INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — David Malukas became the third Indy Lights driver promoted to IndyCar when Dale Coyne Racing hired the 20-year-old for next season on Wednesday.
Malukas will drive the No. 18 for Coyne in a partnership with HMD Motorsports, the Indy Lights team owned by Malukas' father.
Malukas won seven races last season and finished second in the Lights standings behind champion Kyle Kirkwood, who landed an IndyCar ride with A.J. Foyt Racing while Lights driver Devlin DeFrancesco was promoted to IndyCar by Andretti Autosport.
Malukas is the youngest of the three set to debut next season in the big leagues. He's from outside of Chicago, about 10 miles from the Dale Coyne Racing shop.
“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," Malukas said. “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.”
Malukas is a Road to Indy graduate and also competed in 2020 in the Formula Regional Americas Championship, where he won two races.
“I’ve been following David in Indy Lights and I was very pleased by what I saw," 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.”
Malukas replaces Ed Jones, who drove one season with the team. He will be teammates with two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato, who signed with Coyne earlier this month.
Coyne last week split with Vasser Sullivan Racing, his partners on the No. 18 car. Vasser Sullivan Racing is looking to start its own IndyCar team.
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