Impressive Run by Sage Karam in the 100th Indy 500
Indianapolis 500 ends early after contact pushes youngster in the wall
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 29, 2016) – Young Sage Karam put on quite a show Sunday in the 100th Indianapolis 500 with his No. 24 Gas Monkey Energy Chevrolet for Dreyer & Reinbold – Kingdom Racing.
The youngest driver in the 33-driver field at age 21 made a spectacular charge from 23rd to fifth before the halfway point of the 200-lap “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” However, Sage’s race ended on lap 93 as contact with Townsend Bell forced Karam into the outside of the turn one wall.
Karam made a consistent run through the field early in the race including running 15th by lap 23. Sage actually led lap 31 and was getting excellent fuel mileage while climbing up the charts on the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway pylon. Karam was the last to pit for fuel and tires on lap 32.
A fast pit stop by the Dreyer & Reinbold – Kingdom Racing crew helped Karam advance to 13th by lap 35 and the Nazareth, Pa., former high school wrestling star raced wheel-to-wheel with the likes of former Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon, Will Power, Marco Andretti and last year’s winner Juan Pablo Montoya.
By lap 80, Karam drove into the top ten and then made impressive passes over Dixon for ninth, Tony Kanaan for eighth on lap 84, Helio Castroneves for seventh on lap 85 and Carlos Munoz for sixth on lap 91. Sage made a pass on Bell on lap 92 before the incident in turn one.
According to the finishing order, Karam was awarded the 32nd position in his third Indy 500 start.
Rookie Alexander Rossi became the first rookie since Castroneves in 2001 to win the Indy 500.
“I’m more upset than hurt,” said Karam. “I banged up my right knee a little. But we had a terrific car today. It was so fast. I could drive past everyone I came up to. We started 23rd and I think we were running right at the top five. The Gas Monkey Energy DRR-Kingdom Racing crew worked their tails off. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I don’t put blame on anyone. Just a racing thing. Josef (Newgarden) checked up a bit and Townsend (Bell) and I tried to go wide. We were three wide. I think I had a little nose on Townsend. I’m sure he knew I was there and I thought Townsend would back out of the throttle and I could slide by on the high side.
“This is a hard one for myself and the whole team. We had a fast car and maybe a chance to win the race. I just wish I hadn’t run into turn one side by side. Again, it was another great experience with this team. They gave me a super car for the race. But I’ll be back here again next year. There’s nothing like the Indy 500.”
Karam will now move into the IMSA road racing series later in the year when he partners with sports car legend Scott Pruett and the Rocketsports operation.