Malukas Closes Gap in Rookie of the Year Battle at Portland

Portland, OR (Sunday, September 4, 2022) – Rookie David Malukas (#18 HMD Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports) didn’t have the outcome he would have like in Sunday’s Grand Prix of Portland but he did manage to climb to within five points of the leader in the Rookie of the Year standings with a 14th place finish.

Started: 10th
Finished: 14th

  • Malukas had a great start to the 110-lap event, picking up four positions on the first lap to move into sixth place.
  • He was running fifth by the time he made his first pit stop on Lap 16.
  • Unfortunately for the rookie, he, like others, struggled on the primary set of Firestone tires and lost positions during his second stint, running 14th for the majority of it.
  • The #18 HMD driver switched back to the alternate Firestone tire on his Lap 48 pit stop but the damage was already done, and he spent most of his stint in 15th position.
  • He made his final stop on Lap 79 and was able to move into 14th place on Lap 95, where he stayed until he took the checkered, but it wasn’t without a fight trying to gain more positions.
  • With Sunday’s finish, Malukas picked up six points on Christian Lundgaard to move to within five points in the Rookie of the Year battle going into the final race of the season next weekend at Laguna Seca.
  • 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 just finished the race in 14th after starting 10th. The start was great, I went on the outside of everyone, and we came out in sixth. Our first stint on Reds was very good. We choose to go with the primary tire for our second stint to see what we wanted to do for the rest of the race, and they just didn’t perform as well as we would have liked them to. We had no pace and lost all the positions we had gained at the start and fell all the way back to 16th. We continued to push until the yellow flag came out near the end. We were all bunched up on the restart, and had a lot of push to pass but unfortunately was still not able to get by any cars. It wasn’t the result we wanted but we were able to cut the gap to five points in the Rookie of the Year standings.”

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