Malukas set to depart Dale Coyne Racing at the end of the season

Malukas set to depart Dale Coyne Racing at the end of the season
Malukas set to depart Dale Coyne Racing at the end of the season

IndyCar sophomore David Malukas will be moving on from Dale Coyne Racing at the end of the season.

The Chicago native, who pilots the family-sponsored No. 18 DCR with HMD Motorsports Honda, signed a two-year contract with the home state team in 2022 and quickly demonstrated his aptitude across the series’ road, street, and oval disciplines during his rookie campaign.

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Entering 2023 with a new, first-time IndyCar race engineer in Alex Athanasiadis, Malukas has weathered the inevitable growing pains while taking more steps forward in his career, which includes a strong run to sixth last weekend at Mid-Ohio.

Having reached a point where Malukas is drawing interest from the likes of Andretti Autosport, among other teams, the 21-year-old is ready to pursue race wins and championships with a front-running program.

“We’re talking to other teams, and we haven’t officially signed anything with anybody else, but things do look promising,” Malukas told RACER. “And I do know for my future, I will not be returning to Dale Coyne.”

The irreverent Lithuanian-American credits Coyne, team manager Terry Brown, the engineers, and the mechanics for all they’ve done to help him develop at a rapid rate and seek his first paying ride in IndyCar.

“There’s many reasons why we chose Dale’s team,” Malukas said. “Obviously, you get to IndyCar and it’s a big deal; my whole life was spent leading up to that point. You want to be in the best environment as a rookie, and I think Dale Coyne’s team is probably the best team you could be in.

“Going to the shop and being there and hanging out with the team has been really important. Everybody greets you like you’re family and they all make it where there’s no stress. You’re already under a lot of stress naturally while you’re trying to learn everything to become an IndyCar driver, so the environment they create is just helpful for you to be inside of.”

Few of the dominoes in what will be a busy IndyCar silly season have yet to fall, but Malukas hopes to have a final direction on where he’ll be driving by August.

“We’re still in early-to-mid talks with these teams,” he said. “But I hope to have answers in another month or so.”


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