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Frustrated McLaughlin wants fix for "joke" IndyCar restarts

Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin believes IndyCar should change its restart procedures to prevent “stop-start, amateurish-looking” finishes to its races.

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet

Speaking after Sunday’s Nashville race, which he finished second after starting from pole position, McLaughlin branded the restarts in the series as a “joke”.

He felt the stop-start nature of the end to the race prevented him from attacking eventual winner Kyle Kirkwood, who won his second street race of the season for Andretti Autosport.

“I just think, from a sport perspective, the restarts are a joke,” said McLaughlin. “I think we need to restart on the start/finish line. So, you cannot pass until the start/finish line.

“You're always going to have these yellows. You're always going to have these clusters that cause red flags and make us look like...

“There's no cadence. Once there's a yellow flag on a street circuit, it's just a free-for-all. People bomb. We're well within our rights to do that.

“If we want to have a pure race, we could’ve have had a 10-lap shootout, me and Kyle, at the end. Instead, we're stop-start, stop-start. The action is fantastic. We just have no race.”

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet, leads at Nashville

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet, leads at Nashville

Photo by: Josh Tons / Motorsport Images

McLaughlin gave short shrift to the suggestion that there is a gentlemen’s agreement between drivers not to jump the restarts, which Alexander Rossi also complained about after this year’s Indianapolis 500.

“I think, when it goes green, there's kamikazes at the back and [they] don't care,” said McLaughlin.

“Well within their right to throw it inside when it turns green. That's fine. But we have this terrible stop-start, amateurish-looking finish to races.

“We just need to go apex last corner or start/finish line. Make a point where you can't pass, just to get it going. I've done it in Supercars. Formula 1 does it. It just gets the race going.”

The restart zone at Nashville was moved between Turns 9 and 10 this year, but McLaughlin was nonplussed by the change.

It led to a messy restart after the first yellow, when Pato O’Ward got into the back of McLaughlin’s car, and Colton Herta had to back off, causing him to be freight-trained as he got on to the marbles on the outside of the final two corners.

The penultimate restart was even more chaotic, with Herta hitting the wall before Felix Rosenqvist, Agustin Canapino and Benjamin Pedersen collided with each other, which caused the red flag.

“I’m going to speak to Jay [Frye, IndyCar president] about it and [Kyle] Novak [race director],” he added. “We move restarts, we do this, we do that. Nothing works until we, like, police it.

“It pisses me off, it really does.”

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