After Sunday’s race in Nashville, which he finished second after starting from pole position, McLaughlin called the restarts of the series a “joke”.
He felt the stop-start nature of the race prevented him from attacking eventual winner Kyle Kirkwood, who won his second road race of the season for Andretti Autosport.
“I just think the restarts are a joke from a sporting point of view,” McLaughlin said. “I think we have to restart at the start/finish line. So you cannot pass to the start/finish line.
“There will always be these shades of yellow. There will always be those clusters that give off warning signals and give us the impression that…
“There is no cadence. As soon as there is a yellow flag on a street circuit, it’s just “hunt against all”. bomb people. We have every right to do that.
“If we wanted to do a pure race, we could have had a 10-lap shootout, me and Kyle, at the end. Instead, our stop-start-stop-start principle applies. The action is fantastic. We just don’t have a race.”
Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet, leads in Nashville
McLaughlin briefly addressed the suggestion that there was a gentlemen’s agreement between the drivers not to skip restarts, something Alexander Rossi also complained about after this year’s Indianapolis 500.
“I think when it turns green there are kamikazes in the back and [they] “I don’t care,” McLaughlin said.
“You have every right to throw it in when it turns green. That’s fine. But we have this horrible stop-start and amateurish-looking finish to the races.
“We just have to get to the last corner or the start/finish line. Make a point you can’t pass just to get it started. I did it in Supercars. Formula 1 does it. It just gets the race going.”
The Nashville restart zone was moved between Turns 9 and 10 this year, but McLaughlin was stunned by the change.
A chaotic restart ensued after the first yellow period when Pato O’Ward climbed into the back of McLaughlin’s car and Colton Herta had to back up, resulting in him being trained as a freighter when he hit the marbles on the outside of the latter two curves.
The penultimate restart was even more chaotic as Herta slammed into the wall before Felix Rosenqvist, Agustin Canapino and Benjamin Pedersen collided, triggering the red flag.
“I’ll talk to Jay [Frye, IndyCar president] about it and [Kyle] Novak [race director],” he added. “We defer reboots, we do this, we do that. Nothing works until we monitor it.