Story posted - May 23 2013 10:57 PM


INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, May 23, 2013) - Sage Karam earned the Sunoco Pole Award for the Firestone Freedom 100 in his first Firestone Indy Lights oval race. Karam, an 18-year-old from Nazareth, Pa., posted a two-lap average speed of 189.243 mph (1 minute, 35.1160 seconds cumulative time) May 23 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Karam, driving the No. 8 Comfort Revolutions car for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian, is in his first season in the series after placing third in the Pro Mazda Championship in 2012. He has a pair of podium finishes in the three races on road/street circuits. It's the fifth earned pole and sixth pole start for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in the Firestone Freedom 100.

Series points leader Carlos Munoz, who recorded a two-lap average of 189.276 mph, will start second in the No. 26 Dialy-Ser Andretti Autosport car. He was .0703 of a second off Karam's cumulative time over the five miles. Munoz also will start second in his first Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 26.

Peter Dempsey (189.359) and Gabby Chaves (187.770) will share Row 2 in the Firestone Freedom 100. St. Petersburg race winner Jack Hawksworth (187.410) and Kyle O'Gara (187.393), making his Firestone Indy Lights debut, will be on Row 3.


ABC will televise the Indianapolis 500 for the 49th consecutive year on Sunday, May 26, continuing a Memorial Day tradition that began in 1965.

A one-hour preview show airs from Indianapolis Motor Speedway at 11 a.m. ET, with the race telecast, presented by GoDaddy, at noon.

ESPN's production of the Indianapolis 500 on ABC will utilize 84 cameras to televise the premier event of the IZOD IndyCar Series, including three onboard cameras per car in 12 of the 33 cars competing in the race.

Among the cameras will be the newly-enhanced "Batcam," a camera that provides unique and dramatic views running on a cable over pit road and the frontstretch and has been utilized by ESPN at Indy for several years. But with new technology, "Batcam" can now move faster than ever, reaching speeds of 95 mph.

Views and replays also will be enhanced with expanded usage of four Ultra Hi Motion cameras. As was the case last year when the cameras were used for the first time, they will be located in the short chutes at each end of the 2.5-mile track as well as at the fourth-turn exit, with a fourth robotic camera added this year to provide a low shot entering the first turn. The cameras can shoot at speeds of up to 1,200 frames per second. ESPN also will have Super Slo Motion cameras positioned in each turn.

Pole sitter Ed Carpenter will be one of the 12 drivers carrying onboard cameras, as will defending race winner Dario Franchitti and defending IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay. Others will be Charlie Kimball, JR Hildebrand, James Hinchcliffe, Townsend Bell, Will Power, Helio Castroneves, Marco Andretti, Graham Rahal and Tristan Vautier.

Viewers of the ABC telecast will have the option of a second-screen experience through a choice of live streaming video from the onboard cameras on ESPN3, ESPN's multi-screen live sports network. ESPN3 will carry the feeds exclusively through WatchESPN and on Indycar.com to fans who receive their Internet or video subscription from an affiliated provider. Viewers will be able to choose which driver's onboard cameras they want to watch from among the available cars and this year, for the first time, all of the feeds also will include ESPN's live scoring ticker. ESPN3 also will have replays of the ABC telecast following the event. ESPN3 is available online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE.

Marty Reid will call the race, with analysis by former Indianapolis 500 driver Scott Goodyear and 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever. ESPN "SportsCenter" anchor Lindsay Czarniak will host the telecast while pit reporters will be Rick DeBruhl, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch.


The Tony Hulman Classic USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car race has been rescheduled for Friday, June 21 at the Terre Haute Action Track. Rain forced the postponement of the race Wednesday.


The Race Day talent lineup for the IMS Radio Network's broadcast of the 97th Indianapolis 500: Mike King, anchor; Davey Hamilton, driver analyst; Donald Davidson, track historian; Jerry Baker, color analyst; Paul Page, race commentary; Jake Query, Turn 2 announcer; Mark Jaynes, Turn 3 announcer; Chris Denari, Turn 4 announcer; Kevin Lee, pit reporter; Nick Yeoman, pit reporter; Michael Young, pit reporter; Dave Furst, pit reporter; Dave Wilson, garage and medical center reporter.


