Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin wants to clear the air after he was disqualified from March’s IndyCar Series season-opener in St. Petersburg, where he stood on the podium in third place.

He and his race-winning teammate Josef Newgarden in the No. 2 Chevy were found to have made illegal use of IndyCar’s push-to-pass system when it was deactivated by the series.

What the New Zealander shared in an evening post to social media aligns with what RACER has been told regarding the specific actions with his No. 3 Chevy team.

“First and foremost, I am proud to be a member of Team Penske,” he wrote. “I fully stand with everyone one of my teammates. Simply put, a mistake was made. I have the highest level of integrity and it is important to protect both my own reputation and that of the team.

“I was not aware of the situation with the software. In this instance, I used a single, very brief (1.9 second) deployment of push to pass in a section of the track, (the) exit of Turn 9, where it is typically utilized throughout the race. I hit the button out of habit, but I did not pass any cars, nor did I gain any time advantage.

“The data, which IndyCar has, confirms all of this information. While I accept the penalty, I want to be clear that I did not gain an advantage over my competitors.

“IndyCar’s competition is the best in the world and I would take no pleasure in achieving success in any way other than honestly. We will all press forward from here and focus on the task at hand this weekend at Barber.”