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 www.indycar.com.

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
Ed Carpenter
 
Pruett's Preview: Firestone 600, Continued
With the Verizon IndyCar Series and TMS left to halt the race after 72 laps (173 kilometers) and multiple delays due to bad weather, the ninth race on the 2016 tour will take the green flag after a 78-day hold. And with 177 laps (427km) left to complete, teams will receive two brief 10-minute warmup sessions before the field is placed into the positions each driver held on the last lap in June and sent into furious action at 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
Read More
Indy 500
 
101st Indianapolis 500, Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis Highlighting 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series May Schedule
The series released its full 2017 schedule and it includes the iconic 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 28 and the fourth annual Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 13.
Read More
Sky Lounge
 
Sky Lounge, Checkered Flag Club Offer Upscale Options for Red Bull Air Race Viewing
For the first time in more than a century, the racing action at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be in the skies rather than on the pavement for the Red Bull Air Race.
Read More
Ryan Hunter-Reay
 
Pruett's Preview: ABC Supply 500
Ryan Hunter-Reay didn’t want to celebrate his win at Pocono last year. And he wasn’t alone. Points and trophies were duly awarded after the checkered flag flew at the 2-mile superspeedway, but in light of the accident that would claim the life of his teammate Justin Wilson the following day, Pocono 2015 is more a reminder of what IndyCar lost than anything its finishers gained.
Read More
John Cooper
 
Remembering John Cooper
John Cooper, who died Wednesday at the age of 84, was a major player in the motorsports world, not just during his time from 1979-82 as the president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He was the kind of man who knew not only the big sponsor developments of the day, but why Joe Smith missed Saturday night’s feature at the local dirt track. Cooper was as much of a racing enthusiast as a mover-and-shaker.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,304
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 lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
.@joeylogano is on pole! Don't forget to tune in on Sunday - NASCAR @MISpeedway #NASCAR #PureMichigan400 https://t.co/7nPglBRSxc
about 7 hours ago