Indianapolis 500 veteran drivers will sign autographs for fans in two sessions Saturday afternoon during Legends Day Honoring Parnelli Jones at the Speedway. Both sessions will take place in the Plaza Pavilion. Autographs are free with gate admission for the day, $10 for adults, with 12 and under free.

The session lineup, with all drivers subject to change:

•1-2:30 p.m.: Bill Alsup, Tom Bagley, Donnie Beechler, Tom Bigelow, Brian Bonner, Geoff Brabham, Pancho Carter, Michael Chandler, Steve Chassey, Gil de Ferran, Dominic Dobson, Josele Garza, Phil Giebler, Paul Goldsmith, Janet Guthrie, Bob Harkey, Bernard Jourdain, Mel Kenyon, Steve Knapp, Phil Krueger, Arie Luyendyk, Arie Luyendyk Jr., Jack Miller, Rocky Moran, Eldon Rasmussen, Sam Schmidt, Jerry Sneva, Bobby Unser, Johnny Unser

•3-4:30 p.m.: Mario Andretti, Kenny Brack, Buzz Calkins, Tyce Carlson, Derek Daly, Spike Gehlhausen, Stephan Gregoire, Scott Harrington, Stefan Johansson, Herm Johnson, Lee Kunzman, Bob Lazier, Jaques Lazier, Greg Leffler, Robby McGehee, Hiro Matsushita, Max Papis, Johnny Parsons, Bill Puterbaugh, Billy Roe, Eliseo Salazar, Joe Saldana, Bill Simpson, Bruce Walkup, Bill Whittington, Denny Zimmerman


IZOD IndyCar Series team co-owner Sarah Fisher has enrolled in the College of Business at WGU Indiana to finish her bachelor's degree.

Fisher, co-owner of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, will begin her studies in August. She began college after graduating seventh in her high school class with honors in Ohio. But her IZOD IndyCar Series and USAC driving commitments forced her to postpone finishing her degree.

WGU Indiana was established nearly three years ago by former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels for working Hoosiers to pursue a high-quality college degree at an affordable price. The university has grown to more than 3,300 students and graduated more than 700. Students and graduates represent every county in the state. As Indiana's nonprofit, online university, WGU Indiana's flat-rate tuition is $3,000 per six-month term, a rate that has not increased since the university was created.

SARAH FISHER: "Now that I'm a mother, a wife and an IndyCar team owner, I'm constantly juggling my schedule. I'm ready to finish my degree, but I need a university that's adaptable to my life and offers quality programs that make going back to school a good investment of my time and energy. I'm excited about earning my degree at WGU Indiana."

ALLISON BARBER (Chancellor, WGU Indiana): "WGU Indiana is proud to provide an education to a disciplined, determined competitor. I expect Sarah to excel in our university because she demonstrates the same traits of our other students - a strong work ethic, independence and a commitment to excellence. I'm excited to watch her learn and inspire other Hoosiers to continue their dreams of a college degree."


CountryMark will serve as an associate sponsor for the No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet entry driven in the 97th Indianapolis 500 by pole sitter Ed Carpenter. It's the second consecutive year the Indianapolis-based corporation has sponsored Carpenter's team.

CountryMark is a recognized as a trusted and leading American oil company. CountryMark maximizes sustainable value by producing and supplying market-leading energy products and services.


John Haslett of Penske Racing received the C&R Racing "True Grit" Award after qualifications Sunday. Haslett received a $5,000 award from Indianapolis-based C&R Racing, which manufactures and distributes complete cooling systems, chassis and drivetrain components, wind-tunnel models and an assortment of other parts and pieces to race teams.

Haslett received the award for dedication to his work with IZOD IndyCar Series cars, the ability to overcome adversity and the embodiment of the excellent qualities of such a highly skilled trade. He has participated in 29 Indianapolis 500 Mile Races with a position in transportation and as a tire specialist.

