Sage Works on Long Race Stints in AES Indiana/500 Festival Chevy
INDIANAPOLIS (May 20, 2021) – Driver Sage Karam kept a busy schedule Thursday in Indianapolis with an appearance at the popular Mecum Auto Auctions in the morning and an action-packed, on-track practice round in the afternoon in preparations for the 105th Indianapolis 500.
Longtime Dreyer & Reinbold Racing partner, the Mecum Auto Auctions, annually hosts its huge auction at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, and both Karam and DRR team owner Dennis Reinbold attended the morning session which saw a variety of collector machinery. Karam also made an appearance in the NBC Sports telecast Thursday from the Indiana Farmers Coliseum after meeting auction owner Dana Mecum.
By noon, Karam was back in his No. 24 DRR AES Indiana/500 Festival Chevrolet race car for pit stop practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and several long stints in race setups. With 86-degree air temperature and 125-degree race surface, it was important testing in the heat of the day.
After 15 to 20-lap runs, Karam’s mount was consistent with a best speed of 221.411 miles per hour and many 220-plus laps as his squad prepared for the 200-lap Classic race on Sunday, May 30. The DRR engineering team methodically worked through their settings with the hotter conditions before parking the race car at 5:30 p.m. EDT. Sage completed 86 laps on Thursday.
“Sure, it was a busy day for me and the whole team,” said Karam, the 26-year-old racer from Nazareth, PA. “It was fun to check out all of the very cool cars at the Mecum Auction this morning at the fairgrounds. We talked with Dana and the Mecum folks who have been partners with DRR for many years. The Indy event is one of their biggest throughout the country. I love seeing their wild cars up close.
“On the track, we did a bunch of pit stops and then worked through our checklist for the race settings and we worked with a few qualifying settings too. We will concentrate much more on the qualifying trim on Friday with the bigger turbo (charger) boost and running less downforce. It’s another busy day on Friday with qualifications just around the corner.”
Thursday’s best speed at IMS was set by former Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan at 225.341 m.p.h. followed by Conor Daly at 225.245, Santino Ferrucci at 224.922 (before his car hit the wall), Josef Newgarden at 224.885 and Scott Dixon at 224.666.
Karam will drive the No. 24 AES Indiana/500 Festival Chevrolet Friday afternoon from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. EDT in the “Fast Friday” practice action.