain – and was costly in the double points 500 – and we’re now 64 points behind Sunday’s winner Marcus Ericsson, who is the new championship leader. 

There’s eleven races remaining, which makes this weekend crucial for us. 

Detroit was brutal for us last year – I never got on top of the place all weekend long, hence why I’ve hammered the sim this week in a bid to feel more and more comfortable when we hit the track for real. 

We’re only racing the once this weekend – it’s the first time since 2012 we’ll only have a Sunday race, and it’s the last event at this venue before it switches to downtown next year. 

I know Roger is super excited by the prospect of the CBD move next year – so it’s really promising for the sport. 

The post-mortem from the 500 wasn’t too much fun for Team Penske. 

It was a rough few weeks for the team, and Sunday wasn’t a great one. 

We failed to have a top ten finisher for the first time since 2011 – so we know we all have to be better. 

So expect a much better showing from the Penske trio this weekend.

Reviewing Indy I was pushing as hard as I could when I was caught out and hit the wall.

I don’t regret having a go – hell, it’s the biggest race of the year and you throw everything at it – but I have had moments this week where you reflect on what could have been.

We COULD have had a great finish in the Indy GP, leading until the rain hit late. 

We COULD have had a great qualifying until we got caught out with the weather leaving us down the back. 

And we COULD have finished decent in the 500 – if we’d made it. 

So now it’s our job to improve that, and it starts now. 

Our street circuit form stacks up with anyone this year – so we’re optimistic that we can make this weekend a good one. 

But again – it’s a game of inches – the field is so competitive, and plenty are like myself, Josef and Will with heaps to prove after rough weekends last week.  

So, it’s game on!

We’re on track Friday before qualifying Saturday and the big race on Sunday – Monday morning back home.

I’ll talk to you afterwards for the wrap.

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

CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR! – Round 5

Hi everyone,

Well that was some sort of day at the races.

Let me tell you about it.

Here’s Scott’s snapshot of Saturday…

Race was brought forward to avoid the rain, then delayed due to lightning and much heavier rain.

So that meant my first taste of an IndyCar in the wet was going to be in a race! No biggie!

Waiting around did nothing for my nerves…

Started 11th and ran in the mid-pack, then ran up the front, pitted a few times, then found ourselves in the lead.

We gambled on the wrong tyres at the end – which left us on slicks when the rain returned so we were a sitting duck.

Could have won the race, could have regained the championship lead, but then spun under the safety car.

Then spun again under green.

Had to pit again – and finished with our tail between our legs, a lap down, back in 20th.

As a day – it was completely frantic and taxing and draining – both emotionally and physically but most importantly, mentally… I was cooked by the end!

Let me tell you, a beer never tasted so good as it did back in the bus on Saturday night.

But it’s everything I love about IndyCar racing.

I’ve been telling you a bit now – that it’s the MOST competitive motorsport series in the world right now, and you just have to be at the top of your game.

And if you’re not – it has the ability to punch you right in the guts.

Like it did in qualifying on Friday – I was super fast across qualifying until our final run when we were an inch wide on our final run. An inch!

We should have been up the front – instead we started on row six.

Again – so competitive. And so brutal if you’re a fraction off.

Which is how race day panned out.

We were perfect throughout and I thought we were on for a podium at the very least – but looking back we really could have won the thing.

Instead we rolled the dice as a team and picked the wrong tyre.

It was a team call – we just made the wrong choice as a collective, and we were caught out at the end.

It’s one that got away – but I’m still optimistic of where we’re at.

So the positives.

Our pace is awesome and we’re all feeling great as a team.

The stops were brilliant – we jumped Colton Herta under caution which had us in the box seat to win the thing… but then the heaven’s opened.

And despite everything that happened – we remain second in the championship, which is a bit of a miracle really, but we’ll take it. 

The good news – my teammate Will Power has leapfrogged us and Alex Palou to be the new series leader, so it’s a great vibe at Penske ahead of the biggest few weeks of the year.

Will is such a great example for me to follow – his consistency is something else, and he’s now grabbed the title lead with finishes inside the top four at all five races so far without winning.

Now all eyes turn to the oval here at the Brickyard with opening practice kicking off tomorrow for the Indianapolis 500.

The vibe at the speedway and in the town is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

I’m so excited for what’s to come – and I’m enjoying sharing the experience with you all.

I’m pumped!

The weekend didn’t pan out perfectly for us obviously, but hopefully there’s brighter opportunities ahead.

Thanks for the support,

Scotty


MONTH OF MAY BEGINS – Round 5

Here we go folks! 

The month of May. 

The biggest few weeks of the year with a stack of points up for grabs, but most importantly the biggest prize of all on offer on May 29 with the Indianapolis 500.

And it starts at the Speedway this weekend – with the Grand Prix on the road course.

There’s an edge with everyone in our sport at the moment – it’s hard to hide from. 

You can see it with everyone at headquarters – from the boss right down to the cleaners.  

