“I'm going to get him at some point,” McLaughlin said of Newgarden. “I'm very determined. Helluva race. I think the three of us could have easily swept the top three there. Pato [O'Ward] did an awesome job.
“Their cars are just really good through traffic. What I learned with Josef during the week, during the last couple of weeks, has been huge. It's a nice little rabbit to chase when he's out in front. When you can keep up with him, that's a nice feeling. Gives me a lot of confidence.”
McLaughlin kept himself in second place during the first half of the race as Power led 119 of the first 120 laps. Despite making several attempts, the #3 Team Penske Chevrolet never made it past Power.
“I thought Josef was further back, and then all of a sudden he was ten back, five back, and then passing me,” McLaughlin said.
“Probably burned my stuff up a little too much, but I had to start going for it. Definitely felt faster than Will, but it was hard. We were always – one was getting choked up by traffic, and the next, you take one lane, and then that lane in front of you had gone. You can't just wash up in front of the guy or into the side of them.
“It is what it is, but that was probably one part of the race where I felt annoyed with myself a little bit.”
Newgarden bided his time during the first half of the race, moving by McLaughlin into second place on Lap 95 and then into the lead on Lap 121.
Power brushed the wall on Lap 145 exiting Turn 4, allowing McLaughlin the opportunity to get by the 2018 Indianapolis 500 winner.
As the race grew closer to its conclusion, Newgarden and McLaughlin had to deal with drivers trying to defend their position as much as possible within the rules before eventually falling a lap down.
“Yeah, I think [Newgarden] was getting choked up a little bit,” McLaughlin said post-race about the lapped traffic. “There's a lot of guys out there that were racing the leader very hard, mirror driving, and just at times it was quite dangerous. Yeah, it is what it is.”
Newgarden was a bit more explicit in the post-race press conference.
“There's just a point where you've got to understand that that comes back around,” Newgarden said. “If you do that to someone, I'm going to fence you the next time I see you. If you're the leader the next time, I am going to do you so dirty if you did that to me.”
In Sunday's 250-lap race, McLaughlin starts in second place again while Newgarden starts back in seventh. The green flag drops at 14:30 local time Sunday July 23/0530 Monday July 24 AEST.