INDIANAPOLIS – Sage Karam earned the Sunoco Pole Award for the Firestone Freedom 100 in his first Firestone Indy Lights oval race.
Karam, an 18-year-old from Nazareth, Pa., posted a two-lap average speed of 189.243 mph (1 minute, 35.1160 seconds cumulative time) Thursday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
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 the fifth earned pole and sixth pole start for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in the Firestone Freedom 100.
“That was a really good run for us. We’ve been really focusing on race setup, and to go a qualifying lap like that was really kind of unexpected. We’ll take it,” Karam said. “We’re happy with that. There was a little less grip (on the track after the rain), but we trimmed the car out more. The rain did throw a little curve ball at us, but the team responded real well and gave me a good car. I was pretty stable out there, and I felt real good about the car.”
Series 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 first Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 26.
Peter Dempsey (189.359) and Gabby Chaves (187.770) will share Row 2 in the Firestone Freedom 100. 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.