JOHN HASLETT: "I am honored to receive this award," said Haslett. "I started working in racing when I was just 22 years old. I was green as green can be, fresh out of the U.S. Navy. My first year at Indy, I was working on Bobby Unser's car. We won that race, and I have been hooked on racing ever since. It is the best feeling ever to help win the '500' for Roger Penske, and I'm grateful to be acknowledged for all my efforts."


PEAK Motor Oil and Advance Auto Parts will sponsor the No. 91 Lazier Partners Racing Inc. entry for 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier in the 97th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.

BUDDY LAZIER: "I am really proud of what the team has accomplished in such a short amount of time and to now sign PEAK Motor Oil and Advance Auto Parts is evidence of how hard everyone is working. Getting the car on the track and finding a sponsor were the two top goals of the team, and we've now done that. So we're ready to go racing with PEAK Motor Oil and Advance Auto Parts Sunday."

BRYAN EMRICH (Senior vice president of marketing, PEAK): "Peak Motor Oil & Antifreeze along with our partner Advance Auto Parts are proud to join forces with Lazier Partners Racing to support Buddy's bid to win the Indy 500 for the second time. PEAK is a company that is proud of its independent, family-owned heritage, the same spirit that drives Lazier Racing. We look forward to the racing."



At 9 a.m., the ambient temperature was 62 degrees with a relative humidity of 84 percent and winds from the west at 5 mph. Skies were overcast. The track temperature was 73 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.

9 a.m. - Firestone Indy Lights officials have delayed the start of session due to track preparation following overnight rain showers.

9:21 a.m. - GREEN.

10:08 a.m. - YELLOW. Light rain. #8 Karam fastest at 189.981.

10:27 a.m. - Rain stops. Track-drying efforts start.

10:59 a.m. - CHECKERED. INDYCAR officials determined track will not be dry by noon.



Pos. Car Name Time Speed

1. 8 Sage Karam 47.3732 189.981
2. 67 Kyle O'Gara 47.3834 189.940
3. 26 Carlos Munoz 47.4907 189.511
4. 7 Gabby Chaves 47.5404 189.313
5. 5 Peter Dempsey 47.6340 188.941


Rain returned at 11:40 a.m. to the Speedway.

Firestone Freedom 100 qualifying started at 4:15 p.m., three hours after its scheduled start of 1:15 p.m., due to rain.



Firestone Indy Lights qualifying consists of a two-lap qualifying attempt. Cars are ranked in order based on the quickest cumulative time. Cars take the green flag on the first time past the flag stand. Only one attempt is allowed per car.

Track qualifying record: Wade Cunningham, 1 minute, 34.6485 seconds, 190.177 mph (May 2009). Fastest Firestone Indy Lights lap today: #8 Sage Karam, 47.3732 seconds, 189.981 mph.

At 4:15 p.m., the ambient temperature was 63 degrees with a relative humidity of 72 percent and west winds at 11 mph. Skies were mostly cloudy. The track temperature was 82 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.


