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IndyCar Portland

Malukas stands firm over McLaughlin IndyCar podium hostility

David Malukas remains firm on his view of last weekend’s IndyCar Series clash with Scott McLaughlin that led to a post-race confrontation at St Louis.

David Malukas, Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Honda

The two drivers came together in Turn 4 with 47 laps to go, with the 21-year-old Chicago-born Dale Coyne Racing driver going on to stand on the podium while Team Penske’s McLaughlin eventually fell down to fifth.

Following that, McLaughlin confronted Malukas on the podium and then confirmed there was “beef” on social media.

Fittingly, the pair came into the media bullpen at the same time ahead of this weekend’s round at Portland. When asked about the budding rivalry, McLaughlin simply stated: “I’m not going to talk about it.”

But Malukas shared his stance on the incident with the New Zealander, while recalling the run of events.

“He came up to me at the podium and I guess he said something that was pretty rude, but I didn't hear it,” said Malukas. “I thought he called me a 'Beast' but I guess that wasn't what he said.

“So I said, 'Oh, thanks.' But [another media member] ended up telling me what he actually said. It was pretty aggressive, actually. And he unfollowed me on everything. I think he was pretty upset with me.

“But from my end, I looked at the racing incident and I 100% know that I did absolutely nothing wrong. It's like the famous quote that says, 'If you no longer go for a gap that exists, you're no longer a racing driver.'

“The move was good, and it was clear and he came down on me and had a nudge. That's what was expected.

“From my end, I don't have any beef with him because for me it's just hardcore racing. But it seems that you race with him, and he gets upset, and that's just the way that I saw it. I didn't see that I did anything wrong.

“I raced him fair and now he's upset about it. He can be upset, it's fine. I guess in my book, it's kind of a victory that I got Scott McLaughlin, who's 30 years old and he's got a 21-year-old stuck in his head.”

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.,Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, David Malukas, Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Honda celebrate on the podium with champagne

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.,Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, David Malukas, Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Honda celebrate on the podium with champagne

Photo by: Josh Tons / Motorsport Images

Additionally, Malukas says he has no plans to race McLaughlin differently in the two remaining rounds of the 2023 season.

“Any time I'm on track, I'm racing,” Malukas said. “You know, it's a racetrack. It's everybody for themselves.

“I obviously haven't been like an asshole trying to turn into him or anything, but I don't know. I don't know what he expects. I don't know if he's going to turn his car into a weapon and try to run me off track and trying to create chaos. That would be pretty immature of him.

“From my end, I'm just not going to change anything.”

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