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Sage Karam’s Fourth Indy 500 Run Cut Short with an Alternator Problem; Youngest Driver in the Field Drove a Solid Race to P12 at lap 125

 

Karam’s radio microphone went out early in the race too

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 29, 2017) – Sage Karam’s Indy 500 run fell short Sunday when an alternator problem forced the 22-year-old driver out of the 101st edition of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Karam, who started 21st in the 200-lap classic, moved steadily up to the 33-car field to 12th at the halfway point of the race before the No. 24 Mecum Auctions Dreyer & Reinbold Chevrolet Dallara stopped on track at lap 125. Karam finished 28th in 33-driver field.

Early in the race, Karam’s communication with his crew was hampered when his radio microphone failed and the Dennis Reinbold-led team had to communicate with Sage through code and hand signals. Corner spotters Aaron Nelson and Gregg Grahn talked with Karam for the adjustments needed for his race car.

Driving in his fourth Indy 500, Karam drove consistently in playing a conservative game through the first 100 laps. And the DRR crew was quick in the pits, as Karam was able to pick up positions after each of the team’s four pit stops.

“We had an alternator let go and there was nothing we can do,” said Karam. “It’s unfortunate, but that’s what happens here. I thought we ran a smart race. A lot of people were doing risky things out there. I just wanted to finish the whole race. We were on pace to do that. We had a top-ten car today. I was driving smart and I was as calm as I could be. It’s unfortunate when something out of your control happens and you can’t fix it, but there’s nothing you can do about it. My DDR crew was outstanding in the pit stops today.

“I had no radio communication with my team from the start of the race. I could hear them. They couldn’t hear me so we had to work on a code to communicate with each other on the fly. Just keying up on the radio for yes or no on the radio and turning fuel mixtures for more wing, less wing, rear wing and front wing. So it was kind of sketchy out there but we were doing okay. It’s a shame – the DRR boys, Mecum Auto Auctions put together a great car this month. It’s tough to see it go down like that. But that’s racing. The beauty of this place is it makes you want to come back more and more because you go through all these hard times. You just want to win.”

Karam will now return to his regular racing program, the Lexus program for 3GT Racing in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship, next weekend in the streets of Belle Isle in Detroit.

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Sage Karam comfortable with Mecum Auctions DRR Chevy during “Carb Day” testing runs; Now ready for Sunday’s Indy 500

Sage Karam comfortable with Mecum Auctions DRR Chevy

During “Carb Day” testing runs, Ready for Sunday’s Indy 500

Karam also competes in TAG Heuer Pit Stop Challenge

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 26, 2017) –  Sage Karam jumped from his No. 24 Mecum Auctions DRR Chevrolet Friday with a smile on his face in “Carb Day” practice runs as he prepared for the 101st Indianapolis 500-Mile Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 22-year-old driver from Nazareth, Pa., clocked in 33 laps in the one-hour practice session Friday in the final tests for the 33-car field before Sunday’s “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Karam, entering his fourth Indy 500, will be the youngest driver in Sunday’s lineup and was pleased overall with his car’s handling around the 2.5-mile legendary oval. Sage clocked a best speed of 224.852 miles per hour, the 18th best of the day.

Karam will start 21st in Sunday’s Indy 500 when the 200-lap classic drops the green flag at 12:15 p.m. EDT.

“It was a good practice week and a good month overall so far,” said Karam. “It’s good going into the race with no damages or crashes in the month. That’s a big plus. I’m feeling good about the car. It feels the same as it did when we unloaded, so that’s excellent. Practice felt very good today.

“For some reason, the track had less grip than usual. I’m not sure if it’s because of the rain or the tire wear from the Indy Lights cars. A lot of people seemed to struggle with that today. But, I think we have a good race car like we did last year. I’m looking forward to Sunday.”

Karam and his DDR “Over the wall” crew also participated in the TAG Heuer Pit Stop Challenge Friday afternoon at IMS.  Unfortunately, Sage and his team was defeated in the opening round by Helio Castroneves and his Team Penske crew.

Castroneves, the three-time Indy 500 winner, recorded the fastest speed in the “Carb Day” practice with a speed of 227.377 m.p.h.