Time of Day
Car Driver Lap 1 Time Lap 2 Time Cumulative Time Average Speed Rank

4:15 p.m.
67 Kyle O'Gara 48.0274 48.0873 1:36.1147 187.276 1

4:18 p.m.
5 Peter Dempsey 47.8139 47.5287 1:35.3426 188.793 1

4:21 p.m.
26 Carlos Munoz 47.6367 47.5496 1:35.1863 189.103 1

4:24 p.m.
28 Chase Austin 48.3429 48.2955 1:36.6384 186.261 4

4:27 p.m.
12 Zach Veach 48.1383 48.1116 1:36.2499 187.013 4

4:30 p.m.
8 Sage Karam 47.5898 47.5262 1:35.1160 189.243 1

4:34 p.m.
2 Juan Pablo Garcia 48.2453 48.2650 1:36.5103 186.509 6

4:36 p.m.
77 Jack Hawksworth 47.9882 48.0577 1:36.0459 187.410 4

4:39 p.m.
4 Jorge Goncalvez 48.2760 48.4029 1:36.6789 186.183 9

4:43 p.m.
7 Gabby Chaves 47.9584 47.9035 1:35.8619 187.770 4

4:46 p.m.
22 Jimmy Simpson 48.3500 48.4412 1:36.7912 185.967 11



SAGE KARAM (No. 7 Schmidt Peterson c/w Curb-Agajanian): "I can't thank the team enough. The team put a good car together for me. The rain threw a little bit of a curve ball. To get the pole is a surprise to me. We've been working really hard on the race setup. Qualifying here isn't as important as other tracks, but it's definitely a confidence-booster." (Is your goal to climb to the IZOD IndyCar Series?): "Oh, yeah. That has been my goal since I first walked into the tunnel at 4 years old."



•This is the first career Firestone Indy Lights Sunoco Pole for Sage Karam, in his first year in the series. His previous best start was third in April at Barber Motorsports Park.

•Sage Karam is the first American to win the pole position for the Firestone Freedom 100 since Ken Losch in 2007.

•Carlos Munoz has qualified on the front row for all four Firestone Indy Lights races this season. He won the Sunoco Pole for the first three races of the season and qualified second today.

•Carlos Munoz is the first driver to qualify on the front row for the Indianapolis 500 and Firestone Freedom 100 in the same year. He qualified second for both races in Andretti Autosport entries.

•Peter Dempsey qualified third, his best Firestone Indy Lights start at Indianapolis. His previous best at Indianapolis was sixth in 2011.


•This is the fifth earned pole and sixth pole start for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in the Firestone Freedom 100. Winning the pole for SPM were Thiago Medeiros (2004), Jaime Camara (2005), Wade Cunningham (2009), Pippa Mann (2010) and Sage Karam (2013). Bryan Clauson started from the pole in 2011 in an SSM car after qualifying was rained out.



KYLE O'GARA (No. 67 SFHRD/RW/SPM - Moynahan Williams): "We were still a little bit conservative, being my first qualifying attempt ever in an Indy Lights car. We definitely had some room to go if we could have. If we would have had a little more practice in this morning, it might have changed that. But, I am very thankful for being here. I am looking forward to tomorrow. We had a very good race car this morning and at the test. We're looking forward to it."

JACK HAWKSWORTH (No. 77 Schmidt Peterson c/w Curb-Agajanian): "It was great to get out on the track because we've been pits all day with the rain. There was a lot of waiting around, time spent going over things for qualifying. We had a good run, qualified fifth. The car was pretty decent, and we're pretty happy with it. The qualifying round doesn't mean too much, so we can't read too much into it. It's going to be about what happens tomorrow. I was very happy with the race car the last time we ran it, so I think we're in for a good race."

GABBY CHAVES (No. 7 Schmidt Peterson c/w Curb-Agajanian): "I think it was a good qualifying effort. We were flat out from the moment we left the pits, and after that, it's just being as smooth as you can, going through the gears correctly and hoping you get a gust of wind at the right moment to pick up a few miles an hour. I think we had a good qualifying, and we have a strong car for the race."

PETER DEMPSEY (No. 5 Belardi Auto Racing): "I wasn't really happy with the first lap, but the second lap was really solid. The Belardi Auto Racing guys put amount of effort into this car over the past month. The wind has definitely picked up since we rolled onto pit lane for qualifying. I was just trying to pick the best gear selection that I could and play around with the tools that I had in the car. Hopefully, I got it right. Definitely, my second lap, I nailed it."

JUAN PABLO GARCIA (No. 2 TMR-International-Euclid Chemical): "Unfortunately we were quite a bit slower than this morning in practice. I'm not sure what changed with the car. The car didn't feel bad; it felt good. Qualifying well is an important piece but not the most important thing. We have a good car that is fast and capable of winning tomorrow. We will go back to the garage and go over everything in the car to ensure we have a winning result tomorrow."

