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Malukas reaching ‘max potential’ already with Meyer Shank

At the rate he’s going, Arrow McLaren would be wise to ask David Malukas if he’d be willing to come back and drive.

On his NTT IndyCar Series return two weeks ago at Laguna Seca with Meyer Shank Racing — the Illinois native who injured himself in the preseason, got cut in April after missing the opening four events for McLaren and was picked up in June by MSR — qualified the No. 66 Honda inside the Firestone Fast 12, despite the lingering issues with his left wrist.

He’d race inside the top 10 and was on pace for a top-10 finish at Laguna until a late puncture dropped him back to 16th. Saturday’s work at Mid-Ohio was yet another revelation for Malukas as the 22-year-old rocketed into the Firestone Fast Six, then claimed third, right behind former McLaren teammate Pato O’Ward and polesitter Alex Palou.

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It’s the Lithuanian-American’s best road or street course qualifying performance since his opening campaign in 2022, and with MSR’s technical alliance with Andretti Global, it also made Malukas the quickest driver across the five-car squad that includes MSR’s Felix Rosenqvist and Andretti’s Colton Herta, Marcus Ericsson, and Kyle Kirkwood.

Granted, it’s only qualifying, but Malukas’ arrival has been nothing short of a revelation for MSR during a season change that started with a pole at Long Beach with newcomer Rosenqvist.

“Talk about a turn around,” Malukas said. “This year has been an emotional rollercoaster and just looking back on everything, I’ve been allowed to reach my max potential. At Laguna, there was so much pace there, but with the hand, I had to break it in and get it back to where it needs to be.

“I knew coming into here the guys have done an incredible job prepping the car, and Josh with Honda did an awesome job as well. I knew that the set up was there and the car was there and we just had to put it together. It was a perfect situation for me and I couldn’t be happier.”

Malukas showed he was special at times during his rookie and sophomore seasons with Dale Coyne Racing, and with a new chance to grow at a bigger team like MSR, he’s making the most of the opportunity.

“I feel incredible here, and it’s a big team effort,” he said. “That was very much the team’s job there. They did a really good job. I just turned left and right. That’s all I did.”

Story originally appeared on Racer