INDIANAPOLIS – Sage Karam topped 226 mph on Monday to end the eighth Indianapolis 500 practice session of the month first. I know it’s only one practice and that this lap was obviously put down with a tow, but you have to include Karam as one of the top sleepers to win Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 (11 a.m. ET/ABC/INDYCAR Radio Network). Here’s why.
This shouldn’t be a shock that Karam ended the day P1. Last week, we had three days of action where most teams elected to go on race setups. In those practices, Karam finished inside the top 10 in all of them. In fact, he’s been in the top six in three of the four practice sessions on race trim.
That shows that not only does he have the pace, it also appears that he has the balance too. So, don’t put a ton of stock in his 24th starting position for Sunday’s race. From what I’ve seen, he has a car that can move through the field. Plus, this is a changed Karam over the one that we’ve seen in the past. This Karam is cool, calmer and more mature. He’d admitted as much.
In the past, Karam has had very good race cars but he would maybe put himself in positions that he probably didn’t need to be in during those portions of those respective races. He’s man enough to admit that. Now, he’s hoping to show the fans that he’s more patient and going to show off his race craft for a full 500 miles.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing have always produced very good race cars for the Month of May. Now that we’re nearing race day, Karam is showing that. If he can be around in the end, he can win this thing. He’s that good and so is his car.