Sage Karam’s Gas Monkey Energy Chevy Looks Strong Monday In Indy 500 Practice with 226.045 Lap in Race Trim
21-year-old driver recorded 4th fastest time with a new moto for Sunday’s 500
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 23, 2016) – Sage Karam wasn’t pleased with the qualifying setup on his No. 24 Gas Monkey Energy Chevrolet Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But his frown turned to a smile for the youngest racer in the 33-driver Monday in the practice runs for the 100th Indy 500.
The 21-year-old star from Nazareth, Pa., looked smooth and fast in the hotter track conditions Monday with the fourth fastest speed of the day at 226.045 miles per hour, as his Dreyer & Reinbold – Kingdom Racing team worked methodically through its race trim settings in the three and half hour session at the famed 2.5-mile oval. According to the Firestone engineers, the top air temperature Monday was 83 degrees with the top track surface temperature at 122.
Following a disappointing four-lap qualifying effort Sunday (starting 23rd in the race with a 226.436 average), Karam and his chief engineer Jeff Britton developed a strategy for Monday’s practice runs that included getting the race car prepared for traffic, fuel readings, tire wear and pit stops.
Karam recorded 93 laps Monday and concluded his practice before the 4 p.m. deadline. Josef Newgarden was the fastest Monday at 227.414 m.p.h. followed by Tony Kanaan (226.393), Scott Dixon (226.339) and Karam (226.045).
“Today was a very good day for our Gas Monkey Energy team,” Karam, making his third Indy 500 start. “It was very busy out there. Due to the weather forecast later in the week, I think everyone was really trying to get their cars running well in race trim. And that is what we were trying to do today too. We worked on fuel numbers, pit stops and many things. I think we have a good baseline moving into Carb Day and the race. The car seemed pretty good today. We ran in a lot of traffic and I felt the car worked well in these hotter conditions too.
“Our plan is to take the Gas Monkey Energy Chevrolet to the front on Sunday. I have been waiting a long time to get back to the Indy 500. I feel good about the way the day went for us. I can’t wait for the green flag on Sunday. We are going with the Gas Monkey memo for Sunday – GYSOT – Get you some of that – MILK!”
Karam now moves to the off-track portion of the week with a Tuesday media day in Cincinnati (at the Cincinnati Zoo – Gas Monkey meets the animals), various promotions Wednesday with the Indy 500 Community Day and additional media and sponsors events on Thursday.
Sage and the other 32 drivers will participate in the one-hour practice session in Friday’s CARB Day activities which also includes the DRR-Kingdom crew in the annual Pit Stop Challenge at 2:15 p.m.
The start of the 100th Indy 500 is scheduled for 12:14 p.m. EDT this Sunday, May 29.