McLaughlin: ‘Worse things in world’ than crash
SCOTT McLaughlin described the pre-race crash that cost him his perfect start to the season as a "blip on the radar'' after the DJR/Team Penske flyer hit back to win the final race of the Melbourne 400.
Rebounding in emphatic fashion after the race three warm-up lap collision with Cameron Waters cost him 100 championship points, McLaughlin led from start to finish to rack up his fifth race win of the year.
McLaughlin's win kept the Mustang's unbeaten streak alive as the pain continued for the Commodore.
"That was really good,'' McLaughlin said.
"I am not counting yesterday so it is still five from five for the year. At the end of the day it was a great job by everyone involved.''
McLaughlin tore his way off the start line to beat Chaz Mostert to turn one in a getaway that set up the win.
"I feel like I am really nailing my starts right now,'' McLaughlin said.
"I had a really good run into turn one with Chaz and it is just a great start to our year and we will press on.''
McLaughlin was denied his shot of remaining unbeaten this year on Saturday when he tangled with Tickford racer Walters in a stunning warm-up race collision that saw Supercars start the race without a front-row for the first time since 1998.
McLaughlin demanded an apology from Waters blaming the fellow Ford driver for the crash.
Both McLaughlin and Waters shook hands later that night and put the bizarre incident in their rearview mirrors.
"I couldn't dwell on it,'' McLaughlin said.
"You can't think about those sorts of things because you will lose focus. You just have to get on with things. There are a lot worse things happening in the world and this was just a little blip on the radar.
"We will keep on pushing on.''
McLaughlin dedicated the win to his hometown of Christchurch following the New Zealand terror attack that claimed 49 lives.
"This is very everyone in New Zealand,'' McLaughlin said.
"We are thinking of you.''
Ticford Racing driver Mostert recovered from his poor start to claim second and win the Larry Perkins Trophy for collecting the most points over the four Melbourne 400 races.
The Ford driver set up the win by coming from 22nd to 5th in the first race before going on to win the race that McLaughlin sat out.
"The car was pretty good in race trim,'' Mostert said.
"We just now need to dial it up as a qualifying car to be ready for the next round. Overall I am super pumped to get the Larry Perkins trophy. It is very cool.''
Mostert is shaping as the driver that could challenge the all-conquering McLaughlin after matching the DJR/Team Penske driver for pace through out the Melbourne 400.
"We didn't piece it together in Adelaide,'' Mostert said.
"But we did a much better job of it this weekend. As I said we still have a lot of work to do in qualifying. We had the same pace as Scotty this weekend in the races so that is certainly encouraging.''
The championship resumes on April 5 in Tasmania with the Tyrepower SuperSprint.