April 29, 2014 — team release — IndyCar photo — INDIANAPOLIS – Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announced today that reigning Indy Lights Champion Sage Karam has signed a multi-year deal as a development driver for the team, which will begin with contesting the 2014 Indianapolis 500 through an alliance with Dreyer & Reinbold Kingdom Racing.
Karam will drive the No. 22 Chevrolet/Dallara in his attempt to qualify for the 98th Indianapolis 500.
“Sage is a unique talent that we believe is a future star of the sport,” affirmed team owner Chip Ganassi. “Even at a young age, he has been successful at every level that he has raced at. It is nice to see his poise and tenacity on the race track as I think that will translate well to his driving at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 500. He reminds me of the two other recent young drivers that we have in our program, Kyle Larson and Dylan Kwasniewski.”
Karam competed twice with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) earlier this season in a second Prototype (P) fielded in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s (TUSC) Rolex 24 At Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring. Karam was most recently part of the No. 02 driver lineup with Target Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan, who earned the most points from Sebring’s three segments toward the season-ending $100,000 Patrón Endurance Cup for the (P) class with a sixth-place result.
Karam started all 12 races of the 2013 Indy Lights series, winning three times on his way to claiming the 2013 Indy Lights Championship, making him the eighth driver to claim the title in their rookie season, as well as becoming the youngest Indy Lights Champion in history at 18 years old.
At age 15, he won the 2010 USF2000 Series Championship as well as the Rookie of the Year award. He entered the Star Mazda series in 2011, winning Rookie of the Year and then going on to finish third in the standings in 2012. Karam is also the first driver to compete in all levels of the Mazda Road to Indy program, where he became the only driver to win races at each level. Prior to that he was the youngest winner of the Skip Barber scholarship, where he also became the youngest (13) winner ever in the Skip Barber shootout, surpassing F1 prospect Alexander Rossi’s record.
“I couldn’t be happier to join Chip Ganassi Racing’s Verizon IndyCar Series program,” Karam said after the announcement. “It is honestly a dream come true for me and my racing career. I’ve been very fortunate to participate in a few IMSA races for Chip with the team, and I can’t wait for my first experience in the Indianapolis 500. Chip has created a fantastic organization that judges success by just one thing – winning, both races and championships. This is a very big day for me.”
Karam adds to a growing lineup of CGRT development drivers that includes 21-year-old graduate Kyle Larson (No. 42 Target Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series) and 18-year-old Dylan Kwasniewski (No. 31 RockStar Chevrolet Camaro in the NASCAR Nationwide Series).
About Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
Chip Ganassi has been a fixture in the auto racing industry for over 25 years and is considered one of the most successful as well as innovative owners the sport has anywhere in the world. Today his teams include four cars in the Verizon IndyCar Series, two cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and one Prototype in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Overall his teams have 17 championships and 160 victories, including four Indianapolis 500s, a Daytona 500, a Brickyard 400, five Rolex 24 At Daytonas and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Ganassi boasts state-of-the-art race shop facilities in Indianapolis and Brownsburg, Ind. and Concord, N.C., with a corporate office in Pittsburgh, Penn.