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.