Fort Worth, TX (Friday, March 16, 2022) – Takuma Sato (#51 Nurtec ODT – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR) and David Malukas (#18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports) will be taking on their first oval event of the season this weekend as the NTT INDYCAR SERIES heads to Texas Motor Speedway for the XPEL 375 on Sunday, March 20. Notes for each driver are below.
Takuma Sato Excited to Take on Challenging Texas Motor Speedway Oval
Fort Worth, TX (Friday, March 16, 2022) – Takuma Sato is coming off a strong performance in the season opening event at St. Petersburg a few weeks ago, where he made up the most positions in the race to finish in the top 10. The veteran driver will be making his first oval start aboard the #51 Nurtec ODT (Rimegepant) for Dale Coyne Racing with RWR at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) this weekend during the XPEL 375.
• This will be Takuma Sato’s 13th visit to Texas Motor Speedway
• He started on pole position on the 1.5-mile superspeedway in 2019 and has finished in the top 10 three times in his last five starts at TMS.
• The two-time Indy 500 Champion’s best finish at TMS came in 2011 with a fifth-place finish.
Takuma Sato #51 Nurtec ODT Honda – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR
“I’m very excited to be heading to Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) this weekend! My first oval outing with DCR will be only one practice session and straight into qualifying so I can imagine it’s going to be a little challenging, but we’re up for it. DCR has been competitive on ovals so I can’t wait to go fast with our #51 Nurtec ODT Honda. We of course always like to be the best but that might be a bit too high expectation at this point. It’s only our second race together and after finishing in top-10 at season opener, I would just like to improve on that result this weekend.
“I always enjoy racing at Texas Motor Speedway. It is a very tough racetrack where usually a lot of drama happens. It’s an iconic high-speed oval with such a high banking. We used to go three-wide and four-wide sometimes, with unbelievably intense racing but today it offers a different kind of racing. With recent aero and track changes it’s very tough to overtake now so it’s a different challenge. You really must manage tires well during the stint then if you are in good shape for the second half of the stint, you’ll be able to enjoy the race so much more! Because once you start to struggle with grip, you just can’t keep the speed at all. Overall, TMS is a really challenging oval and it gives us no margin for any errors.”
David Malukas Eager to Make NTT INDYCAR SERIES Oval Debut at Texas Motor Speedway
Fort Worth, TX (Friday, March 16, 2022) – Rookie David Malukas is looking to bounce back aboard his #18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports Honda after a bittersweet season opening race a few weeks ago in St. Petersburg when he takes on his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES oval race this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
• The rookie got his first taste of the 1.5-mile superspeedway oval at Texas Motor Speedway during a successful test earlier this month.
• While he’s previously competed on ovals in Indy Lights, the one-day test was the first time Malukas turned laps on an oval track aboard an Indy car.
• In his most recent outing on an oval, albeit a short oval, in Indy Lights, he picked up a couple of wins at World Wide Technology Raceway (Gateway) last year sweeping the weekend.
David Malukas, #18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports Honda
“We’re just a day away from being on track at Texas Motor Speedway and I’m so excited. I can’t wait for my first NTT INDYCAR SERIES race on an oval. We had a test day at the beginning of the month, and it went very well. We were able to practice different things like a qualifying sim and a race stint sim with the other rookies that were on track. It was a little tough to pass with the one-line deal but I know INDYCAR has been working to resolve that and make it better. Other than that, from my side everything with the car came quickly to me, there’s a lot more tools that you can use in an Indy car compared to what I’m used to in Indy Lights. Overall, I’m really looking forward to it. In Indy Lights in the only oval weekend, we had at Gateway last year, we swept the weekend and had a great race so hopefully we can continue that oval momentum going into Texas.”
XPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway
Race 2 of 17
Track length: 1.5-mile superspeedway
Race Distance: 248-laps
Schedule (all times local)
Saturday, March 19, 2022
Practice 1: 10:00am – 11:00am (Peacock & INDYCAR Radio)
Qualifying: 1pm – 2pm (Peacock & INDYCAR Radio)
Final Practice: 4:00pm – 5:00pm (Peacock & INDYCAR Radio)
Sunday, March 20, 2022
Green Flag: 11:45am
Race broadcast: 11:30am – 2pm (NBC & INDYCAR Radio)