McLaughlin sets his eyes on NASCAR career

Supercars

Volvo’s V8 Supercars sensation Scott McLaughlin will take the first step toward a possible career in NASCAR when he jets to the USA in July.

The 20-year-old New Zealander is a passionate fan of stock car racing and harbours the dream of racing of in the Sprint Cup one day – but only once he feels he has fulfilled his goals in V8 Supercars.

“It’s not like I am going over there to sign deals or anything, but to get my name out there and just see what is going on,” McLaughlin told v8supercars.com.au.

McLaughlin will take in the Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, as well as the Truck and Nationwide series support races and will meet NASCAR legends ‘Wild’ Bill Elliott and Tony ‘Smoke’ Stewart.

“It will be great to meet these guys because I have looked up to them for a long time. I have followed V8s for a long time, but I have also followed NASCAR a lot.

“To be going over and meet with Smoke and few others is pretty sick.”

McLaughlin will also meet Elliott’s 20-year old son Chase, who races in the Nationwide Series and has just signed a five year deal to race for Hendricks Motorsport.

“He follows V8s and wants to catch up and meet me,” McLaughlin revealed. “I find that bloody awesome because the guy is probably on $40 million more than I am. So I am pretty excited.”

However, McLaughlin hasn’t firmed up a meeting with Australian Marcos Ambrose, who successfully made the transition from V8 Supercars to NASCAR and races in the Sprint Cup for Richard Petty Motorsports.

“I don’t know Marcos and I have never met him, but I would love too,” McLaughlin said. “He would be the perfect guy for me to have a chat with to see how he did it.

“But I can imagine he would get smashed with a lot of Australian blokes asking him about NASCAR.”

McLaughlin will travel to America with his partner, combining the trip to the Sprint Cup with a visit to friends and some sightseeing in the USA after months of hectic activity that has already included a trip to Polestar in Sweden.

A contact in the USA has helped with the introductions to the NASCAR stars and with gaining ‘hot’ passes that will enable McLaughlin to watch the race from pitlane.

McLaughlin said he enjoyed his first visit to the USA last year for the Austin V8 Supercars event, which only reinforced his desire to eventually race in NASCAR.

“I love how they race every weekend, the sponsor involvement and the professionalism. It is just so cool and it appeals to me enormously,” McLaughlin said. “When I went to Texas last year I fell in love with America in four days.”

McLaughlin revealed that he plans to race in V8 Supercars for at least the next 10 years. Winning the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and the V8 Supercars Championship were both objectives that would have to be fulfilled before he departed the category.

“I will stay here until I have done both of those things,” declared McLaughlin. “It’s a pretty big ambition I know.”

McLaughlin’s most immediate challenge is the April 24-27 ITM 500 Auckland at Pukekohe, where he will look to translate the Volvo S60’s obvious speed into its first Championship race win.

McLaughlin sets his eyes on NASCAR career

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