On Tuesday Chip Ganassi Racing signed 19-year-old Sage Karam to a driver development deal and his first Verizon IndyCar Series race will be the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500. Karam will drive the No. 22 entry of Dreyer & Reinbold Kingdom Racing, a team that made an alliance with Chip Ganassi Racing.
A senior in high school from Nazareth, Pennsylvania Karam has been on the rise through the lower open wheel series. In 2010 he won the USF2000 Championship then in 2011 he was the Rookie of the Year in the Star Mazda series. In 2012 he won the Star Mazda championship. In 2013 Karam won the Indy Lights Series championship. He scored three wins and nine podium finishes in the 12 race season driving for the Schmidt Peterson / Curb-Agajanian team. He finished in third in the Firestone Freedom 100 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in what was a four-wide finish at the line.
"Sage is a unique talent that we believe is a future star of the sport," Chip Ganassi said. "Even at a young age, he has been successful at every level that he has raced at. It is nice to see his poise and tenacity on the racetrack as I think that will translate well to his driving at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 500. He reminds me of the two other recent young drivers that we have in our program, Kyle Larson and Dylan Kwasniewski."
That is high praise as Kyle Larson has impressed in his rookie season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Dylan Kwasniewski is racing in his rookie campaign in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
"I couldn't be happier to join Chip Ganassi Racing's Verizon IndyCar Series program," said Sage Karam. "It is honestly a dream come true for me and my racing career. I've been very fortunate to participate in a few IMSA races for Chip with the team, and I can't wait for my first experience in the Indianapolis 500."
Karam has driven two of the three Tudor United Sports Car Championship races so far in 2014 for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. He was a member of the team that finished 11th in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and was a member of the team that finished sixth in the 12 Hours of Sebring.
He will take part in the Rookie Orientation Program on May 5th at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The first practice for the Indy 500 is on May 11th, qualifying is on May 17th and 18th, and the 500-mile race is on May 25th.
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