David Malukas is interviewed by Katie Kiel from NBC Sports after a win at World Wide Technology Raceway At Gateway Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Steve Wittich

Indy Lights championship leader David Malukas began the Portland International Raceway event on top of the timing screens. The HMD Motorsports veteran turned a lap timed at 64.0267 seconds, almost two-tenths of a second quicker than his Global Racing Group w/HMD stablemate Linus Lundqvist.

Rounding out the top five in the lone official practice session preceding the Portland International Raceway twin-bill was Benjamin Pedersen (Global Racing Group w/HMD), the second championship contender Kyle Kirkwood (Andretti Autosport), and Danial Frost (Andretti Autosport).

The 11 drivers completed 218 laps, and the top ten were within eight-tenths of a second of Malukas.

The ambient temperature when the 30-minute session began was 68F, and the track temperature was 80F.

After 15 minutes of practice, the top two in the championship – Malukas and Kirkwood – held the top two spots on the timing screen.

Does ‘winning’ practice matter at Portland International Raceway?

As far as the pair of races go, the answer is, maybe?

In 2019, the last time the series visited the 1.964-mile, 12-Turn road course, Oliver Askew led the lone practice session. Unfortunately, the Andretti Autosport driver did not win either race but did finish on the podium both times.

In 2018, Pato O’Ward led the lone practice session and won both races in the season’s final event.

Of note, both drivers that led Portland International Raceway practice did win the Indy Lights championship and the scholarship that went with it.

The series completed a pair of test sessions earlier today totaling 215 minutes. Lundqvist led both of the test sessions. The Swede’s best lap time of 63.6072 seconds came in the second session.

Indy Lights Grand Prix Of Portland Presented By Cooper Tires practice results

1 79 David Malukas HMD Motorsports 1:04.0267 —— 21
2 26 Linus Lundqvist Global Racing Group w/HMD Motorsports 1:04.2103 0.1836 24
3 24 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group w/HMD Motorsports 1:04.2555 0.2288 25
4 28 Kyle Kirkwood Andretti Autosport 1:04.3682 0.3415 20
5 68 Danial Frost Andretti Autosport 1:04.4201 0.3934 10
6 17 Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport 1:04.4282 0.4015 19
7 27 Robert Megennis Andretti Autosport 1:04.5923 0.5656 19
8 59 Manuel Sulaiman HMD Motorsports 1:04.7754 0.7487 18
9 51 Rasmus Lindh Juncos Hollinger Racing 1:04.8679 0.8412 20
10 2 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Hollinger Racing 1:04.9221 0.8954 19
11 7 Christian Bogle Carlin 1:05.8250 1.7983 23

These drivers are back on track in one hour for their first qualifying session of the year.