St. Petersburg, FL (Sunday, March 5, 2023) – David Malukas (#18 HMD Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports) put in a solid performance on Sunday in the season opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg scoring his first top 10 of the season.
- Malukas moved up to 13th on the opening lap of the 100-lap event from his 16th place on the starting grid.
- Unfortunately for the sophomore driver, he was penalized for avoidable contact on Lap 10, and fell from 11th to 19th.
- The #18 driver had made his way back up to 9th by the time he entered pit lane for his first stop on Lap 34.
- During his second stint, Malukas climbed from 19th to take the lead on Lap 72.
- He led two laps before entering pit lane for his final stop of the day on Lap 74, under caution.
- With other cars having pit earlier than him, he fell to 12th following his stop and made his way back up to 10th to take the checkered flag.
- Malukas was making his second start at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this weekend and his 18th career NTT INDYCAR SERIES start.
David Malukas, #18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports Honda
“We just finished the race and, oh boy, what a race it was! It reminded me a lot of Nashville with a lot of yellows – very long yellows. Everybody’s tires got very cold and every time we restarted nobody could turn. There was no grip. It’s kind of what happened in Nashville.
“We ended up getting a penalty, unfortunately. One of the drivers in front of me broke very early and I wasn’t expecting it and I punctured his tire, so in return I got a drive through penalty. I don’t think that was the most fair thing, but I understand why they did it. But that didn’t stop us. I had Mike Maurini in my ear, and he was motivating me and boosting my ego, and was really hyping me up and I felt amazing. We pushed and pushed and pushed. This is the most exhausted I’ve been, but also one of the best races we’ve had. Even though the drive through penalty put me all the way in the back, we still finished with a top-ten. I am really happy. Thank you to the entire Dale Coyne Crew, HMD Motorsports and everybody involved.”