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 26 Dialy-Ser/Andretti Autosport): "It was pretty good. It was totally different as I was used to IndyCar (and) to go back to Indy Lights. They have a great car, and we will focus on the race tomorrow." (How does it feel to have the potential to win both the Indy 500 and the Firestone Freedom 100 in the same year?) "It would be great. Here in Indy Lights, the qualifying is not as important as the tow in the race. Here (at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway) the race is really amusing. We had so much fun last year in that race because we were overtaking all the time. But I am going one by one. I am focusing first with Indy Lights - then I will focus on the Indy 500."

CHASE AUSTIN (No. 28 Starting Grid): "We had a better car than that in practice. I'm not quite sure what happened. We have to go back and look at the telemetry. But we are looking forward to the race tomorrow. We got a good race car. Like I said, I just don't know what happened. I am excited for the race tomorrow. I can't wait for it. We have a good car, and we got a chance of winning."

ZACH VEACH (No. 12 K12/Andretti Autosport): "I don't think that is what we had in the car. I don't know why we fell off what we did in practice. We were very quick this morning, but we will go back and see what we can do better. The race is a lot better than qualifying. I think we have a good race car. We'll go back and see what we've got to do now, and we'll get after it again tomorrow."

SAGE KARAM (No. 7 Schmidt Peterson c/w Curb-Agajanian): "That was a really good run for us. We've been really focusing on race setup, and to go a qualifying lap like that was really kind of unexpected. We'll take it. We're happy with that. There was a little less grip (on the track after the rain), but we trimmed the car out more. The rain did throw a little curve ball at us, but the team responded real well and gave me a good car. I was pretty stable out there, and I felt real good about the car."

JORGE GONCALVEZ (No. 4 Belardi Auto Racing): "It was really hard because I so flat out there the whole run. Basically, the setup of the car was pretty good. We found a good setup for qualifying, but something was wrong with the car. We will try to figure it out later. It should be good for the race."

JIMMY SIMPSON (No. 22 TMR-Reed Smith-Xtreme Drilling & Coil): "I'm a little bit disappointed that we weren't quicker. We thought we would be quite a bit quicker than this. We made some changes to the car that we thought would be faster, and the thing actually went slower than we were in practice. I'm not really sure. I think we're just going to look at the data and make some sense of it and make some improvements for tomorrow. And, you know, we do have a race car. The thing is very comfortable in traffic. It's just really strange that the car was this slow. I think the wind made a big difference for me. I noticed one of my laps was quite a bit quicker than the other one, and I got into the rev limiter a little earlier - quite a bit earlier - on the first lap, and I think I must have caught a gust on the second lap. But something might be amiss with the car. We'll just have to check and see what is going on with it. We were quicker in race trim and, as you know, race trim is quite a bit slower than qualifying trim."


StemCyte Inc., a global leader in human cord blood stem cell banking, has become an associate sponsor of the No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Honda fielded by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and driven by James Jakes in the IZOD IndyCar Series for the remainder of the 2013 season.

StemCyte, Inc. and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) will work to support awareness of umbilical cord blood banking and its educational initiative "Stars for Stem Cells." Cord blood stem cells are potential cures for more than 80 illnesses, including cancers, blood disorders and immune and genetic diseases, and continue be a key element in regenerative medicine research.


IMS Historian Donald Davidson and legendary car builder A.J. Watson, both members of the Auto Racing Hall of Fame, will sign copies from noon-12:30 p.m. Friday of a brand-new 32-page photo essay book featuring the Sheraton-Thompson Watson Offy roadster that A.J. Foyt drove to his second Indianapolis 500 victory in 1964.

The autograph session will take place in the Pagoda Plaza. The book, written by Davidson with considerable input from Watson, is available in all IMS Gift Shops. Foyt wrote the foreword.


