Motorsport: Scott McLaughlin finishes third during opening race of IndyCar Series

 Scott McLaughlin racing in IndyCar.
Scott McLaughlin racing in IndyCar. Photo credit: Getty Images

Kiwi racecar driver Scott McLaughlin has snagged a podium finish during the opening race of the new IndyCar Series season, finishing third in Florida.

McLaughlin's Penske teammate Josef Newgarden cruised to a dominant victory while Mexican Pato O'Ward finished in second.   

Fellow New Zealander Scott Dixon finished ninth while Marcus Armstrong, also a Kiwi, was a DNF after crashing out of the race on the 27th lap, the first DNF of his IndyCar career.  

Will Power and Colton Herton finished fourth and fifth.

After starting in ninth place in the 100-lap race, McLaughlin was ecstatic with the result.   

"Really stoked," he said.   

"For us to start ninth and move our way through to third, for us, it's a win in some ways.  

"I tried to get Pato there, but I had Will breathing down my neck and it was sort of a championship game in some ways thinking of the points in some ways.  

"You just take what you can get. It's so tight this year in IndyCar, so you just need to get what you can and get out of here."  

The IndyCar Series resumes on March 25 with the non-championship Thermal Club $1 million Challenge in Southern California, a new circuit on the calendar this year.