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Sage Karam works with Mecum Auctions DRR Chevy in race trim Monday in final Indy 500 practice and pit stops

Reinbold pleased with team’s progress and pit stop times

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 22, 2017) –  It was a busy day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Sage Karam and his Dreyer & Reinbold Racing crew Monday in the final full practice session for the 101st Indianapolis 500 set for this Sunday, May 28.

 

The 22-year-old driver from Nazareth, Pa., recorded 87 laps in the sun-trenched 3 – ½ hour practice round at the world’s greatest racing facility in the No. 24 Mecum Auctions DDR Chevrolet. Karam’s top speed of 226. 381 miles per hour was the eighth fastest at the end of the day with a track surface close to 120 degrees.

 

There were several exciting moments Monday with all 33 drivers on the famed 2.5-mile oval throughout the day including a wild three-wide exchange with Karam, Simon Pagenaud and James Hinchcliffe on the front straightaway.

 

Check out the video — https://twitter.com/IndyCar/status/866741026584576000

 

In addition to the race-trim settings, Karam and his “over the wall” six-person pit crew worked diligently on hot “pit stops” from the first pit box on long pit road at IMS.  The youngster driver in the 33-driver field practiced hitting his marks in the pit box and the crew was quick with the tire changes.

 

“It was a pretty good day,” said Karam, competing in his fourth Indy 500. “We made some good strides. Our car isn’t exactly where we want it yet. We still have some work to do. But, the car is pretty good for a baseline coming out of qualifying. I’m pleased with today. P8 is good. I felt decent in traffic. It seems everyone is struggling with passing so far.

 

“Now, we just have to improve the car a little bit more. We did some pit stop practice at the end. The guys were awesome. It’s obvious they have been practicing. Everything went smooth today and now we’re ready for Carb Day.”

 

Team owner Dennis Reinbold was pleased with team’s progress throughout the day’s practice including the late pit stops.

 

“We ran a lot of laps today and we learned a lot with the race setup,” said Reinbold, who has qualified all 37 of his Indy 500 cars entered as a team owner. “Sage was working with his in-car settings and looking for places to pass on the track.  Late in the day, we practiced a bunch of pits stops and the crew was excellent.  Being in the first pit box, we had to work with Sage to enter in the pit lane at the proper speed.  I think he did a good job.”

 

The DRR crew will now work over the Mecum Auctions DRR Chevy Dallara race car in preparations for Friday’s annual “Carb Day” and TAG Heuer Pit Stop Challenge.  Meanwhile, Karam will travel to Philadelphia Tuesday to participate in the Indy 500 media day with Marco Andretti.  Both drivers will throw out first pitches at the Phillies-Rockies MLB game Tuesday evening.

Sage Karam tops 230 MPH lap in Sunday Indy 500 qualifying

Sage Karam tops 230 MPH lap in Sunday Indy 500 qualifying;

Mecum Auctions DRR Chevy averages 229.380 MPH for 21st Position

No practice session Sunday for Sage but qualifying is impressive

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 21, 2017) – Sage Karam improved his four-lap average Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway including posting one lap of over 230 miles per hour in the No. 24 Mecum Auctions DRR Chevrolet to qualify for his fourth Indianapolis 500 set for next Sunday, May 28.

Karam, the youngest driver in the 33-driver field at age 22, ran a four-lap average Saturday of 227.943 m.p.h. and his Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team worked in the garage area Saturday night and Sunday morning to gain added speed for Sunday’s final qualifications.

In fact, Karam did not practice in the early afternoon and felt confident he could improve his Saturday performance.

The Nazareth, Pa., racer recorded his first 230 m.p.h. lap Sunday with his opening circuit of the famed 2.5-mile IMS oval with a clocking of 230.134 followed by consistent laps of 229.107, 229.173 and 229.110 for a four-lap average of 229.380 m.p.h.  It was Karam’s fastest qualifying number of his young career for the Indy 500.

Karam will start 21st for Sunday’s Indy 500, outside of row seven in the 33-car field.

