Long Beach Race Report

No Rewards for Takuma Sato’s Strong Showing at Long Beach
Long Beach, CA (Sunday, April 10, 2022) – Dale Coyne Racing drivers Takuma Sato and David Malukas had an up and down day on the streets of Long Beach on Sunday with both drivers running strong but both also seeing their races end in Turn 8. See below for more details.
No Rewards for Takuma Sato’s Strong Showing at Long Beach

#51: Takuma Sato, Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda

Long Beach, CA (Sunday, April 10, 2022) – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver Takuma Sato was having a strong run around the streets of Long Beach, having made his way to 13th from his 22nd spot on the starting grid but another top 10 finish fell out of his sight following contact with the tire barrier in Turn 8 with two laps to go.

Started: 22nd
Finished: 17th

  • Throughout the race, Sato was making his way up the field with every lap from his 22nd place on the starting grid.
  • By lap 15, he was running 15th and was ninth by the time he entered pit lane on Lap 29.
  • Following his stop, the #51 Nurtec ODT driver was running 19th and once again continued to move up.
  • He then ran 14th for the majority of his second stint.
  • Sato entered pit lane on Lap 56 to make his final stop for fuel and a set of primary Firestone tires.
  • He then climbed to 13th and remained in that position until he ended up in the tire barrier when trying to defend his position from Rinus Veekay going into Turn 8.
  • With Veekay on fresher tires, both drivers went wide into the turn, but Sato ended up in the marbles and that sent him into the tire barrier.
  • While he was able to get back on track, the incident put him a lap down. 

Takuma Sato #51 Nurtec ODT Honda – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR
“It’s always nice to come back to Long Beach. We had a tough weekend, and in qualifying we didn’t find the right balance, so we had to start from the back. However, we had a strong race, and I was able to make up some positions and pass some cars on track. That was really fun. Unfortunately, with 2 laps to go I was running P13, that was encouraging. However, with the timing of the yellows it allowed some drivers to dive into the pits and get a fresh set of red tires whereas I had 25 lap old tires. Rinus Veekay was behind me and very strong and I was trying to defend my position into turn 8. He came into the inside and both cars went wide, and I got into the marbles and I went into the tire barrier. I was able to get back on track, but it was a shame. At least we fought really strong until the end like in St. Pete. I look forward to the next race in Barber for my first road course with Dale Coyne Racing with RWR.”

A Series of Unfortunate Events for David Malukas at Long Beach Puts End to a Strong Run
#18: David Malukas, Dale Coyne Racing Honda
  • Malukas ran strong in his Grand Prix of Long Beach debut, having made his way to 11th before making his first pit stop on Lap 29.
  • Unfortunately for the rookie, he crossed the pit exit line too soon upon returning to the track and had to serve a drive thru penalty.
  • The penalty sent him to the back of the field, but still on the lead lap.
  • Malukas then had to return to pit lane about 30 laps later to get his belts tightened for safety reasons but that would end up putting him two laps down to the leaders.
  • A final unfortunate event happened on Lap 76 when he ended up making contact with the Turn 8 tire barrier while trying to avoid a spinning Jimmie Johnson.

David Malukas  #18 HMD Honda – Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports
“I have a bit of bruises and blisters from my first Long Beach Grand Prix but what a series of unfortunate events this race was! I started off strong all while saving the black tires, hoping we could make them last longer and play with our strategy. However, after exiting pit lane with a set of red tires, I crossed the line too soon, which was unfortunate. After serving my drive thru penalty I was still on the lead lap so that was all good but then somehow one of my belts became undone and I had to head to pit lane again to get that fixed and that put me two laps down. 
“At that point, I just wanted to bring it home but with about 10 laps to go, Jimmie Johnson spun going into Turn 8 and I tried my best to steer out of his way but I clipped the tire barrier and damaged the front end of my HMD car and that was the end of my race. I truly love the track here in Long Beach and wish things could have gone better but we had no luck this weekend. We had a really good test at Barber in October at my first test with the team so hopefully things can turn around for us at that race in a few weeks.”

Next up:
Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
Race 4 of 17
May 01, 2022