Indy 500: Sage Karam returns to IMS and shows well over 45-lap run

Sage Karam will make his fifth Indy 500 start this year, but it had been a year since he last turned laps at Indianapolis Motor Speedway before the first test session.

Many rookies and returning veterans took to the venerable Indianapolis Motor Speedway racing surface for the first time of the season. IndyCar driver Sage Karam was among those drivers to return to the racing surface for the 102nd Indy 500.

Karam will drive the #24 WIX® Filters-sponsored Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet in the Indy 500 this year. However, the car is new in terms of its chassis, bodywork, brakes and electronic systems.

In Tuesday’s test, Karam ran 45 laps around the 2.5-mile oval in Speedway, Indiana with a top lap speed of 218.600 miles per hour during the ‘refresher’ runs that returning Indy 500 veterans ran. The ‘refresher’ test also included Danica Patrick and Jay Howard.

Here is what Karam had to say about his run, according to NBC Sports.

“It was a really good day for me. This is the most comfortable I have been here at Indy in the very first day of running. I haven’t been in an IndyCar since last May here. In fact, I haven’t been in a race car since last October in sports cars. It’s been a long wait. I’m so excited to get behind the wheel. This is a new car, so it’s a big challenge for myself and the team. We had to work out all of the little kinks today in just three hours. So, it is a tall task in the refresher program.”

Karam has finished as high as ninth (2014) in his four starts in the Indy 500. Ever since that top 10 finish, Karam has finished 32nd (2015 and 2016) after two years of crashes and 28th (2017) when a battery failure ended his run 75 laps from the end of the race.

Karam also was a 2013 Indy Lights champion at the age of 18 before he was ushered into an IndyCar race at the age of 19. Karam also juggled four WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races at 19 as well.

Since his departure from IndyCar in 2015, Karam drove in the Weathertech SportsCar Championship series in 2017 and earned a pole at Bowmanville in the GTD category.

It’s also worth noting that Karam notched seven top 10 finishes in the closed top car for 3GT Racing with a fifth place finish at Bowmanville. Although he wasn’t in IndyCar long in 2015, Karam had two top 10 finishes, including a third place effort at Iowa.

 

 

Karam will return to the track for the first official practice runs on Tuesday, May 15 with qualifying set for Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20. The Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for 12:15 pm ET on Sunday, May 27.