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2022 IndyCar Season: Takuma Sato Signs with Dale Coyne Racing

The IndyCar driver jump-ship operation continues churning as two-time Indianapolis 500 successor Takuma Sato has arrived at Dale Coyne Racing to conclude his full-time racing schedule under their banner in 2022.

Sato will sit in the #51 car partnered with Rick Ware Racing, the same seat positioned by Romain Grosjean last term. However, Grosjean was made an offer he couldn’t refuse from Andretti Autosport, and Sato has filled his shoes.

Sato has been a gem for Andretti Autosport himself, winning the Indy 500 under their guidance in 2017, and then again, in the 2020 season, where he was victorious under Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Sato has been lucrative for his team and avid sports bettors; the sportsbooks doubted the Japanese underdog on both of his Indy 500 winning seasons.

Despite coming up short in the 2021 Indy 500 due to a shortage of fuel, we cannot ignore the 2020 Indy 500 odds of +1400 on Sato, where $100 bettors walked away $1400 richer – and that’s without crediting those who made use of a Caesars sportsbook bonus.

Sato’s successes on the track and in the sportsbook make him an excellent asset for any racing team, and his recent signing to Dale Coyne Racing has him excited for the future; “I am extremely excited that we were able to work out a deal with Dale, Rick, and every at Dale Coyne Racing,” Sato enthusiastically said to the press.

“With Honda an integral part of Dale Coyne Racing, it seemed like a great fit. The team has proven that they are very competitive on all types of circuits year after year. The speed that the team has shown in recent years at the Indy 500 was awe-inspiring. I am looking forward to working with my new environment and can’t wait to get started.”

During his eleven-year tenure as an IndyCar driver, Sato has accumulated five checkered flag successes during the Indianapolis 500.

“I am excited to have Takuma join the Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Family for 2022,” said DCR co-owner Rick Ware. “Takuma’s experience within motorsports is extensive, not just in the United States but also around the world.

“With Sato’s experience, and vast knowledge of the cars, we are looking forward to stepping up the program and having a successful season, and maybe even add another Indianapolis 500 win to his list of achievements.”

Sato will become the first full-time driver during the off-season confirmed for next season with DCR. This announcement came after Dale Coyne and Vasser-Sullivan Racing parted ways from their co-entry arrangement.

The 44-year-old Japanese racing legend spent the previous four seasons under Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and achieved three wins, including the teams second Indy triumph.

Rumors of the transfer began in September, with negotiations stemming several months, and earnest grew with Sato’s talks with Rahal Letterman Lanigan ending in a standoff.

Coyne has shared their elation since the signing became real, saying: “I think we’ve run strong cards at Indy for several years now, and we’ve had drivers who we thought could do them justice… But obviously, it’s one thing to think your guys can win it for you, and another thing to know you have an Indy 500 winner – a two-time winner – in your car. Sato won Indy two times in four years! That’s huge. And the most recent win as just last year.”

When the announcement was made, Coyne enthused: “Sato has shown that he is one of the best drivers to ever race in the NTT IndyCar Series. Winning the famed Indianapolis 500 twice, we look forward to competing with our good car package with a great driver in the 500 next year.

“All of us on our team welcome the very talented Mr. Sato into our fold for 2022,” said team co-owner Dale Coyne.

Sato’s team-mate at Dale Coyne Racing will be 2021 Indy Lights runner-up David Malukas, who’ll ride the #18 car with HMD Motorsports entry in all rounds of next year’s NTT IndyCar Series championship.

Malukas, who landed seven victories in Lights and took a fight during the championship with Kyle Kirkwood, was additionally impressive with Coyne in October at the Barber Motorsports Park.

Malukas will be the ideal partner to the two-time Indy 500 winner Sato, as both parties have now been confirmed.

I’ve been following David in Indy Lights, and I was very pleased by what I saw,” said team owner Dale Coyne. “He had a remarkable season, and then he impressed everyone when we tested him back in October. It was his first time in an Indy car, and he was the fastest one at the test, even ahead of a veteran driver."

“And, on top of it all, he comes from right down the road in Chicago, so it’s a perfect fit for us to run David next season.

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