Scott McLaughlin gives team owner Roger Penske another Australian Supercars championship

Scott McLaughlin won the 2018 Australian Virgin Supercars championship title for Shell V-Power Racing and the Dick Johnson Racing Team Penske squad on Sunday. The drivers' crown is the first for the team since Roger Penske purchased a 51 percent stake in the team in 2014.

The team won the team championship in 2017.

McLaughlin's Ford Falcon finished second to the Holden Commodore of David Reynolds by 4.68 seconds in Sunday's final race of the season in Newcastle, while McLaughlin's closest championship Shane van Gisbergen finished fourth. McLaughlin came into the race with a healthy 53-point lead in the championship, and needed only a top-six finish to close out van Gisbergen.

After Saturday’s penultimate race of the season, the championship was all to play for. A win for rival Shane van Gisbergen of the Triple888 Red Bull Holden Racing team had shrunk the margin at the top to just two points and it was game on for a winner takes all showdown in the Newcastle finale but this all changed overnight as SVG was slapped with a 25-second penalty for a pitlane infringement.

Jamie Whincup finished third in a Holden Commodore.

McLaughlin was able to control things from the front. And while Van Gisbergen was struggling further back down the order and with two laps remaining of the season, McLaughlin received a team order to let the hard-charging Reynolds pass. The team clearly felt the championship was the priority, as the Ford Falcon drove it’s final race — it is being replaced by the Mustang for 2019.

“Yes!” screamed the 25-year-old McLaughlin. “Oh my God. Everyone here, all the guys they work so hard. Look, I have to pay my respects to Shane. We raced hard all year and it’s been a hell of a battle, but oh man.

“With 30 to go I was like, this could be on and it was the longest 30 laps of my life. Thank you to my mum and dad, my gran — I know you’re watching up there because I promised you I’d do this.”

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