Race Weekend Essentials: Gateway star, IndyCar driver David Malukas

If he’s not racing, he’s gaming, goofing and killing his social game. David Malukas is one of the coolest drivers in the IndyCar paddock.

The second-youngest driver in the series is prepared to visit the home of his best series result, last year at Gateway, this weekend, where he’ll look to go one better than the second he managed on the short oval in 2022.

It’s been a rollercoaster year for the sophomore where the results haven’t been what he wanted, but he’s still in strong contention to make a big step up next year as he’s linked with a move to Andretti, among others interested.

And when he does win a race, he can upgrade his self-appointed nickname from Little Dave to Big Dave. That’s the deal he’s struck with himself.

With Gateway and silly season news coming up, Podium Life thought it was time to get to know Little Dave better with one of our trademark Race Weekend Essentials features.

Are you superstitious and do you carry anything for that?

Yes, you always have to get in a certain way. That’s been something since go-karting days, on the left side, always, no matter what.

From a weekend standpoint, let’s say I had a really good day Friday, I would have to repeat the exact same morning routine on Saturday and Sunday from when I got out of bed, did I brush my teeth first, or did I make the bed first, like everything had to be the exactly the same, the exact same food, exact same meal. 

But things that I carry? There’s actually, a veteran gave me a coin at last year’s 500 and ever since then, I’ve always had it in my racing suit pocket.

What brands are you working with for all your racing stuff?

HRX makes my suit. They’re my main go-to, and they’re going through me, and I absolutely love HRX. 

I think they’re the best suits and they just poop out suits. They make it like, overnight. You ask for a suit, next day, it’s there. I don’t know how, I just feel like it’s sitting there in a cloning machine just ready to go and the sizing is always perfect.

The shoes, I’ve always worn Sabelt shoes and it’s just something that I just really like the feeling of those, gloves are Sabelt, too

Helmet is from Bell. I’ve always wore Bell since I was 7-years-old, first put my helmet on, it was always Bell. 

Back then of course, the helmet didn’t fit me because my dad gave me like three sizes too big because he said I’ll grow into it! 

But yeah, I’ve loved Bell ever since. And Razor Image is the guy that I work with for all the helmet paintings and it’s always been that kind of a very similar design. It’s just progressed throughout the years.

You obviously travel a lot with the series, so what’s in your bag for travelling?

I have two glasses. The ones that I’m wearing, it’s a really small prescription that I have it’s like .25, which isn’t really necessary. But since I was getting the glasses I was like, might as well just put the prescription in. 

But it’s more of like an anti glare kind of like blue light reduction glasses because I’m always in front of computers. And I know the science behind these glasses is still kind of questionable, but I mean any sort of help for me, I’ll take it. 

And then I also have these glasses that I’ve been carrying with me, the LV (pictured above) ones that I got from somebody at the 500. 

He was drunk and he gave them to me and he said I deserved them. I didn’t believe him but I checked the serial number and it all checked out. So I think these are real!

From a tech standpoint, there’s a lot that I carry. So I have a ROG Ally (Asus). It’s kind of like a Steam deck in a way, it’s like a little Gameboy that’s on the go and it just runs Windows so you can fully play whatever you want. 

I really like to play FIFA, that’s kind of like my big thing, I’m really into football. 

I have the new Samsung S9 Ultra tablet. It’s a 14.6 inch, just a piece of paper that is just an incredible screen. Incredible for watching movies.

Then I have just a normal Mac laptop to do notes for when I’m debriefing with the engineers and stuff. I like to just do everything online. It’s easier cloud-based, all that stuff. 

Headphone-wise I have just recently switched to the Apple AirPods Max. I really like those. The quality’s pretty good, not really on the base-y side of things, but they’re much more like a balanced audio and they just look really stylish. 

And then I also have the Beats earbuds that have a little hook. That one I really like just if I’m doing exercise or something just because I can’t wear those big ones.  

Any recovery products like supplements?

The only two things I really use consistently, I really like Creatine, I think it’s one of the most heavily researched supplements ever and it doesn’t seem like there’s any sort of downsides to it. And there’s a lot of cognitive increases that it does. 

At the end of the day, it makes your muscles hold a little bit more water weight, so you look a little bit bigger. I’ll take that, try to catch up with Josef [Newgarden]! 

And then I take any sort of electrolytes. So right now I’m just taking liquid IV that I can find in the stores. It’s normally found everywhere. It’s pretty good. I really like it, it definitely works. 

But the one thing is it has quite a bit of magnesium in it and it does make my stomach do some jumping jacks during a race. 

So that isn’t great, but it’s slowly been getting better, but I couldn’t find anything else that I like more than that one.

Any fashion brands you have to have with you?

Yeah, so since I got these LV glasses that the guy’s given me, because I never was really into designer, but since I’ve been wearing them, obviously got a lot of compliments and people were just saying it works. 

So since then, LV has kind of been my first introduction to designer brands. 

I’ve gotten the LV shoes as well, which I’ve been loving. But I’m not the type of person that buys something like that and just puts them on a shelf. 

I mean, I’ve been wearing the crap out of them like, every single day, getting them dirty and stuff that’s how I feel like things should be. 

From a clothing side of things, if it’s not from race gear, and just every day, it’s just on the Abercrombie side, that’s my go-to clothing brand.

We know you’re a big gamer, what’s your tech set-up?

Malukas sent us a picture of his home set-up

I have a two-screen thing going. I have you [on one screen] and then I have a vertical monitor to the side. I tried to get two of the same monitor for OCD reasons, but they’re both Asus.

This is my favorite setup. Normally I’ll be gaming or playing or watching videos here and I have Discord and Reddit or my Spotify, just two windows that can be split there. 

I have this Razor microphone that I’ve recently bought with an arm stand, it’s worked really well when I do podcasts, I can sound really good, but I normally just use it so I can be in HD clarity when I’m talking bad on people when I’m playing games!

And then my prized gem. I have this, which is my Glorious keyboard. It’s fully custom. I have custom keys, Holy Panda switches. This thing was so expensive, probably one of the most expensive things I’ve done, and it’s super heavy. It’s from an aluminum chassis, and I don’t know if you can hear it, it sounds incredible [types enthusiastically].

I also have this really intense Xbox controller, it’s a special version. Cool display, so anytime you plug it in, it shows a little animation so I’ve created my own that shows my logo and everything. 

But the main reason behind it has these little back buttons so when you’re playing you actually have more buttons on the back. 

So I’m a big nerd. 

It also has different switches, so the triggers are adjustable, you can make them shorter if you’re playing a shooter there’s no delay. 

Oh my PC, oh man my PC. It weighs like 90 pounds and it’s massive. It’s fully liquid cooled, RGB, everything, two GPUs. It’s top of the line stuff. That’s Digital Storm

Images courtesy of Penske Entertainment, IndyCar