Andretti protege Karam wins Iowa Star Mazda race
The autographs that Sage Karam was signing after his victory in the Pizza Ranch 100 at Iowa Speedway on Saturday may be worth a lot of money someday soon.
If the 16-year-old has his way, he’ll be racing in the Indianapolis 500 before he’s done with high school, and someday will win America’s most prestigious race.
Growing up across the street from the Andrettis in Nazareth, Pa., will cause you to dream big.
“My dad became pretty good friends with Michael (Andretti), and he talked my dad into buying me a go-kart for my 4th birthday,” Karam said after his second consecutive victory in the Mazda Star Series, in which he’s the youngest competitor. “It just kind of took off from there.”
Karam, racing for Andretti Autosport, won the USF2000 National Championship last year, is hoping for at least a top-3 finish in Mazda this summer, then has his eye on the Indy Lights series and, hopefully, the big time.
“If everything works out, I can be in IndyCar by junior year in high school, which would be incredible,” said Karam, who just completed his freshman year. “That’s the dream, but racing doesn’t go your way sometimes.”
Karam is on the fast track up the ladder in the Road to Indy program, under the tutelage of Andretti, who was here to share a hug in victory lane. After that, the youngster got literally wet behind the ears thanks to a healthy spraying of an adult beverage.
“Yeah, that was champagne,” he confirmed. “It gets a little sticky and you’ve got to make sure you shut your eyes or else it stings pretty bad. So I’ve got to go find a shower or something.”
1. Sage Karam, MazdaSpeed/Comfort Revolution
2. J.V. Horto, Programa LeiLoes;
3. Gustavo Menezes, Truecar, Inc.
4. Tristan Vautier, Cecibon/Circuit du Laquais/Fontanel
5. Tatiana Calderon, JAC Motors
6. Joao Jardim
7. Nick Andries, Lithionics Battery/GS610 Brake Fluid/Trademark Garage Floors
8. Carlos Linares, Mindeporte
9. Nick Mancuso, Jimmy Johns Sandwiches/Indeck/Lake Forest Sportcars
10. J.W. Roberts
11. Connor De Phillippi, Justice Brothers Products/Trademark Garage Floors;
12. Martin Scuncio, Bia Comunicaciones/Cable Del Pacifico.