Scott McLaughlin was “in awe” to be chasing fellow New Zealander Scott Dixon as they completed a Kiwi one-two at IndyCar Texas over the weekend.
McLaughlin joined Breakfast after finishing second to the six-time IndyCar champion by just 0.2646 seconds in his first oval race.
“Eventually it feels a bit slower, everything slows down a bit," he said from Charlotte, North Carolina. "Sometimes that can be quite disturbing because you don’t realise how quick you’re going.”
The three-time Supercars champion said the extra speed in IndyCar, and particularly in the oval races, was “an eye-opening experience”.
The enormity of chasing down his childhood hero struck McLaughlin during the final caution period before he attempted to overtake Dixon in the final run.
“I was in awe. I’m actually chasing down Scott Dixon. I’ve dreamt about doing that, you know,” he said.
“To be right there with him and pressure him all the way to the line — he didn’t drive away, we were right there.
“I have a huge amount of respect for what he has done in motorsport for New Zealand and a lot of other people do as well all over the country and all over the world. He’s a tremendous competitor, very humble.
“If I do half the things he’s done in this sport I’ll be very happy. To battle with him in one of my very first races was very cool.”