All Blacks silence critics, Warriors’ soul-destroying final chapter and New Zealander Marcus Amtong on Formula 2 podium – Cheree Kinnear tells the climax of the weekend’s sport in 90 seconds and troughs. Video / Sky Sports / Spark Sport
IndyCar racing has a new superstar – Kiwi Scott McLaughlin.
The New Zealander won his third race of the season on pole position at the Portland Grand Prix.
New Zealander Scott Dixon will be in for the final race of the weekend with a much better chance of winning, although Australia’s Will Power will be hard-pressed to overhaul in the showdown in California.
But there’s no question that Penske’s McLaughlin is a rising star and one of five drivers still looking.
On the flat Portland road circuit, he led 104 of 110 laps, including a notorious first corner that all drivers managed to get through this time.
Pundits are raving about McLaughlin’s progress in his second season as he turns from a stellar career in Australian supercars.
One commentator has named McLaughlin a favorite for the 2023 IndyCar Series championship after his fifth straight top-five finish in the penultimate race of 2022.
“It’s all Scottie Mac,” another exclaimed when McLaughlin won in Portland.
McLaughlin retained a distant title chance this season in a battle that included leaders Power (523 points), Josef Newgarden and Dixon (-20 points) and Marcus Ericsson (-39). McLaughlin trailed Ball by 41 points.
McLaughlin is also looking forward to fulfilling his dream of golfing at Pebble Beach in his final tournament in Laguna, Calif.
Speaking of his IndyCar championship chances, he said: “We’re a long shot, but I don’t care, we’re a shot.”
It was Australia’s victory in Portland, with Australia’s willpower second and Kiwi Dixon third.
If he finishes in the top three in the final race, the 41-year-old Power will take his second IndyCar series title.
Dixon, who is seeking his seventh title, started 16th in Portland, saying: “We have to stop making the most progress in the game.
“We’re still fighting. Anything is possible. We’ve won in the tiebreaker before and we’ll never give up.”
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