Takuma Sato Finishes Season Best Seventh in GMR Grand Prix
INDIANAPOLIS (Saturday, May 14, 2022) – Takuma Sato and his #51 Nurtec ODT Dale Coyne Racing Honda picked up his best finish of the season on Saturday climbing up to a seventh place in the GMR Grand Prix after falling as far back as 23rd in a wet and wild race.
- With the race starting under wet conditions, Sato was one of the first drivers to switch to the Alternate Firestone tires on the second lap of the race.
- The early pit stop paid off as he then found himself in seventh place once other cars headed to pit lane for dry weather tires.
- From there, Sato made his way up to fourth on a Lap 21 restart.
- He ran in fourth until he entered pit lane on Lap 32 for a fresh set of alternate tires.
- Following his stop, he climbed back up to seventh before going off track to avoid a spinning car on a Lap 42 restart.
- After falling to the back of the field, he managed to make his way back up, all while switching from wet tires to dry tires, to wet tires again.
- With the rain giving him a helping hand, and some on track battles he took the checkered flag in seventh place.
- Today’s result is his sixth top 10 finish on the IMS road course and his best finish this season.
Takuma Sato #51 Nurtec ODT Honda – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR
“That was a wild race. But it was great fun. We went back and forth and moved up as high as fourth, and
that was a legitimate fourth. I think Colton (Herta) the two McLarens and myself were leaving the group behind. I think it looked pretty cool at the time but then on a later restart one car spun and to avoid it I went into the wet grass on dry tires and that was the end of the story as I spun. I felt really bad for the boys and basically went to the back of the field. Then, the rain helped me in the end. We unlapped ourselves and we put our head down and got the job done, finishing P7. It was such a dramatic race. The #51 Nurtec crew did a fantastic job to help me get me back up the field and I was able to push really hard battling side by side with very good drivers. There was some good overtaking. It’s a shame we had that moment but other than that it has given us great momentum to carry into the Indy 500.”
Malukas Claims Best Road Course Finish of the season at GMR Grand Prix
INDIANAPOLIS (Saturday, May 14, 2022) – Rookie David Malukas (#18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports) experienced his first wet race in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES on Saturday while also scoring his best finish on a road course with a 12th place at the GMR Grand Prix.
- Malukas entered pit lane on Lap 4 to switch from wet tires to the Firestone Alternate tire.
- Following his first stop and with the track drying up, the rookie made some passes and went from 23rd to 15th by Lap 31.
- He was sitting seventh when he entered pit lane on Lap 34 for another set of dry tires.
- With rain picking up the HMD engineering crew made the call on Lap 42 to switch to wet tires but the gamble didn’t pay off when the rain tapered off.
- However, Malukas would return to wet tires on Lap 61 with rain picking up once again.
- The driver of the #18 HMD Honda exited pit lane in 18th but would climb his way up to 12th to take the checkered flag.
- In five NTT INDYCAR SERIES starts this season, Malukas has a best finish of 11th at Texas, and a best starting position of 18th (Long Beach and Barber Motorsports Park).
- His result at the GMR Grand Prix today is his best finish on a road or street course this season.
David Malukas, #18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports Honda
“Wow, what a race! I don’t even know what to say. It was a massive race of survival. I knew it was going to be that, but I still wasn’t expecting it to be that much. Thankfully we survived without any incidents. Everything went quite smoothly for us, for how chaotic the whole race was. It was wet at the start, but once it dried up we were very competitive on the dry tires and I made moves left and right and moved up some positions. But those last couple of laps with the heavier rain, we were hydroplaning going out of Turn 11 and they were still waving it green, I couldn’t believe it. It’s an incredible feeling going into Turn 1 at 180 miles per hour without really seeing much you still have to go flat. Not only did we end up surviving but we also finished with a good position.”
Race 6 of 17
Sunday, May 29, 2022
Track length: 2.5 mile Superspeedway
Race Distance: 200 laps