July 13, 2012 - David Malukas is quickly becoming one of the top Jr Sportsman racers in the World Karting Association. After notching his first WKA Manufacturers Cup feature victory May 6 at Pittsburgh Int'l Race Complex, Malukas returned to WKA action this past weekend at Michiana Raceway Park, where he won two of the five ultra-competitive Jr Sportsman categories at the event his team sponsors, the Motorama Kart Parts (MKP) Nationals.
Malukas's two victories have him in contention for multiple WKA national championships in his third season on the Manufacturers Cup circuit.
The 10-year-old HMD Trucking / MKP Birel racer kicked off the weekend with the Pole Award in Cadet Final 1. After a second-place finish to Zach Holden in the pre-final, Malukas battled hard with Holden, Leonardo Stoia and others to score his second Cadet final win of the season.
David entered the final lap in second behind Holden. While Zach and David raced wheel to wheel for the lead, Stoia found his way past both youngsters. But David wasn't to be denied and he regained the lead from Stoia with an inside pass on the Ohio driver in turn nine.
"Saturday's Cadet was such an exciting race!" David reflected. "After winning at Pittsburgh, I really wanted to win at our home track. Zach and Leo were really strong and I didn't know if we could get by them at the end. I want to thank Zach and Leo for a great race. It was really fun out there and they're both a lot of fun to race against."
About an hour after the show-stopping Cadet main David was back on track for Yamaha Sportsman 1. A sixth-place qualifying effort and third-place run in the pre-final put the young shoe on the inside of the second row for the main event.
Malukas ran second to Brandon Lemke in the opening laps before taking the lead away on lap three. The Chicago native would never relinquish the top position, leading the rest of the way with Stoia in tow. The pair crossed the stripe one-two and Malukas had his second win in two races and his third of the WKA season.
"I knew Leo was there and I kept waiting for him to make a move, but our MKP Birel had enough speed to keep him back. Leo is such a good racer that I thought for sure he'd have something for us. I just focused on hitting my marks and staying smooth. Our kart worked really well in the hot temperatures. Jason (Birdsell) had it set up perfect," David commented after his second win.
The talented youngster nearly scored the hat trick in the day's third Jr Sportsman main, Komet Sportsman.
Malukas fell behind to Lemke and Stoia early in the 16-lap affair and worked throughout the entire race to catch the leaders. After wheeling his No. 79 Birel for all it was worth, Malukas finally caught the leaders with one lap to go. He promptly found a way past Stoia and set his sights on Lemke. With only a handful of corners left, David peeked to the inside on the leader but didn't force the issue and settled for a solid runner-up result, ending the day with two wins and a second.
Sunday's action saw David net another top-five result with a fourth-place run in Yamaha Sportsman 2.
Malukas never got it going in the Cadet Final 2 program. He qualified third but his Comet K-80 engine stalled out on the parade lap of the pre-final, which forced him to watch the event from the infield. The final didn't go much better; after passing some 15 karts in six laps and making his way to 13th, Malukas was involved in another incident that took him out of the action. He was credited with 21st and will most likely have to use the race as a "drop" in the national championship standings.
Malukas ended the weekend with two wins and four top-five results in five events. His 5.8 finishing average was his best of the year in WKA Man Cup action.
"I'm very thankful to everyone who helped make our great weekend happen," David said Sunday evening. "My dad, HMD Trucking, my tuner Jason (Birdsell) and my coach Wes (Phillips), Doug (Fleming, engine builder) and the entire MKP team. I also want to thank my mom, sisters and family for coming to the track and cheering me on this weekend."
Malukas's terrific weekend at South Bend has him in position to challenge for his first national championship, and possibly win multiple titles. Two races remain on the 2012 Manufacturers Cup circuit, the first coming Aug. 3-5 at Concept Haulers Motor Speedway in Norway, Illinois.
The season will conclude Sept. 14-16 at New Castle Motorsports Park in New Castle, Indiana.
Next up for David is a WKA Great Lakes Sprint Series event July 20-22 at Concept Haulers.
David Malukas is a 10-year-old national sprint go-kart racer from Chicago, Illinois. Malukas is a feature winner and multi-time top-five finisher in Jr Sportsman divisions in national World Karting Association competition and a feature winner in WKA Great Lakes and Route 66 sprint regional series. Malukas rides No. 79 MKP Birels.
For more information on David, visit DavidMalukas.com.