May 25, 2014 in Sports

Teen driver Sage Karam hopes for bright Indy 500 debut

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Karam
(Full-size photo)

From prom to pits, Sage Karam has been money at Indianapolis.

The 19-year-old Indy 500 rookie has danced in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway paddock at a makeshift prom, was runner-up to Scott Dixon in the pit crew competition and become an instant fan favorite and media darling with his carefree persona.

“Where’s all the young girls?” he quipped before Saturday’s autograph session.

Plenty of ’em were lined up for the blue-eyed, blond-haired Karam. He’s kind of hard to miss: Karam’s mug was pasted on oversized $100 bills passed out around the track, a fitting tribute for his SK$ moniker.

Karam, who graduates from high school next month, starts 31st today in his IndyCar debut. He set a top-15 finish as a reasonable goal in an entry that is jointly fielded by Ganassi Racing and Dreyer & Reinbold Kingdom Racing.

“My friends think it’s pretty cool,” Karam said. “I haven’t seen them in a while and we’re going to have some fun.”

Sprint Cup Series

Some of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s earliest NASCAR memories came at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and he hopes to add another big one by winning the Coca-Cola 600 tonight.

Earnhardt grew up watching his late father, Dale Earnhardt, race in Concord, North Carolina, more than 30 years ago and has long wanted to win NASCAR’s longest race as his dad accomplished three times, the last in 1993.

“I want to win a points race here so bad because we live just right down the road,” Earnhardt Jr. said.

He has come close, most notably in 2011 when he broke free from a late restart to take the lead. He got the white flag just fine, then ran out of gas on the front straightaway and coasted through the final turn before Kevin Harvick passed him for the win. Earnhardt finished seventh, his sixth top-10 finish in the Memorial Day weekend race.

Most eyes at Charlotte will be awaiting Kurt Busch’s arrival after the former NASCAR champion competes at the Indianapolis 500.

Nationwide Series

Kyle Larson raced to his second Nationwide Series victory of the season Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The 21-year-old Larson passed Brad Keselowski on the 118th lap in the 200-lap race and led the rest of the way. Larson also won at Fontana.

Keselowski was second, followed by Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Brian Scott.

Formula One

Nico Rosberg took pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix in controversial circumstances, ahead of his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.

The Mercedes pair went out for one final lap with less than a minute remaining. Rosberg lost control coming out of the Mirabeau turn and slid down an escape road. A yellow flag came up, meaning that Hamilton could not improve on his time.

Stewards later said they are investigating Rosberg’s maneuver on turn 5.


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