FONTANA, Calif. (June 28, 2015) – Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) rookie driver Sage Karam finished a career-best fifth at the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Round 11 of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
After starting 10th Karam had worked his way to up sixth by Lap 15 in the 250 lap race, breaking into the top three on Lap 21. On Lap 24 Karam would take the lead from teammate Tony Kanaan to lead his first lap in Verizon IndyCar Series competition. Karam would bring the No. 8 Chevrolet in for green-flag pit stops on Lap 37 for four tires and fuel, cycling out to the fourth position. Karam fell to 11th place on Lap 65 and would make his second green-flag pit stop of the day on Lap 75, pitting from the seventh position for tires and fuel. Karam fell as low as the 13th position before pitting from eighth on Lap 110 in the third round of green flag pit stops.
The first caution of the race came on Lap 136 and Karam brought the No. 8 in the next lap for fuel and tires, restarting in the ninth position on Lap 152. Karam had raced his way up to the seventh position before the second caution of the race flew seven laps after the restart on Lap 159. Karam pitted from the eighth position on Lap 191 for tires and fuel before the caution fell for debris on Lap 192. The No. 8 had climbed into the top five before a caution on Lap 220 for debris, pitting on Lap 222 for four tires and fuel. He was running in the seventh position when the caution fell on Lap 241. The race was red flagged on Lap 245 to help ensure the race would finish under green flag conditions. Cars began rolling with five laps remaining in the race and Karam elected to pit for tires with four laps to go, catching up to the field just as the green flag was being shown and battled to a fifth-place finish when the yellow flag was thrown one lap alter and the race finished under checkered and yellow flags.
With the results, Karam holds the 21st position in the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings with 126 markers, 281 points behind the points leader Juan Pablo Montoya.
Notes of Interest
- The fifth-place result marked the best of Sage Karam’s INDYCAR career.
- There were 80 lead changes during the MAVTV 500, which set an INDYCAR lead change record.
- The red flag was displayed on Lap 245 of 250 on the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway oval after contact on Lap 242 between the No. 1 and the No. 14 on the front stretch.
- The race ended under caution for a last-lap accident on the front stretch.
Sage Karam, No. 8 COMFORT REVOLUTION/Big Machine Records Chevrolet: “The first laps I have ever led in an Indy car today felt pretty good. It was pack racing which is difficult. It’s a battle and you’re in survival mode. The team did awesome and we overcame some adversity and stuck with it. We took a chance to take tires at the end and it was a good call, as we picked up a few spots to finish fifth. I’m happy with the result and glad we got that result under our belt.”
Next up for the Verizon IndyCar Series is the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 Sunday July 12 at 5:00pm on NBCSN.
About Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
Chip Ganassi has been a fixture in the auto racing industry for over 25 years and is considered one of the most successful as well as innovative owners the sport has anywhere in the world. Today his teams include four cars in the Verizon IndyCar Series, two cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and one Prototype in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Overall his teams have 17 championships and over 160 victories, including four Indianapolis 500s, a Daytona 500, a Brickyard 400 and six Rolex 24 At Daytonas and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Ganassi boasts state-of-the-art race shop facilities in Indianapolis and Brownsburg, Ind. and Concord, N.C., with a corporate office in Pittsburgh, Penn.
For more information log onto: www.chipganassiracing.com
Photo Credit: Indycar