Sage Karam Continues to Work on Indy 500 Settings
Thursday Gas Monkey Energy Chevy at 225.923 MPH
Hotter weather makes for tricky track conditions as qualifying get closer
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 19, 2016) – Weather has become a factor this week during practice runs for the 100th Indianapolis 500 as heat and wind made for tricky conditions Thursday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Cool air greeted the racers on Monday and rain washed out Tuesday practice runs at the famed 2.5-mile oval. An unusual eastern wind hit the track on Wednesday as sunny skies made for fast speeds.
But Thursday was another faction for the 33-driver field with hotter track temperatures and another windy day. With air temps in the 70s and the track surface reaching 120 degrees, many of the teams continue their preparations for the 200-lap Classic on May 29. Others also began trimming out their machines for this weekend’s qualifications.
For Sage Karam, the No. 24 Gas Monkey Energy Chevrolet and the Dreyer & Reinbold – Kingdom Racing squad, race settings were still in the game plan and the changing conditions had chief engineer Jeff Britton making chassis and wing adjustments throughout the sun-drenched circuit. Karam completed 62 laps Thursday with a best speed of 225.923 miles per hour. That early speed put Sage in the Top 15 on the charts and the team later worked for consistent laps in race trim and pit stops.
At the conclusion of the day, Karam’s speed ranked 21st as many teams began qualifying setups.
“Today we tried a different direction on setup for our race car, and we can take plenty of notes from it,” said Karam as he prepares for his third Indy 500. “What to do, what not to do going forward. I think we have a good direction of where we want to go with the No. 24 Gas Monkey Energy Chevy for the remainder of the month. I think Friday we’re gonna go out with what we think will work and find a baseline to work from.
“Being that it’s Fast Friday, the speeds are going to be a bit quicker, and we’re going to be working on more qualifying simulations. We’ll just pick away at that as the day goes and hopefully at the end of the day we can work more on the Gas Monkey Energy DRR-Kingdom race car and get the thing ready for May 29.”
Gabby Chaves was the surprise speed leader on Thursday with best clocking of 227.961 m.p.h.
“We are still going through our checklist of settings right now,” said Dennis Reinbold, team co-owner. “On Friday, we will find a good baseline with the car and then work towards the qualifying setup. Each day this week, we have worked hard on our crew’s pit stops. Sage is getting very good at hitting his marks in the pits too and that is very important for solid stops in the race. We feel pretty good on how the week has progress for us so far. We are looking to Fast Friday now and the weekend’s qualifying.”
The “Fast Friday” practice round is scheduled for 12 to 6 p.m. followed by the qualifying draw at 6:15 p.m. Indy 500 qualifications begin Saturday, May 21, and conclude Sunday, May 22. The 100th500-mile classic will get the green flag t at 12:15 p.m. EDT on Sunday, May 29.