McLaughlin wins, Power widens Indy lead

·2-min read

Scott McLaughlin has led a Team Penske rout at Portland International Raceway by scoring his third victory of the season in a 1-2 finish that moved Australia's Will Power one race closer to the IndyCar championship.

McLaughlin led for 104 of the 110 laps on Sunday to pick up his third victory of the season. He trails only Penske teammate Josef Newgarden (five) in most series wins, but an inconsistent season has the New Zealander clinging to any title chances.

McLaughlin, the former three-times Supercars champion, goes to next Sunday's season finale at Laguna Seca in California ranked fifth in the standings, 41 points behind Power but still mathematically in the hunt.

"We did exactly what we needed to do this weekend which was win and get maximum points," McLaughlin said.

"We need to keep ourselves in it and we're a long shot, but we've got a shot."

Power, meanwhile, had a relatively easy drive but never enough to challenge McLaughlin for the win. In settling for second, he takes a 20-point lead into the finale over both Newgarden and six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon.

"We're in the best position, we've got the best shot, we'll do the best we can," Power said.

Dixon finished third but gained no ground in the title fight. Newgarden dropped from fourth on the restart with 22 laps remaining to finish eighth and lose 17 points to Power in the Penske championship battle.

"We're still in the fight," Dixon, who started 16th, said.

"We need to stop getting these most improved of the race awards."

Newgarden lamented his late tyre choice, which left him a sitting duck over the final stint.

"At this point, it just kind of is what it is. I'm going to go try to win that race and go for broke," Newgarden said.

"I don't know how Laguna is going to play, but we're going to go to play and see what happens."

Reigning IndyCar champion Alex Palou was in the title hunt but finished 12th, and Pato O'Ward crossed fourth to both be eliminated from title contention.

"Didn't have enough for the Penske boys. They dominated everyone, not just us," O'Ward said.