Portland Indy Lights: Malukas in seventh heaven

David Malukas’s HMD Motorsports entry scored a dominant win at Portland, while prime title rival Andretti Autosport’s Kyle Kirkwood performed damage control, climbing from fifth to second.

Portland Indy Lights: Malukas in seventh heaven

When the three leading Global Racing Group/HMD Motorsports cars and fifth-place starter Kyle Kirkwood of Andretti Autosport blew through the chicane on Lap 1, the race went under yellow, and a restart was called.

This time there were no errors. Polesitter David Malukas fended off teammate Linus Lundqvist, with Benjamin Pedersen, HMD’s new arrival Manuel Sulaiman holding down third and fourth.

Kirkwood tucked into fifth ahead of his Andretti teammates Robert Megennis and Danial Frost, with Rasmus Lindh and Sting Ray Robb in eighth and ninth for Juncos Hollinger.

At the start of Lap 7, Kirkwood drafted past Sulaiman for fourth, and then pounced when Pedersen appeared to miss a gear exiting Turn 2.

He was now within a second of Lundquist who next time by had to take the defensive inside line into Turn 1 to stave off the charging Andretti driver. However, their battling had allowed Malukas to pull a three-second advantage up front.

On Lap 11, Indy Lights debutant Sulaiman ran wide at Turn 7, relinquishing sixth to Frost, while more significantly Kirkwood on Lap 14 outbraked Lundqvist for second. Still, Malukas appeared serene out front, 5.5sec clear. That remained the gap past the halfway point of this 30sec race.

On Lap 21, Frost made an error while trying to pass Megennis, and both Sulaiman and fellow Indy Lights debutant Lindh were able to pounce and move up to sixth and seventh respectively.

Over the remaining laps Kirkwood did all he could to close the 5.5sec gap to Malukas, pulling three seconds on Lundqvist, but no one was going to deny Malukas his seventh win of the year to extend his points advantage to 10 points.

Sulaiman and Lindh finished their debuts in sixth and seventh respectively.

P Name Laps Diff Led ST Status Team Points
1 David Malukas 30 LAP 30 29 1 Active HMD Motorsports 403
2 Kyle Kirkwood 30 5.4196   5 Active Andretti Autosport 393
3 Linus Lundqvist 30 8.3935   2 Active Global Racing Group w/HMD Motorsports 334
4 Benjamin Pedersen 30 11.0290 1 3 Active Global Racing Group w/HMD Motorsports 264
5 Robert Megennis 30 13.6595   6 Active Andretti Autosport 242
6 Manuel Sulaiman 30 15.9498   4 Active HMD Motorsports 15
7 Rasmus Lindh 30 17.4796   9 Active Juncos Hollinger Racing 14
8 Danial Frost 30 18.1948   7 Active Andretti Autosport 257
9 Sting Ray Robb 30 19.3916   10 Active Juncos Hollinger Racing 181
10 Christian Bogle 30 36.1660   11 Active Carlin 174
11 Devlin DeFrancesco 26 4 LAPS   8 Active Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport 255
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