Malukas Qualifies Seventh for Season Finale
Salinas, CA (Saturday, September 10, 2022) – Dale Coyne Racing drivers David Malukas (#18 HMD Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports) and Takuma Sato (#51 Nurtec ODT – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR) qualified seventh and 22nd respectively for Sunday’s season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Details for both drivers are below.
Salinas, CA (Saturday, September 10, 2022) – Rookie David Malukas (#18 HMD Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports) qualified seventh for Sunday’s season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca by making a seventh trip to the second round of qualifying on Saturday.
Round 1 (Group 1): 1st
Best Lap: 1:11.7507
Round 2: 7th
Best Lap: 1:11.6295
- Malukas was the fastest of the Group 1 drivers thanks to a lap of 1:11.7507 registered on his final lap of the 10-minute session.
- Segment 1 / Group 1 was hindered by a red flag about halfway through the session, so all cars had the opportunity to make only one timed lap as a final attempt at improving their position.
- The rookie was sitting fifth in his group just before crossing the timing line and jumped up to first while taking the checkered flag.
- In Round 2, Malukas came close to making another trip to the Firestone Fast 6 but fell just 0.008 seconds from sixth place and had to settle with seventh on the starting grid.
- Malukas enters the last race only five points behind Christan Lundgaard who starts 16th in the Rookie of the Year battle.
- Malukas is making his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES start at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca but he has competed at the track in Indy Lights in 2019 and 2021 picking up a best finish of second.
- 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 once again made it to the Fast 12 and we were so close to making it to the Firestone Fast 6. Unfortunately, with the local yellows I ended up only with one fast lap on the alternate tires. That lap was on the conservative side. I wanted to make sure we got at least one lap in because this track punishes you if you go just a little over the speed limit. If you hit the dust your lap is done. I wanted to make sure we weren’t just P12, I wanted to be up there. It hurts though because I missed it by only 8 thousandths of a second from the Fast 6. Looking back there were some places I could have pushed a bit more to find a few tenths. All in all, it was very, very tight. I think it was a good session for us especially from where we finished in the practices. I think it’s a good result heading into the race.”
Sato Closes Out Season with 11th Row Start at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
Salinas, CA (Saturday, September 10, 2022) – Takuma Sato (#51 Nurtec ODT- Dale Coyne Racing with RWR) once again came close to making it to the second round of qualifying on Saturday but fell short by a few tenths of a second and had to settle with a 22nd place on the starting grid for tomorrow’s Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey.
Round 1 (group 2): 11th
Best Lap: 1:12.4489
- Sato went out in Group 2 in the first round of qualifying.
- He recorded his best time on his sixth and final lap around the 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course with a lap of 1:12.4489.
- His fastest lap placed him 11th in his group, just three and a half tenths of a second from making it to the second round.
- Sato will be making his third start at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
- In 16 races this season, Sato has a best finish of fifth (World Wide Technology Raceway) and a best starting position of second on the streets of Detroit this year.
- Has six INDYCAR SERIES wins (2013 – Long Beach; 2017 – Indy 500; 2018 – Portland; 2019 – Barber, Gateway: 2020 – Indy 500)
- 10 poles (2011 – Iowa, Edmonton; 2013 – Houston Race 1; 2014 – St. Pete, Detroit Race 2; 2017 – Detroit Race 2, Pocono; 2019 – Barber, Texas; 2020 St. Louis Race 2)
Takuma Sato #51 Nurtec ODT Honda – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR
“Unfortunately, we had a very frustrating qualifying session because through the practice sessions we were moving forward, and it looked good going into qualifying, but we had an issue with tire management and it didn’t go as we wished. There was traffic as well, it’s not an excuse because everyone deals with it, it’s just one of those unfortunate things. The field is so close that we were just a few tenths from moving to the next round. We’ll have to fight back again tomorrow from the back of the grid but I’m confident we’ll have a good car for the race.”
Race 17 of 17
September 11, 2022, 2:40pm ET on NBC