Scott McLaughlin has opened up on the cheeky lie he told his wife when they first met in 2016.
The reigning Supercars champion married Karly Paone in California in November last year.
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But McLaughlin has lifted the lid on his unusual courtship of the New York native, whom he met at the Las Vegas Karting SuperNationals four years ago.
In a promotional video for sponsor Thirsty Camel, McLaughlin admitted to lying to Karly about his profession, telling her he was a simple mechanic rather than a superstar of Australian motorsport.
McLaughlin said the lie only lasted two days before Karly started following him on Instagram.
“It was about two days later when she followed me on Instagram and noticed that this mechanic had, like, 50,000-odd followers. I think she clued on then,” he told Motorsport.com.
“One thing that I really struggle with is explaining what I do for a living without feeling like a flog.
“I just say I'm a mechanic. That's not just something I said to Karly, I say it to a lot of people.
“I finished a fabrication apprenticeship [at GRM], so I probably should say I'm a fabricator. But that's another one that's hard to explain.”
But even after learning of his real profession, Karly only grasped McLaughlin’s superstar status when she attended her first Supercars race.
“Karly came to Phillip Island in 2017, that was her first race,” McLaughlin said.
“She still didn't really realise how big it was until we came into the track and she saw my face on some merchandise boards, and then I had autograph sessions, and she kind of flipped out.
“But it's good. We met each other without having to worry about those bits and pieces, you know, or someone trying to take you for a ride. It was very genuine.”
Scott McLaughlin looking for Supercars three-peat
The two-time defending series champion sent an ominous prediction before Supercars' return to the track this week, saying the “cream always rises to the top” despite drastic changes.
Organisers have tweaked not only the calendar but also racing formats and rules before the season resumption at Sydney Motorsport Park this weekend.
McLaughlin's DJR Team Penske teammate Fabian Coulthard predicted the “most level playing field” in years due to the changes, which include the removal of car sensors and live data gathering for teams.
However, McLaughlin reckons the contenders will remain the same, saying the “usual suspects” will emerge as threats to his crown.
McLaughlin held a 27-point championship lead over seven-time series champion Jamie Whincup (Triple Eight Race Engineering) when the season was postponed at the aborted Australian Grand Prix round in mid-March.
“I think you will see your usual suspects, to be honest,” McLaughlin told AAP.
“Erebus (David Reynolds), Chaz (Mostert)... are probably the two that you look at and Tickford as well.
“And we saw what Triple Eight (Whincup) came out with (before racing was postponed).
“Maybe some wildcards will pop up but I don't think much is going to change - the cream always rises to the top.”