Salinas, CA (Saturday, September 10, 2022) – Rookie David Malukas (#18 HMD Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports) qualified seventh for Sunday’s season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca by making a seventh trip to the second round of qualifying on Saturday.
Round 1 (Group 1): 1st
Best Lap: 1:11.7507
Round 2: 7th
Best Lap: 1:11.6295
- Malukas was the fastest of the Group 1 drivers thanks to a lap of 1:11.7507 registered on his final lap of the 10-minute session.
- Segment 1 / Group 1 was hindered by a red flag about halfway through the session, so all cars had the opportunity to make only one timed lap as a final attempt at improving their position.
- The rookie was sitting fifth in his group just before crossing the timing line and jumped up to first while taking the checkered flag.
- In Round 2, Malukas came close to making another trip to the Firestone Fast 6 but fell just 0.008 seconds from sixth place and had to settle with seventh on the starting grid.
- Malukas enters the last race only five points behind Christan Lundgaard who starts 16th in the Rookie of the Year battle.
- Malukas is making his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES start at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca but he has competed at the track in Indy Lights in 2019 and 2021 picking up a best finish of second.
- So far this season, Malukas has a best finish of second at World Wide Technology Raceway and a best starting position of fifth (Toronto).
David Malukas, #18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports Honda
“We once again made it to the Fast 12 and we were so close to making it to the Firestone Fast 6. Unfortunately, with the local yellows I ended up only with one fast lap on the alternate tires. That lap was on the conservative side. I wanted to make sure we got at least one lap in because this track punishes you if you go just a little over the speed limit. If you hit the dust your lap is done. I wanted to make sure we weren’t just P12, I wanted to be up there. It hurts though because I missed it by only 8 thousandths of a second from the Fast 6. Looking back there were some places I could have pushed a bit more to find a few tenths. All in all, it was very, very tight. I think it was a good session for us especially from where we finished in the practices. I think it’s a good result heading into the race.”