malukas ‘flipped a switch’ on performance midway through rookie year

David Malukas is still riding the high from his thrilling second-place finish at Gateway a couple weeks ago, and is prepared to carry that momentum through the end of the season.

Malukas’ rookie season in IndyCar did not start out so well, as the Chicago-based driver crashed out of his first race on the streets of St. Petersburg.

He struggled to stay in the top half of the field for the first portion of the year, but has now logged three top 10s in the back half of the season as he finds his rhythm in the top-level series.

At 20 years old, and IndyCar’s youngest driver, Malukas feels that the Indy 500 was the moment he began to be able to extract more performance out of his car and properly fight against the more experienced drivers on the grid.

“I feel like ever since the month of May came around, I feel like that’s when we kind of flipped a switch, starting getting a lot better with the car, strategy, the racing, continued to go forward,” said Malukas.

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“After getting a podium, having a really good race there and at Gateway, I think it’s only helped it that much more.  We also had a really good test at Laguna [Seca] on Monday.

“I don’t know.  I feel like this West Coast swing might be good for us.  It’s been so tight.  The field is just so strong.  It’s like we’re going to still have to be at 110% if we want to get anything done.”

Malukas’ strong results in recent races have brought him nearly even with Christian Lundgaard for the Rookie of the Year battle, a driver he has raced against off and on throughout his career progression.

Both young drivers have been improving throughout the season, however, and the battle between the two for bragging rights will come down to the final race in Laguna Seca.

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