Dale Coyne Racing announced Dec. 15 it has entered a partnership with HMD Motorsports and has signed 2021 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship runner-up David Malukas to drive its No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports entry for the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season.
Malukas, 20, is a Road to Indy graduate who hails from suburban Chicago, about 10 miles from the Dale Coyne Racing shop in Plainfield, Illinois. He claimed seven wins, seven poles and a series-leading 16 podiums in 20 races en route to finishing second in Indy Lights in 2021.
“I am very happy to join Dale Coyne Racing for my first season in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES,” Malukas said. “It has been my dream since a little kid to get to this point, and I am thrilled to get it started with this team. After my first test with DCR, I felt right at home. They are like family already, and I am excited to see what we can accomplish. Bring on 2022!”
Before his 2021 season in Indy Lights and after the enforced hiatus of the 2020 Indy Lights season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Malukas finished second in the 2020 Formula Regional Americas Championship powered by Honda with two wins, 15 podiums, one pole and top-five finishes in all 17 races. He made his Indy Lights debut in 2019, finishing sixth in the championship with six top-five results.
Earlier in his career, Malukas finished fourth in his rookie Indy Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires championship in 2018 and competed in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship in 2017 after picking up multiple wins as he climbed the karting ranks.
Malukas got his first taste of an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car in October 2021 and topped the time sheets during a driver evaluation day with the team at Barber Motorsports Park.
“I’ve been following David in Indy Lights, and I was very pleased by what I saw,” team owner Dale Coyne said. “He had a remarkable season, and then he impressed everyone when we tested him back in October. It was his first time in an Indy car, and he was the fastest one at the test, even ahead of a veteran driver. And, on top of it all, he comes from right down the road in Chicago, so it’s a perfect fit for us to run David next season.
“We’re also excited about our new partnership with HMD Motorsports. We can’t wait to start building on this relationship, and we’re looking forward to a successful season together.”
HMD Motorsports has competed in the Road to Indy (RTI) since 2017, earning many race wins, podiums, pole positions and track records across all three RTI ladder programs. In 2021, HMD Motorsports turned its focus toward Indy Lights, where it claimed 10 wins, 33 podiums and the team championship title.
“Having the HMD Motorsports name in INDYCAR was a goal that we had set several years ago and is the first step in the overall plan for the future,” HMD Motorsports General Manager Mike Maurini said. “INDYCAR is experiencing major growth, and HMD is able to be involved at the right time for our drivers and partners.
“Tying the successful Indy Lights program, and business, to an INDYCAR effort gives the HMD name a ladder to the upper echelon of open wheel racing in North America. The goal is to continue to win in Indy Lights, expand and grow a commercial side of the business and advance drivers up into the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.”
The 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season starts with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding on Feb. 25-27 at St. Petersburg, Florida.