Road America Indy Lights: Malukas wins, regains points lead
David Malukas is leading the championship battle again after winning at Road America just a day after a Lap 1 Turn 1 battle sent him to the back of the field.
Danial Frost of Andretti Autosport started from pole for the second successive race but unlike the day before, Malukas moved his HMD Motorsport entry to the inside at Turn 1 on the opening lap and grabbed the lead.
The following lap, Toby Sowery of Juncos and Alex Peroni of Carlin collided at Turn 6 and caused a yellow, but on the restart Malukas was faultless and stretched away from Frost and his teammate Kyle Kirkwood who won on Saturday.
However, a steering problem for Kirkwood ended this battle and sent him to the pits for repairs. He’d rejoin four laps down and set fastest lap, but ultimately only claim 12th.
One of Frost’s other teammates, Robert Megennis, became his new pursuer and on Lap 15, Megennis drew alongside him, the pair battled hard until Megennis got the move completed in the downhill 90deg left-handed Turn 5.
Megennis then pulled away to claim his second runner-up finish of the weekend, while Frost staved off Peroni through to the checkered flag.
Linus Lundqvist in the GMG/HMD car passed Devlin DeFrancesco for fifth so that he and Kirkwood are now tied for second in the points table, eight points behind Malukas.
Said Malukas: “Road America means so much to me. I’ve been here since I was a little kid watching my dad race. It really is my home track so it’s very emotional. I’m usually quite calm but I was so happy on the radio at the checkered flag.
“The start was looking similar to yesterday but Danial wasn’t expecting me to go to the inside this time. After I got the lead, it was just head down and try to stay out of push-to-pass range.”
A gutted Kirkwood said: “We were super fast today, no doubt about that. I think we could’ve won. The steering arm broke, so things we can’t control as a team or a driver.
“It wasn’t from contact or curb usage or anything like that. If anything, I was taking it easier than the previous race. It’s a part of our check-list items to make sure stuff like that doesn’t break, so it was checked prior to the race and everything seemed fine.
“Still, there was a failure. It is what it is, we know we were fast and we’re confident with that. We got a win this weekend and we know we could’ve won [again] if that didn’t happen.”
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