McLaughlin got past his fellow New Zealander almost as soon as the contest restarted from the second Caution period with 51 laps of 300 to go.
He remained third thereafter, salvaging something from the weekend after a loose wheel cruelled him while running fourth on merit with 76 laps to go in the previous afternoon's 250-lapper.
“Really pumped to bounce back after yesterday,” said the Team Penske driver.
“I felt like we had a car to challenge for the podium yesterday, and we managed to pull it off today.
“Midway through the race today, the car was really a bit of a handful and I wasn't too happy.
“Kyle [Moyer, strategist] sort of just got on the radio, calmed me down – as most of those guys on pit road do to us egomaniac drivers – sort of brought us back to life.
“Managed to get my head down, did some really good exchanges, pit exchanges, managed to get ourselves into P4 there before the last Caution.
“Then P3 on Dixon, which was a fun pass, I really enjoyed that. It was a really good exchange with him all race.
“Hope he enjoyed it; probably didn't enjoy it as much as me, but it was definitely a lot of fun racing with him.”
McLaughlin put his Race 1 pit lane mishap down to a simple case of his crew pushing just beyond the limits of what was possible.
“I think you have to push the limits on everything these days in IndyCar,” he opined.
“My guys yesterday, the stops have been tremendous all year. I think we were again fastest on pit road, or close to fastest on pit road today.
“The stop before was a second faster than anyone in pit lane, that last exchange yesterday, and then they tried to go a little bit faster, and you probably weren't going to do it.
“Unfortunately, they dropped the car too early, didn't tighten the wheel.”
The three-time Supercars champion now has four podiums this IndyCar season, including two wins.
He sits seventh in the series standings, 86 points behind leader Marcus Ericsson with five races to go.
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