Kirkwood feared for Nashville IndyCar win after McLaughlin “ran me down”


Kirkwood scored his second victory of 2023, his first season with Andretti Autosport, by 0.7s after a four-lap sprint to the finish that followed a late-race red flag.

“We had been actually good on the preliminary lap [of the restart] however proper there on the finish, man, they had been so quick and so they ran me down on that final lap,” Kirkwood informed NBC.

“I actually solely made a few passes on observe and so they actually cycled me to the entrance on technique.

“We simply made some actually sensible selections and hit all of our marks, so a stable day little question.”

Kirkwood harked again to his exit from final yr’s race, when he ploughed his AJ Foyt-run automobile into David Malukas in the direction of the top of the race, taking them each out.

“Final time I used to be right here, it was not a really enjoyable occasion,” he admitted. “We had been super-fast and I simply wanted some sort of redemption and I obtained it right here at the moment.”

McLaughlin, who led the opening stint of the race from pole, was undone by an early yellow flag that allowed vehicles that began on the more durable main tyres the benefit by closing up, then operating longer and overcutting him.

“I gave it my all,” mentioned McLaughlin. “Tried my hardest however Kyle did an unreal job.

“One other prime three, good factors, bummed to not get the win however we weren’t the very best on the day, Kyle was.

#3: Scott McLaughlin, Workforce Penske Chevrolet

Picture by: Gavin Baker

“Hopefully subsequent yr, once we run for the championship [in the newly-appointed season finale race] then we win right here and it’ll be an enormous get together on Broadway. Actually pleased with the trouble at the moment.”

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou completed third to increase his factors lead over McLaughlin’s team-mate Josef Newgarden to 84.

“It was an important day, all in all, I’m disillusioned with fourth,” mentioned Newgarden. “I’m by no means blissful except we’re leaving with a win.

“I felt like we ran a extremely good race, I felt there was a bit of extra alternative that didn’t materialise initially, typical avenue course stuff, you get used up at occasions.

“The workforce executed effectively, there’s some issues we gotta work on which are fairly seen to us, however everybody’s doing an important job.

“I believe we will go away right here fairly blissful, simply wishing we had a bit of extra.”

Palou virtually misplaced a bit of factors when it regarded like he’d must make an additional pitstop within the closing phases, however a late-race crash prevented a probable tumble into the midfield placings.

“We survived,” he mentioned. “We had the pace however we anticipated extra yellows. We made it work.

“We had been saving a tonne of gasoline in the course of the race. It was a traumatic one, however couldn’t be happier now.”

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