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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

IndyCar 2023 season assessment: Dale Coyne Racing

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#18 – David Malukas, seventeenth in championship standings (265 factors) – 17 races

  • 0 wins, 1 podium, 2 high fives, 6 high 10s, 0 poles, 2 Quick Six Appearances
  • Finest End: third (Gateway)
  • Finest Begin: third (Iowa – Race 2)

#51 – Sting Ray Robb, twenty third in championship standings (147 factors) – 17 races

  • 0 wins, 0 podiums, 0 high fives, 0 high 10s, 0 poles, 0 Quick Six Appearances
  • Finest End: twelfth (Laguna Seca)
  • Finest Begin: sixteenth (St. Petersburg)

Joey Barnes: One of many key parts that was semi-new to the workforce was Alex Athanasiadis going from a efficiency engineer for Malukas in 2022 to his race engineer this previous season. It allowed for some continuity for the younger driver, but in addition offered some areas of battle. That stated, given the sources of Dale Coyne Racing in comparison with different organizations, it was spectacular to see the standard performances when every thing hit proper on a race weekend.

Malukas got here out of the gate with two high 10s, together with a late cost to fourth at Texas that had you questioning if he may have received it if the warning doesn’t come out for a spinning Romain Grosjean with two laps to go. Six consecutive finishes of nineteenth or worse after confirmed simply how rapidly you might be humbled within the IndyCar Sequence, however 4 high 10s within the remaining 9 rounds helped put a Positive mark on a troublesome season.

Practically 120 factors behind Malukas within the total standings was rookie team-mate Sting Ray Robb, who failed to gather a high 10 however did shut out the 12 months with a twelfth within the chaotic and lowly season finale at Laguna Seca.

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Understanding how restricted the sources are, there wasn’t a heavy quantity of expectation for high 10s within the #51 entry partnered by Rick Ware Racing (the #18 was partnered by HMD) for anybody, not to mention a rookie. So, with that, Robb carried out about as anticipated. If there was one key space that I felt he actually struggled with, it was discovering the tempo in qualifying to try to be among the many high 20. Will probably be intriguing to see what Robb feels he’ll be capable to accomplish at Foyt, however I’m equally invested in seeing Malukas at Arrow McLaren in addition to who Coyne chooses to fill his two vehicles for 2024.

Picture by: Josh Tons / Motorsport Images

Sting Ray Robb, Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda

Nick Degroot: Malukas did a wonderful job in showcasing Dale Coyne Racing’s potential in a number of races over the course of the 2023 season. On the ovals particularly, Malukas managed to carry that automobile to the entrance of the sphere and even rating a podium at Gateway. It was no fluke, as he additionally confirmed pace at Texas and Iowa.

Though ovals look like the place Coyne is at its strongest, Malukas additionally impressed on varied road and street programs. Efficiency-wise, Coyne appeared to be much like the place they have been at in 2022, maybe even a step behind with Sting Ray Robb failing to attain a single top-10.

However this historically midfield workforce has at all times had an inclination to seize lightning in a bottle and will by no means be underestimated. They’re a steppingstone for a lot of drivers and a spot the place new expertise typically reveals what they’re able to earlier than transferring on to different alternatives.

Nevertheless, with that being stated, what Coyne wants greater than something is a powerful, steady driver line-up. The vehicles can compete, however solely with the precise driver behind the wheel. Sadly, it is December and there is nonetheless no official phrase on who will drive for Coyne in 2024. Malukas has moved on to McLaren, and Robb will be part of Foyt.

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