David Malukas Wins First Florida Winter Tour Championship
With all the national kart races David Malukas has won over the past several years, it’s hard to believe the Chicago-area driver had never won a national-level points championship.
Malukas had a big month of March with the closing weekends of the Florida Winter Tour Formula Kart and Rotax MAX Challenge series at Orlando Kart Center.
The 12-year-old racer, who is in the midst of his first full season competing in the full-size chassis Junior ranks, entered the Formula Kart season closer at Orlando March 14-16 leading the TaG Junior point standings over Top Kart USA teammate Zach Holden.
While Malukas held the lead over Holden, his teammate was still within striking distance with two full days of racing remaining. In order to secure his first championship, David would need to have solid runs and keep Holden in his sights throughout the weekend.
Holden would get the jump on Malukas Saturday, scoring the win in the 18-lap TaG Junior final over Nicholas Bruekner and closing the gap in the points chase. Malukas soldiered to a seventh-place finish, a top-10 run albeit certainly not where he wanted to be at the checkered flag.
David rebounded nicely on Sunday to finish a strong second to Christian Munoz in the TaG Junior season finale. Holden would finish fifth, and Malukas scored the points championship by a 74-point advantage over the Indiana driver.
“I’m very satisfied to win the Florida Winter Tour TaG Junior championship,” David commented. “We’ve never thought too much about points; we’ve always focused on winning racing and getting faster. But we went into the last FK weekend knowing the championship was on the line, and I didn’t really change anything in my strategy, but winning the championship was definitely my goal for the weekend. We just tried to run as fast as we could and ended up second on Sunday and that was good enough.”
Malukas returned to Orlando the following weekend – March 21-23 – for the closing round of the ultra-competitive FWT Rotax MAX Challenge. While David did not have a shot at the Rotax Junior Winter Tour championship, which was won by Pedro Cardoso, the talented Junior rookie wheeled his Top Kart to a couple of fine top-five finishes in fields that started nearly 40 karts.
Malukas drove methodical 20-lap features in Saturday and Sunday’s Rotax Junior contests. The Top Kart racer took home a solid fifth-place finish Saturday and backed it up with a third-place result in Sunday’s season closer.
The pair of top-five finishes was good enough to place Malukas in a tie with Gianfranco Mazzaferro for fifth in the final Rotax Junior standings. More than 50 Junior MAX drivers from around the world netted points over the six-race tour of the SunshineState.
“I want to say thanks to everyone who helped us have a successful Winter Tour season,” David said. “Of course my dad and HMD Trucking, our tuner Wes (Phillips) and the entire team at Top Kart USA. We were really proud to race the Top Kart competitively against all these other chassis and good drivers.”
With the Winter Tour now complete the HMD Trucking team will turn its attention to the WKA Manufacturers Cup Series’ Zoom Zoom Nationals at CarolinaMotorsportsPark in Kershaw, S.C.
This weekend – April 4-6 – Malukas will compete in the second round of the WKA Man Cup and looking for his first win of the season in the Parilla (TaG) Junior and Yamaha Junior divisions.
David Malukas is an 12-year-old national sprint go-kart racer from Chicago, Illinois. Malukas is a multi-time feature winner in Junior divisions in national World Karting Association Manufacturers Cup competition, WKA Great Lakes and Route 66 sprint regional series.
Malukas is the 2013 MAXSpeed Rotax Mini MAX Invitational champion at NOLAMotorsportsPark and the 2014 Florida Winter Tour Formula Kart TaG Junior champion.
Malukas rides No. 79 Top Karts for Top Kart USA and is proud to be sponsored by HMD Trucking. For more information, visit DavidMalukas.com