David Malukas is Highest Finishing Rookie in Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS (Sunday, May 29, 2022) – David Malukas (#18 HMD – Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports) completed his first Indianapolis 500 as the highest finishing rookie in the field on Sunday during the 106th running of the famed raced while Takuma Sato (#51 Nurtec ODT – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR) crossed the finish line in 25th. Further details on each driver are below.

David Malukas is Highest Finishing Rookie in Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS (Sunday, May 29, 2022) – Rookie David Malukas (#18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports) took part in his first Indianapolis 500 on Sunday accomplishing both goals he had set for himself heading into the 500-mile race by taking the checkered flag as the highest finishing rookie.

  • After running strong all month, Malukas started 13th on the 33-car grid and ran in or near that position for the majority of the race. 
  • In a race that didn’t see a lot of passing throughout the field, the rookie did make up positions on restarts which allowed him to move up as high as 8th twice during the race.
  • For his first Indy 500, Malukas drove a strong race and stayed out of trouble to take the checkered flag in 16th place as the highest finishing rookie.
  • The rookie’s finish was a testament to his team’s hard work and detailed preparation after they had to rebuild his car following an incident with another car on Carb Day.

David Malukas, #18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports Honda
“Race day is over, and the Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has come to an end. We finished the race, it was everything I wanted. I wanted to finish and be the highest finishing rookie and we achieved both of those things today. So, I’m very happy. I’ve now realized why people say that this track chooses its winners because there are so many different things that can happen, and everything just needs to go your way. There’s a lot of possibilities. Things didn’t always go our way, but we finished P16. Overall, I’m very happy, I made minimal mistakes from my side being a rookie and going into the next one I’m going to be expecting the race to be this long!”

Takuma Sato Has Strong Run, Finishes 25th in Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS (Sunday, May 29, 2022) – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver Takuma Sato had the speed and the car but was missing a bit of luck on Sunday in the 106th Indianapolis 500. A late race fuel saving gamble didn’t pay off and the two-time Indy 500 Champion had to settle for a 25th place finish. 

  • Starting 10th, Sato lost a couple of positions at the start but was quick to move back up.
  • He was sitting sixth by the time he entered pit lane for his first stop and once again was sitting sixth before making his second stop.
  • Halfway through the race he was sitting 10th and things were promising as he once again continued to move up the field before once again heading to pit lane on Lap 145.
  • Unfortunately, the driver of the #51 Nurtec ODT Honda lost come positions following his pit stop and fell to 13th. 
  • The team gambled with 43 laps remaining and called Sato into the pits for fuel and new tires, hoping that a late race caution would then go their way.
  • Sadly, that was not the case and the DCR driver had to return to pit lane on Lap 193 for fuel, one lap before the desired yellow came out.
  • Sato would end up crossing the finish line in 25th place.

Takuma Sato #51 Nurtec ODT Honda – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR
“It was a very challenging race for us. We knew we had a car that was quite quick and reliable, and we had the opportunity to run hard, but it was tough. We ran as high as sixth, but we fell back to P12 later in the race. At that point it was almost impossible to come back with the low downforce. We did try hard, and the team did a fantastic job all month. We wanted to compete at the highest level, and we were there. We had the speed, I just wish we had a little bit more luck. Huge congratulations to Marcus Ericsson who won his first 500.”