Firestone Indy Lights rookie Jimmy Simpson, driving the No. 22 TMR-Reed Smith-Xtreme Drilling & Coil car, has won the Purdue evGrand Prix and the collegiate evGrand Prix for electric-powered vehicles at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Purdue Grand Prix for gas-powered vehicles on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. He is the first person to win both the electric and gas races. Simpson went to Cathedral High School in Indianapolis and is a student at Purdue University.

JIMMY SIMPSON: "The EVC (Electric Vehicle Club) car was really good the entire time and we ended up winning. The Purdue Grand Prix was just an awesome race. The race was really long and really wore on the driver a lot. We brought a really good pit crew and ended up winning that, as well. It's a pretty wild race. There are a lot of crashes all over the place. I saw an onboard video of another guy who actually ran into me in the middle of the race. I was like: 'There's me. He ran into me.' Of course, racing at Indy is more fun, but the gas karts are a blast. I grew up racing gas karts, so winning that race meant a lot. There was a whole grand prix week leading up to that. And it means a lot to everybody. I was glad to win that." (As a local person, what does it mean for you to be able to race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway?): "It is an amazing feeling. I remember all through high school my parents would pull me out of school early and write me some note like I was sick or something, and we would come to the racetrack for a couple days to watch. Being able to race here is just amazing. I've come here since I was a little kid. It is just fantastic to be able to race in front of all of your friends and family - especially at this place. This is the coolest place in the world. You're going 200 miles an hour, and it is an amazing feeling."


Firestone Indy Lights rookie Kyle O'Gara, the brother-in-law of former IZOD Indy Car Series competitor and current team owner Sarah Fisher, has some busy days ahead.

O'Gara practiced and qualified today for the Firestone Freedom 100 and will drive in the race Friday. and qualifying in his No. 67 SFHRD/RW/SPM - Moynahan Williams car for the Firestone Freedom 100, followed by the race on Carb Day Friday. On Saturday, he is graduating from Roncalli High School, located on the south side of Indianapolis. After he receives his diploma, he heads out to the NOS Energy Drink Night Before the 500 USAC Midget Series at Lucas Oil Raceway.

KYLE O'GARA: "I'm looking forward to it. We know it is going to be a busy weekend. I think we can tackle it and take it all one step at a time. I am really looking forward to (Friday.) It will be my first time racing in the Indy Lights series. There are a lot of talented drivers in the field. The car count may not be high, but the quality is up. I'm really looking forward to it. On Saturday, I'm driving for RW Motorsports after I graduate from high school. It's going to be fun." (Is it true that your high school principal is letting you graduate first so you can make the Saturday night race?) "That is right. I am walking first from my class. Then I am heading out to Clermont to practice for The Night Before the 500. I think we can pull out another podium. We raced out in New Smyrna, Florida, in the beginning of February. It was my best national finish (second.) The team has really stepped up this year. I have Bobby Santos as a teammate. He is very good to lean on. I tested out there last week, and everything went really well." (With the busy weekend ahead, which is the bigger event for you: Driving and racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway or graduating from high school?) "Definitely turning laps at Indy. It is something that I have always looked forward to doing. We got this chance at the beginning of the month. Every lap is something different; you learn something different. It's awesome. I have studied the history of the track for a long time, since I was little. To be a part of it now really means a lot."

FRIDAY'S SCHEDULE (all times local):

7 a.m.
Garages open

8:30-9:45 a.m.
Vintage race car laps

9:30 a.m.
INDYCAR press conference, Economaki Press Conference Room

10 a.m.
Chip on the Bricks media availability with special guest Alex Zanardi, Yard of Bricks

11 a.m.-noon
Indianapolis 500 final practice

12:05 p.m.
Indianapolis 500 final practice fastest driver media availability, Economaki Press Conference Room

12:30 p.m.
Firestone Freedom 100 (40 laps)

1:30 p.m.
Firestone Freedom 100 winner media availability, Economaki Press Conference Room

1:30 p.m.
Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge

3 p.m.
Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge winner media availability, Economaki Press Conference Room

3:30 p.m.
Coors Light Carb Day Concert featuring Poison, Coors Light Stage, infield

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