May 9, 2012 (CHICAGO) – Ten-year-old David Malukas has won races over his young sprint karting career but until this past weekend, the MKP Birel pilot had never won a WKA Manufacturers Cup main event.
That statistic changed Sunday morning at round three of the 2012 Man Cup at Pittsburgh Int’l Race Complex when Malukas wheeled his No. 79 to the win in a hotly contested Cadet Sportsman 13-lap feature.
Malukas crossed the stripe just ahead of Theo Chick and Brandon Lemke for the big win; a lead pack of no fewer than seven karts chased David to the finish in one of the most exciting races of the weekend.
Malukas qualified ninth of 33 entrants in the Cadet final. After qualifying, the Jason Birdsell-led MKP-backed team went to work on the 79 in search of speed. They found some in the prefinal when David raced to a fourth-place finish to start on row two for the final. He quickly shot to the lead and fended off challenges from Nick Luedeke until a red flag waved just past halfway.
Once the race restarted, Malukas lost the lead to Luedeke for a short time before regaining it. Malukas protected the bottom groove throughout the final circuit, not letting a host of hungry youngsters past to score his first win of the year.
The team continued to work hard throughout the Cadet Final 2 program and possessed a never-give-up approach.
A happy David spoke after his triumph.
“I tried to hit my marks in every corner on every lap. I knew they were there and I just didn’t want to make it easy for them on the last laps. I’m so excited to get my first WKA win! I have to thank my dad, my tuner Jason Birdsell, my coach Wes Phillips, engine builder Doug Fleming and the entire MKP team. They are the best!” Malukas proclaimed.
David nearly made it two-for-two on Sunday. A fine run in Yamaha Sportsman 2 saw the Chicago racer lead most of the event before Zach Holden found a way by on the final lap to relegate David to a second-place finish.
“I wish I could have that last lap back!” David said. “We almost won two races on the same day after never winning in WKA before. Zach did a great job and we are still very happy to finish second.”
Three Saturday races featured finishes of third in Cadet Final 1, fifth in Komet Sportsman and eighth in Yamaha Sportsman 1, meaning David ended the weekend with four top-five results and never finished outside of the top 10 in five starts.
After a difficult start to the WKA season at Daytona that included only one top-five finish, Malukas continues to improve. Round two at Kershaw saw the talented youngster claim a pair of top fives before scoring his first win at Pittsburgh and finishing on the podium in four out of five races.
Next up for the Malukas team a May 18-20 WKA Great Lakes Sprint Series event at G&J Kartway in Camden, Ohio. Malukas’ next WKA Man Cup is July 6-8 at the track where he began his karting career, South Bend, Indiana’s Michiana Raceway Park.
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 Malukas, visit DavidMalukas.com.