Everyone feels the pinch with so much up for grabs and so many eyeballs on us over the next few weeks. 

But it’s awesome! 

The vibe in the race shop is genuinely fantastic. 

This is Christmas for all of our girls and guys and for our sport. 

And as we get set to head to Indy we’re feeling good. 

I’m cool and calm and collected – which is a bit surprising for me. 

Look, I know there’s plenty up for grabs. 

It’s a massive month for the championship with so many points on the line – and I’m mindful of that sitting second just three points behind Alex Palou. 

But with our form on the road course – especially at Barber – I feel we can be super competitive this weekend. 

It’s a Saturday race – Sunday back home – and there’s some unusually wild weather forecast so we’ll see how it plays out, but we’re optimistic right now of a good result. 

Then all attention turns to the 500 – with a couple of weeks of practice and qualifying leading up to race day on May 29. 

The interest in the race is off the charts – they’re talking about a race crowd over 350,000 – so it’s awesome.

Motorsport is flying in the States right now, especially off the back of the Miami Grand Prix, and interest in NASCAR and IndyCar is mega – so it’s great for all of our sport. 

As for us – we’ve moved into the back of the pits in our brand new bus – which will be our home until the end of the month. 

Every single morning it’s not lost on me when I walk outside and the first thing I see is the famous Pagoda. It makes me smile each day!

It’s a huge month ahead – and I hope we have a good start this weekend. 

Thanks everyone for the support, 

Scotty

Barber – Round 4 Review

Hey folks,

Well that was a long and draining and anxious and sweaty day at the office! 

We drove the wheels off the thing for every single lap – and in the end, not much has changed. 

We’re still second in the championship, despite dropping a few spots from our Barber starting position. 

It didn’t always look that way – after starting fourth we ran inside the top three for a large chunk of the race.

But we dropped a few spots in our second cycle – Alex Palou got past, so too Scott Dixon. 

And then unfortunately Will Power was on a heater so we steered clear – which left us running sixth. 

But even that we had to fight tooth and nail for – the bunfight up our backside for the last stint was epic.

Rahal and Grosjean were trying to punch on with me – but just decided to punch on with each other which made for some fun in the mirrors. 

Sixth was a solid finish which I’m happy with. It could have been better – but it definitely could have been worse (I went very close to binning it at least twice!). 

And even on our rough days we still want to be inside the top ten and getting good points. 

So box ticked for a decent points day. 

I’ve said it to you guys a number of times – the racing in this series is SO intense, I hope you’re enjoying it back home.

And I love it when people get over here to see the racing firsthand – as I know a bunch of you are going to do for the 500 at the end of the month – the competitiveness is so brutal, you have to be on your game EVERY single session.

Even my teammate, Will Power said this after the race. 

Our team decided against testing at Barber last month – and we were all chasing our tails on day one as a result… that’s how competitive things are right now. 

And the season ramps up with a few weeks at Indianapolis next – so it’s the biggest and best few weeks for all of us now to get right.  

So we head to Indy for the Grand Prix first, and then qualifying for the 500. 

Alex Palou has taken the lead in the title fight, we remain second and Josef Newgarden has slipped to third. 

Again – it’s TIGHT. 

Just three points is between Alex and I, with another three to Josef. 

It’s the best and hardest racing I’ve ever been a part of and I’m loving every second!

Bring on Indy! 

Thanks for everyone’s support. I appreciate it and love all of your comments. 

Talk again in a couple of weeks before the GP. 

Scott

BARBER BOUND – Round 4 

Hey guys,

The busiest month of the year begins this weekend in Alabama with our return to Barber, and after three weeks out of the car after Long Beach I couldn’t be more excited to hit the track. 

I’m feeling pretty good about what’s to come – both at Barber and then at the Brickyard for the rest of the month, so I can’t wait to get rolling! 

Long Beach obviously didn’t go the way we planned – and we lost our championship lead – but I’m super optimistic of a good showing here.

Barber is a very cool track that requires a bucket load of commitment – every time I come here it reminds me so much of Phillip Island back home.

It’s flat out and hold on tight – which as you know, I absolutely love!

We’ve tested here a few times – but we decided to skip the test here last month – to bank a session which will hopefully help us later in the season. 

So a few in the field will have a slight edge on us early – so as soon as practice rolls out we have to be at our best.

I don’t want to sound like a broken record – but this series is SO DAMN TIGHT – you have to be at your best every single session – and that’s not just me, it’s Ben my engineer and the entire crew. 

But it’s the best series to be in – I’m having a ball right now and can’t wait for what’s ahead, especially across the next few weeks counting down to the big one on May 29. 

So the big thing we have to try and nail is getting on top of the car early.

And then it’s all in for qualifying.

I made it through to Q2 here last year at my first crack at the place – so I certainly feel like we can shake things up a bit. 

And everyone is talking about rain on Sunday – so the forecast will be a big one to watch. 

