News & Multimedia

Karam Qualifies On Pole For Firestone Freedom 100

Competitors are quick to let Sage Karam know that over 40 laps on a 2.5-mile oval it's not so much where you qualify as where you're set up for the final sprint.

Still Karam was pleased to earn the Sunoco Pole Award for the Firestone Freedom 100 in his maiden Firestone Indy Lights oval race. The 18-year-old from Nazareth, Pa., posted a two-lap average speed of 189.243 mph (1 minute, 35.1160 seconds cumulative time).

The race will be broadcast live at noon (ET) on NBC Sports Network and on the IMS Radio Network on

Karam, driving the No. 8 Comfort Revolutions car for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian, is in his first season in the series after placing third in the Pro Mazda Championship in 2012. He has a pair of podium finishes in the three races on road/street circuits.

"It’s definitely a big confidence-booster," said Karam, who was quickest in the truncated morning practice session. "The fact that we really didn’t even work on qualifying setup, it was a big surprise. We were really just working on race setup the whole month. The rain really threw us a curveball and the crew responded really well."

It's the fifth earned pole and sixth pole start for Sam Schmidt Motorsports in the Firestone Freedom 100.

Qualifications were delayed three hours because of a persistent light rain that cut short the morning session. The 11 drivers will face a green track when they line up.

"It’s going to be a lot of strategy," Karam continued. "I know this race comes down to the last 10 laps, there’s a lot of draft here. Getting the pole is awesome but it’s really not as important as other tracks. Definitely it’s going to be strategy, it’s going to be a big mental thing, and like I said, I know we have a good race car so I’m really stoked about it."

Series championship points leader Carlos Munoz, who recorded a two-lap average of 189.276 mph, will start second in the No. 26 Dialy-Ser Andretti Autosport car. He was .0703 of a second off Karam's cumulative time over the five miles. Munoz also will start second in his maiden Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 26.

"It was totally different as I was used to the IndyCar (and) to go back to Indy Lights," said Munoz, who's won two of the three races this season. "They have a great car, and we will focus on the race. Here in Indy Lights, the qualifying is not as important as the tow in the race. Here (at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway) the race is really amusing. We had so much fun last year in that race because we were overtaking all the time. But I am going one by one. I am focusing first with Indy Lights – then I will focus on the Indy 500.”

Peter Dempsey (189.359) and Gabby Chaves (187.770) will share Row 2. St. Petersburg race winner Jack Hawksworth (187.410) and Kyle O'Gara (187.393), making his Firestone Indy Lights debut, will be on Row 3.

"We had a good run, qualified fifth, the car was pretty decent and we're pretty happy with it," Hawksworth said. "The qualifying round doesn't mean too much so we can't read too much into it. It's going to be about what happens (in the race). I was very happy with the race care the last time we ran it so I think we're in for a good race."

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Karam Qualifies On Pole For Firestone Freedom 100
Karam Qualifies On Pole For Firestone Freedom 100
Competitors are quick to let Sage Karam know that over 40 laps on a 2.5-mile oval it's not so much where you qualify as where you're set up for the final sprint.
Read More
Related Media
Indianapolis 500
2016 Indianapolis Motor Speedway Racing Schedule Now Set
The world’s greatest race fans can start revving their engines for another spring and summer of exciting racing action in 2016 at the Racing Capital of the World, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
SCCA at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
IMS to Host SCCA Runoffs in 2017
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Sports Car Club of America announced today that the IMS road course will be the site of the 2017 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, with race days Sept. 29-Oct. 1.
Read More
Justin Wilson
Online Auction Benefits Wilson Children's Fund
Through eBay's direct involvement, all transaction fees will be waived and all proceeds will be deposited straight into the Wilson Children's Fund, which benefits Wilson’s wife Julia and daughters Jane and Jessica. Fans who sell their own Wilson-related items on eBay can designate the Graham Rahal Foundation as their chosen charity and proceeds will be donated to the fund as well.
Read More
Red Bull Indianapolis GP
MotoGP Will Not Return to IMS in 2016
Following eight years of delivering world class motorcycle racing, the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix will not be on the 2016 event schedule for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The award winning MotoGP event was first hosted at IMS in partnership with Dorna Sports in September of 2008. The cancellation of the race was a mutual decision by both parties.
Read More
Scott Dixon wins the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship
Monday Racing Roundup: What A Finish! Dixon Wins Race, Title On Tiebreak
Juan Pablo Montoya entered the 85-lap GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma with a 34-point cushion on second-place Graham Rahal and 47-point lead on Scott Dixon. But it was Dixon, who started ninth in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, who departed Wine Country with the title. Dixon won for the second consecutive year at Sonoma Raceway, and claimed the title on a tiebreaker with three race wins to Montoya's two wins.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 537
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at
Latest Tweets
What is your Favorite @JourneyOfficial song? Come out to hear it for @MIllerLite Carb Day! #DontStopBelieving
about 14 hours ago