“That was an awesome run for me,” said Karam when he jumped from his mount. “The Mecum Auctions car was magnificent to drive. Best four laps of qualifying I’ve ever enjoyed out there. I’ve never done a 230-mph lap by myself. I’m so stoked. The Dreyer & Reinbold Racing guys gave me such a great car. I don’t care where I start. I’m coming to the front.”

Scott Dixon captured the 101st Indy 500 pole position Sunday with an average of 232.164 m.p.h.

Karam will participate in Monday’s practice runs as the DRR continues to work the race setup with the Chevrolet-powered Dallara chassis.

On Tuesday, Sage will travel to Philadelphia (along with fellow Nazareth resident Marco Andretti) for the annual Indy 500 media.  In addition, both Karam and Andretti will throw out the first pitches at Tuesday evening’s Phillies-Rockies game.

Karam will compete in Friday’s Indy 500 pit stop challenge in addition to running in the final practice laps on “Carb Day.”  The 101st Indy 500 is schedule begin at 12:15 p.m. EDT this Sunday, May 28.

Karam posts 227.943 MPH four-lap average Saturday IMS; Sage goes for Indy 500 starting position on Sunday

Karam’s four-lap average places the youngster 21st in Saturday action SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 20, 2017) – Sage Karam went into Saturday’s qualifying round hoping his No. 24 Mecum Auctions DRR Chevrolet was improved from Friday’s practice runs but rain storms halted track activities at Indianapolis Motor Speedway until the late afternoon. A couple of adjustments…

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Heavy winds curtail Sage Karam’s Wednesday practice at Indy, Mecum Auctions DRR Crew work on pit stops and prepare for Thursday

  Heavy winds curtail Sage Karam’s Wednesday practice at Indy, Mecum Auctions DRR Crew work on pit stops and prepare for Thursday   Team waits out weather conditions before parking the race car Wednesday SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 17, 2017) – Heavy winds at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway hurt the Indy 500 teams Wednesday as many…

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Sage Karam gets a little more aggressive at IMS Tuesday,

Sage Karam gets a little more aggressive at IMS Tuesday,

Taking the No. 24 Mecum Auctions DRR Chevy to 5th Fastest in Practice

Windy conditions make for some adjustments with Sage’s machine

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 16, 2017) – After a consecutive Monday practice round, 22-year-old Sage Karam attacked the famed 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval Tuesday with solid laps in windy conditions to place fifth in the overall six-hour practice session.

Karam, 14th fastest Monday in the opening practice day, showed speed early in the hot, windy conditions (85 degrees air temperature and 125 degrees track surface temperature), as the Nazareth, Pa., racer jumped to second on the speed charts with the No. 24 Mecum Auctions DRR Chevrolet. On the 23rd lap, Sage clocked a best speed of 223.641 miles per hour.

Later in the afternoon, Karam and his Mecum DRR crew worked on numerous “hot” pit stops by running two laps on the oval and entering the pit lane with race simulations. Led by crew chief Brian Goslee, the six-person “over the wall” squad practiced changing four tires on a quick pace.

At the end of the day, Karam recorded 69 laps for Tuesday’s practice session and the team parked the No. 24 mount early for the day. Will Power was the fastest driver Tuesday at 224.656 m.p.h.

“We ended up P5 but we were in the top three for most of the day,” said Karam, the youngest driver in the 33-car Indy 500 lineup. “I think it’s a very strong day at the Speedway with it only being our second day back. We made good strides in the race setup. We haven’t done much with the car for qualifying setup. The car does run pretty well on its own. I’ve been focused on the race setup. The Mecum DRR guys have done a great job and we’re continuing to do well.”

Karam continues his return to IndyCar competition after an 11-month layoff with solid practice performance in traffic too. The team will expand its setups again on Wednesday with another six-hour practice round beginning at Noon EDT.

“We feel very good about today’s practice runs,” said Dennis Reinbold, team owner. “Sage was able to put the car pretty much where he wanted on the race track. We didn’t really want to chase the conditions today. We ended stopping a little early today. We were able to get in some hot pit stops and that went pretty well. A very solid day with the speed and car setup.”

On Tuesday evening, Sage participated in the annual Riley’s Children Hospital 500 event with many of the Indy 500 drivers signing autographs and taking photos with the youngsters.

