Kiwi Supercars driver Scott McLaughlin admits losing the driver's championship in the final race of the season will take some time to get over.
McLaughlin told 1 NEWS in an exclusive interview today he didn't sleep well last night after three separate penalties saw him slapped with a 25-second handicap as yesterday's race came to a close - gifting Holden rival Jamie Whincup the crown.
"It's just a difficult pill to swallow," he said.
"What went wrong yesterday was everything that could've gone wrong and to lose the title was tough but we'll be back next year."
McLaughlin was caught on camera in an emotional state after the race - one he still struggles to describe today.
"I was just in disbelief at the time.
"I was just trying to gather my thoughts and go and see everyone but it was very hard to stay upright. I couldn't look everyone in the eye."
The Kiwi driver is planning to spend Christmas in New York to clear his mind of the heartbreaking race before taking another swing at it next year.
"At the end of the day, I'm still living the dream, I'm still having fun and doing a job a lot of people can't do. It's not all bad."