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Malukas joins Meyer Shank Racing for rest of IndyCar season

Written by Archie O’Reilly

David Malukas has signed for Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) for the remainder of the IndyCar season, driving their No.66 Honda starting with the Grand Prix of Monterey at Laguna Seca on 23rd June. He will make his debut with the team in the hybrid test on the Milwaukee Mile oval on 11th June.

The 22-year-old replaces Tom Blomqvist, who has left the team’s IndyCar operation after nine events - three last season and six this year, including the Thermal Club exhibition. Blomqvist remains part of the MSR family as they target a return to the top class of the IMSA SportsCar Championship, where Blomqvist won the championship with the team in 2022.

The decision was taken to bench rookie Blomqvist ahead of last weekend’s Detroit Grand Prix due to fears of missing out on the Leaders’ Circle contract, offering a bonus in the region of $1 million. The entry currently sits outside the top 22 - from 25 eligible cars - needed to achieve Leaders’ Circle status.

Helio Castroneves deputised in Detroit, qualifying 26th before finishing 25th due to an early-race incident, and will continue in the No.66 entry at Road America this weekend.

Malukas was supposed to be driving for Arrow McLaren this year but suffered a dislocated wrist in a mountain biking accident in February. After his recovery from surgery took longer than expected, Arrow McLaren activated a clause to part ways with Malukas after the fourth event of the season at Barber Motorsports Park. 

“This whole process has been extremely difficult on myself and [co-owner] Jim Meyer,” co-owner Mike Shank said. “There were so many things for us to consider as we need to do everything we can to make up ground in the championship and Leader Circle standings. 

“We are pleased to have David join us as he has both experience and potential and we are looking forward to having him join us starting in Milwaukee for the test and then going racing with him at Laguna.”

Malukas’ time with Arrow McLaren was restricted merely to testing and he has not turned a racing lap since the final race of his sophomore season at Laguna Seca last year. He has recorded 16th and 17th-place championship finishes in his two years in IndyCar to date, both coming in the No.18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda.

“I am extremely grateful to Jim Meyer, Mike Shank and the entire Meyer Shank Racing team for the opportunity to finish out the 2024 IndyCar season,” Malukas said. “Despite setbacks earlier this year, I have been diligently focusing on my recovery, putting in the necessary effort and dedication to get back to peak condition. 

“I am ready and excited to be back in the car, aiming to make the most of this chance and deliver strong performances for the team and our supporters. This opportunity means a great deal to me, and I am determined to repay the faith shown in me with my best efforts on the track.”

Malukas graduated to IndyCar after a runner-up finish in Indy Lights in 2021 - a season in which he recorded seven wins and only finished off the podium four times in 20 races. 

Since making the step up in 2022, the highlight of his IndyCar career to date has been back-to-back podiums on the World Wide Technology Raceway oval. He finished second to Josef Newgarden after a late charge in the 2022 race, backing it up with third in 2023.

Malukas is perceived by some as still having more potential to reach after two years at an inconsistent Coyne team. He now enters an outfit that has shown it has a competitive package at its disposal in 2024, bouncing back from a difficult 2023 season to have driver of the No.60 Honda Felix Rosenqvist currently ninth in the championship standings. 

Rosenqvist qualified on pole in Long Beach and the front row in St. Petersburg, achieving a podium in the $1 Million Challenge exhibition and only once finishing outside the top 10 in the opening six championship events due to a mechanical failure in the Indianapolis 500.


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