In addition, Karam will visit the Mecum Auctions event Wednesday morning at the Indiana State Fairgrounds with an autograph signing at 10 a.m. and an appearance on the NBC Sport Network.

Sage Karam Takes Conservative Approach in his Indy 500 Return Monday with 223.398 MPH Lap

 

Sage Karam Takes Conservative Approach with his Indy 500 Return Monday,

As Youngest driver in the 33-driver field post 223.398 MPH Lap

After sitting through GP weekend, Karam was anxious to hit the track in Mecum DDR Chevy

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 15, 2017) – As the youngest driver in this year’s Indianapolis 500 field, Sage Karam of Nazareth, Pa., was tired of sitting in the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing garage area for the past five days and watching the other IndyCar racer compete in the Indy Grand Prix.

In fact, the 22-year-old former Indy Lights champion admitted he was a little nervous jumping in his No. 24 Mecum Auctions DRR Chevrolet machine Monday afternoon for the opening practice round for the May 28 “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” at the world’s most famous race track, the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“I just wanted to get in the car,” said Karam, competing in his fourth Indy 500 this year. “I was really nervous this morning and had a lot of emotions going through me. Once you go through one practice run, all the emotions go away and it feels good to go flat (on the throttle) around here again.”

Karam, who put on his sensational charge last year from 23rd to fourth before contacting the south turn wall on lap 93, recorded 47 laps Monday with a best speed of 223.398 miles per hour, good for 14th in the speed charts.

“The Mecum Auction Dreyer & Reinbold Chevy was pretty good today,” Sage said. “I was pleased with how the day went. Being 14th at the end of the day after not driving (an IndyCar) in nearly a year is pretty respectable. I’m excited. The team worked very hard. We’re building the foundation of what the car is going to be. The car feels very similar to last year’s 500 car and last year I had a rocket ship in the race. I’m feeling good.”

The DRR crew worked through its scheduled “checklist” in Monday’s initial runs at the famed 2.5-mile oval in mid 80s air temperature and close to a 130-degree track surface. The team’s overall theme was to continue working on the car’s race setup on Tuesday.

“It was a good solid day,” said team owner Dennis Reinbold. “We had a good balance in the car where Sage liked it. We got in some situations with traffic and the car responded. We didn’t get as many laps as we would have liked, but we made gains. We were a little conservative today, and we plan to be more aggressive tomorrow. We got through a lot on our checklist today.”

Veteran engineer Jeff Britton expressed the fact that Karam continues to improve his feedback and race craft despite being just 22 years old.  Britton, a former winning engineer at Indy, was pleased with the team’s progress Monday.

“I’m very happy with today,” said Britton. “We’re not worried about speed. We were worried about getting him up to speed and comfortable in the car. He’s been out of an IndyCar for about a year now, but he felt confident in the car after the first runs. He went through his feedback well and we made the proper adjustments. You can tell he is in his fourth 500.”

Fellow Nazareth, Pa., resident Marco Andretti led Monday’s practice speeds with a 226.338 m.p.h. laps.

Practice continues Tuesday at IMS with six hours scheduled from noon to 6 p.m. EDT.

Qualifying rounds are set for Saturday (May 20) and Sunday (May 21) with Carb Day (final practice) slated for Friday (May 26).  The 101st Indianapolis 500 will begin at 12:15 p.m. EDT on May 28.

Sage Karam More Relaxed for 101st Indy 500; 22-year-old racer says he has matured since strong 2016 500 run

Hard-charging Nazareth driver came from 23rd to fourth before mishap at lap 93 SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 11, 2016) – Young racer Sage Karam drove into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today with a different mindset from last year’s 100thedition of the world’s most famous auto race, the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. The 22-year-old Nazareth, Pa., driver…

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Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and Kingdom Racing to Partner Again for 101st Indy 500 with driver Sage Karam

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and Kingdom Racing to Partner Again for 101st Indy 500 with driver Sage Karam Carmel, Ind. (May 10, 2017) — Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and Kingdom Racing announced today their agreement to continue their partnership in the 101st Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 28 at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Sage Karam,…

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