Indy 500 rookie Sage Karam waits for next start

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 19, 2014 at 12:49 pm •  Published: June 19, 2014
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Sage Karam wanted to treat his team to some pizzas to say thanks for their work in his dazzling debut at the Indianapolis 500.

Karam didn't need his money once the delivery man arrived with three large pizzas and recognized the teen sensation who rebounded from a 31st-place starting spot to finish ninth in his first IndyCar Series start on the sport's grandest stage. The pizza was on the house.

"Stuff like that is pretty cool," Karam said.

It's waiting around for another shot in an Indy car that's the bummer.

Karam is waiting for more races and a chance to prove his rookie run was no one-hit wonder, just the birth of what could be a successful open-wheel career.

Karam at least knows when he'll get behind the wheel again for his next race. Karam was added Thursday to the Tudor United SportsCar Championship driver lineup for the June 29 Six Hours of the Glen. He will join Scott Pruett and Memor Rojas in the No. 01 car driving for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Karam also drove for Ganassi at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring.

"He has done nothing but impress all of us whenever he gets behind the wheel of a car, any car," Ganassi said. "Whether it is in these prototypes or an Indy car, he has been equally impressive. It is not often when you have someone so young driving with such maturity and calm when he is behind the wheel."

The recent Pennsylvania high school graduate and reigning Indy Lights champion has found his weekends free for racing karts at local tracks this season instead of hitting the grid for his next race. His spot as a developmental driver for Ganassi hasn't led to a fulltime ride, and his Indy 500 spot came as a joint entry fielded by Ganassi Racing and Dreyer & Reinbold Kingdom Racing.

He made a splash in May, stealing headlines when he attended a makeshift prom with his girlfriend, Anna de Ferran, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Karam was runner-up to Scott Dixon in the pit crew competition and became an instant fan favorite and media darling with his carefree persona.

But it was his ninth-place finish that really opened some eyes. Karam, who could have applied a $1 million Indy Light championship stipend to a full-time ride in 2014, just wishes his finish would lead to more opportunities.

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