For those back home – check out qualifying and the race on Stan – they’re doing a great job and have big things planned across Indy in the build up to the 500 which is really exciting. 

It’s been a big week in the household – we’ve moved place and Karly has celebrated her birthday – so we’re all feeling good. 

There’s Barber and then we get set to jet at Indy. 

It’s the best time of the year and I can’t wait to get going. 

Fingers crossed for some good results. 

Thanks for the support to everyone back home – talk to you after the weekend. 

Scott

A GAME OF INCHES! – Round 3

It’s a game of inches this sport. I’ve said that to you before. If you’re off your game – even by an inch, it’ll get you. 

Unfortunately we had a couple of moments that caught us out on the weekend, and it put paid to a great result. Which is a huge bummer, because I was so confident we were in for a good showing at Long Beach. 

We were just at the wrong place at the wrong time in qualifying and got caught out – and were left in the middle of the pack for the race. 

After our success at St Pete in qualifying I was hoping for much better than ninth on the grid – but unfortunately that’s where we ended up. 

It was a messy qualifying – and we were in the middle of a complete cluster with too many cars and not enough space out there. 

Again guys – a game of inches…!

So then came Sunday race day – and dead set, I got caught out by an inch, and we made contact with the inside wall at the hairpin. 

I was actually pretty lucky to hit the wall on our side where we did – an inch later and we would have ripped the rear wheel clean off. 

The contact while trying to pass Tatiana Calderon spun us and ruined our race – which was such a shame. 

I don’t think we were in a position to win – but we were running with the lead group and we were on for a great points finish. 

In the end we finished 14th which was disappointing – but it is what it is. 

We lose our championship lead to Josef Newgarden – who won the race and made it back-to-back wins for him, and three straight wins for Team Penske to start the 2022 season after our success at St Pete in Round 1. 

So let’s keep it positive. 

We passed the most cars in the race, so that’s one thing. 

Our pace was really good all weekend. 

We are still second in the title fight. 

And it was another weekend learning with Ben Bretzman and the #3 team. 

I just have to work on being perfect when it counts the most. 

We’ll get there – I promise. 

We have a few weeks off now before Barber, and then it’s massive month at Indy – so things are really ramping up back at the shop. 

This is what we are here for to try and do well over the next handful of events – and I already can’t wait to get back ion the car. 

And May 29 is getting that bit closer – bring on the 500! 

Thanks for the support to everyone back home – it means the world to Karly and I. 

Talk soon.

Scott

Let’s go Hunting – Round 3

Hi everyone,

It’s been three long weeks waiting to go racing since we came up short by a few centimetres at Texas – and needless to say, I CANNOT wait to get back in the car. 

For anyone who knows me, would know I was pretty grumpy for a few days after the Texas finish (sorry Karly!) but now I am so keen for California and to let it rip on one of the all-time great street tracks. 

It was a kick in the pills how my teammate Josef Newgarden got us at the end – but the positives are we still dominated the race, we led the most laps, and we extended our championship lead, so we’re still in a good place.

It shows just how far we’ve come on car #3 – that we were so gutted with a second place. Last year we celebrated like it was a win! 

So let’s hope this weekend we can ride the wave – motorsport is such a confidence game – and ours is good, especially after the street race results at St Petersburg in round one. 

It’s the second time we get to have a crack at Long Beach’s streets so I’m really optimistic it can be another good showing.

It’s such a magnificent place for a race – it reminds me so much of Surfers Paradise back home – with the water on one side, the highrisers on the other. 

Definitely stick it on your bucket list for those back home!

But I remember watching youtube races of Unser and Andretti and Gordon and Zanardi and Franchitti running around here – absolute legends, so just the history of the place is awesome. 

The focus as always in this category is qualifying – Saturday will be mega for everyone to nail. 

If you’re off by a fraction in this game you can find yourself outside the top dozen – or even worse. 

We absolutely maximised our potential at St Pete in quali – so here’s hoping we can be up the pointy end again.

It felt like it was a light switch weekend in the opening round where I felt comfortable pushing the car to extremes – unlike I ever did last year – and the results showed. 

You have to have confidence in yourself and the car to attack street tracks – and unlike our time in the Supercar – you can’t rub up against the walls quite as much as we did back home. 

So plenty of people have said we’re the hunted now that we’re the championship leader – but I still consider myself the hunter. 

Hopefully we can keep the ball rolling and have a great weekend. 

I’ll be giving it my all. 

Hope everyone back in Melbourne enjoys the Grand Prix – it’s so good to have the event back after a few years with no racing at Albert Park. 

I still remember the Friday of the 2020 race when the event was cancelled. I had just had breakfast and had my suit on and was getting set to hop in the car for qualifying and it was all scrapped. It was honestly one of the most surreal feelings I’ve ever had – we were all wandering around unsure how to feel as COVID took control over the world. 

So I’ll be watching highlights where I can. But hope it’s great racing in the F1 & Supercars.  

Talk to you after the weekend to debrief.

Fingers crossed.  

Scott