Dreyer & Reinbold - Kingdom Racing driver starts
23rd in Gas Monkey Energy Chevy
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 26, 2016) - Sage Karam is back
in a happy place - the cockpit of an IndyCar.
The youngest driver, at age 21, in the 100th Indianapolis 500
Mile Race has been watching from the sidelines for the past nine
months following a crash while leading the race at Pocono in
It has been long and sometimes frustrated nine months that took
time to rethink his racing plan while working out hard for another
opportunity and assisting his father, Jody, as a high school
wrestling coach. Sage has met with counselors, built his body into
its best shape ever and recharged his batteries for another strong
performance in 2016.
Karam's former team owner Dennis Reinbold came to Sage in
December with a game plan for the 100th Indy 500. Karam didn't have
a solid program yet for 2016 and Reinbold's plan with a new and
exciting primary sponsor in Gas Monkey Energy gave Sage a shot to
win the 100th running of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing."
"I was helping my dad with his wrestling team and working out
hard," said Karam, who'll start 23rd Sunday in the No. 24 Gas
Monkey Energy Chevrolet for Dreyer & Reinbold - Kingdom Racing.
"Then Dennis called and said he had a great new sponsor and he
wanted me in the No. 24 for the 500. I was very exciting for
several reasons. First, I was happy to be driving for Dennis' team
again. We had a great run in 2014, my rookie year. We came from
31st to ninth and I won the 'Hard Charger Award.'
"Secondly, I was a big fan of the Gas Monkey Garage and it's
'Fast N Loud' show on the Discovery Channel. I have been watching
the show for several years and thought it was very cool. I was
extremely excited to work with Richard Rawlings and his guys at Gas
Monkey. So I just couldn't wait to get into the Gas Monkey Energy
machine at IMS."
But Karam had to wait his turn. He had done some promotional
work for Gas Monkey Energy and the Indy 500 but he was chomping at
the bit to get into the Chevy-powered IndyCar. Then he had to wait
through the Grand Prix of Indianapolis weekend too.
"I kept busy that weekend as I worked on the IndyCar Radio
Network for the Indy Lights and IndyCar races," Karam explained.
"We did some media interviews and I had pit stop practice with the
crew. I knew the time was getting close to jumping back into the
On May 16, Karam returned to track for the first time since the
August crash at Pocono. The smile on Sage's face said it all that
day. He was back in the cockpit and doing what he loves - driving a
"It was a great feeling and, after a few laps, it felt like I
did last August in the race car," he said. "It was a blast. I love
coming to Indy for the 500 and I enjoy working with the Dreyer
& Reinbold - Kingdom Racing guys. We had a good week of
practice and we learned a lot about the race car."
Karam completed 384 laps during the first week of action at the
legendary 2.5-mile oval and, following a strong final practice, the
Nazareth, Pa., racer has regained his confidence behind the
"We didn't qualify (23rd) as well as I had hoped," admits Sage.
"But the car felt great in the final practice session Monday with
almost 100 laps (93) and I felt I could drive the car in various
spots on the track in hotter conditions. It's exciting to jump out
of your race car after strong performance in the last
Karam will take the No. 24 Gas Monkey Energy Chevrolet to the
track Friday in the annual CARB Day one-hour practice round in
final preparation for Sunday's 100th edition of the world's biggest
auto race. In addition, Sage and his crew will participate in the
popular Pit Stop Challenge featuring the top pit crews in
head-to-head battle in the pit lane.
"We finished second in the Pit Stop Challenge with this team in
2014," said Karam. "This team is fast on pit stops and I need to
hit my marks on Friday in the Challenge and, most importantly, in
Sunday's race. I think we can run to the front in the Indy 500.
It's feels awesome to be back in the car and racing again."
Sunday's 100th Indy 500 will be televised nationally on ABC-TV
with the green flag set to drop at 12:14 p.m. EDT. A sellout crowd
will be on hand to witness history in the 200-lap classic.
And Karam hopes to make more history by becoming the youngest
winner in Indy 500 history.