Malukas Fell Back At Laguna Seca

David Malukas (#18 HMD Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports) didn’t have the season finale he was hoping for on Sunday as he crossed the finish line in 13th place at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, but overall the rookie driver showed his worth throughout the season.

Started: 6th
Finished: 13th

Malukas was able to maintain his sixth position at the start of the race and headed to pit lane on Lap 11 for a used set of alternate tires.

Unfortunately, the rookie was struggling with tire degradation, and he had to return to pit lane on Lap 22 for a set of primary Firestone Tires.

The early stop meant that he fell to 20th after exiting pit lane, however, he did cycle back up to 11th before making his third stop on Lap 38.

When the race resumed after a caution period on Lap 43, Malukas was running 16th, from there he battled back up and was running 12th when he entered pit lane for his final stop on Lap 66.

While he ran a strong pace in his final stints, the rookie had to settle with a 13th place finish to end the season.

With today’s result, Malukas ended up second in the Rookie of the Year battle.

Overall, this season, Malukas had a best finish of second at World Wide Technology Raceway and a best starting position of fifth (Toronto). He finished in the top 10 three times and started in the top 10 seven times.

David Malukas, #18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports Honda

“We really struggled today with tire degradation. The car wasn’t really feeling it. Which kind of stinks because in warm up we were really good on both tire compounds. That yellow came out at a bad time for us. So the last two stints we had to go long but I managed to salvage a 13th place finish. All in all, it was a tough race, but overall looking back at the season, for a rookie, it was a good season for us. At the start of the season, I made rookie mistakes, but I learned from them, and we continued to move forward and from the Month of May, connecting with the team we really just took off. The second half of the season was everything more than I could ask for. Thank you to Dale Coyne Racing, HMD Motorsports, everyone did an amazing job. Now onto next year.”

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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