McLaughlin has been the most prolific Twitch user in the Supercars paddock during the coronavirus break, his exploits both in the Supercars and IndyCar Eseries yielding a solid following on the gaming platform.
He has, however, ruffled some feathers with his commentary – in particular with comments levelled at Supercars rookie Jack Smith on Wednesday night.
The two-time Supercars champion blasted Smith after the pair clashed on the opening lap of the Charlotte oval race, McLaughlin calling him a “d**khead” and a “rich boy who can’t drive”.
Speaking on the latest episode of his podcast Balls & Bumpers, McLaughlin said his Twitch account has, on the whole, provided a positive experience in terms of fan interaction.
But he also admitted he went too far with the Smith comments and said he’s since texted the Brad Jones Racing driver to apologise.
“[Twitch has] been a good thing,” he said. “I think it’s allowed people to get to know me better. And I guess in some ways they can see how competitive I am, which is one thing.
“I got myself in a little bit of trouble during the week – not trouble, but a fair bit of… people grabbing a few quotes from the odd Twitch and running with it. I was in the, apparently, the best of the banter or whatever that is. I had a great showing on that actually.”
When asked by podcast host Tim Hodges if he cringed reading back the Smith comments, McLaughlin added: “Oh, 100 per cent. I shouldn’t have said that. That is… we all get heated.
“We all speak our mind and stuff, but for me I can probably just tow it in a bit. I can think it but just don’t say it, I guess. Unfortunately, there’s no excuse for that.
“We all start somewhere, he is a rookie. And I’ve just got to toe the line a bit. I did send him a text and said sorry and said I’ll see him in Sydney, obviously. But yeah, didn’t hear back.”
McLaughlin also tipped the Twitch banter could spark some angst between drivers when real-life racing resumes, particularly in IndyCar.
“One hundred per cent. Certainly. There have been some rivalries, not only here but in America as well and all that sort of stuff,” he said.
“It’s gonna be full on. For the IndyCar guys, they’re going to Texas for the first one, a fast oval. And they’re going to go side-by-side and they’ve been crashing and yelling at each other for the last two months. It will be interesting.”