LEHIGHTON, Pa. – The last time Sage Karam was strapped into a race car, he was running lap speeds in excess of 225 mph at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
The next time he goes racing will be a bit extreme from Indianapolis.
Karam will drive Ricky Yetter’s No. 5 Dirt Modified at the paved quarter-mile Mahoning Valley Speedway bullring on Saturday, July 14.
At this year’s 102nd edition of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the 23-year old from Nazareth drove the No. 24 WIX Filters/DRR Chevrolet for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing to a 24th-place finish. It marked Karam’s fifth start in the 500.
By contrast, Karam will be introduced to a whole new style of speed and driving, as there is little comparison between an Indy car and a dirt modified on pavement.
Given his talented background however, it shouldn’t be hard to make the transition for the versatile Karam.
Karam is a national karting champion with over 36 titles. Having started racing at age seven, he is the only driver to ever win the Indy Racing League Stars of Karting and the World Karting Association’s Triple Crown in the same year.
He has a record of 29 national championships and nine consecutive national victories.
In 2013, Karam raced to the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship, and he has also competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, driving for 3GT Racing in a Lexus GT3.
Yetter, who is the 2015-16 Dirt Modified division champion, made the deal with Karam recently when his son was taking part in a wrestling camp being conducted by Karam’s father Jody.
Sage was also there serving as a coach.
“I’m very excited for the opportunity to drive Rick’s car and look forward to racing at Mahoning Valley Speedway. The track is just a short drive from our house,” said Sage Karam. “I’ve seen some cool video of the races there and it’s definitely unique in its size. I’m looking to come out and have a fun evening.”
Karam plans to get a day of testing in prior to his July 14 debut at Mahoning. Yetter will be tutoring him every step of the way.
“I think this is a great opportunity to have a driver of Sage’s caliber race at Mahoning Valley. He is a great talent that has raced all over the country and beyond,” said Yetter. “We’re very excited to put him in the seat of our dirt modified. To think that one of the stars of the stars of the Indy 500 will be racing with us will make for a special night for everyone.”
Mahoning Valley will present a complete show of Modifieds, Late Models, Street Stocks, Sportsman Modifieds and Hobby Stocks on July 14 in addition to the Dirt Modifieds.
The Flashback Stocks, vintage stock cars, will be in action as well.
The Late Models will be running in a special 50-lap, $1200-to-win main event.