IndyCar driver Sage Karam made his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut on Aug. 14, competing in a road course race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He will now return to the series for even more laps. Karam has added two Xfinity Series races, as well as a Truck Series race to his 2021 schedule.
The Pennsylvania native will return to Jordan Anderson Racing and the No. 31 Chevrolet Camaro on Sept. 17 for a race at Bristol Motor Speedway. This race will serve as his first NASCAR action on an oval track. Karam will then compete at the Charlotte Roval on Oct. 9, using his road course experience to fight for a strong finish. Finally, Karam will make his Camping World Truck Series debut at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 30, driving the No. 3 Chevrolet Silverado.
Karam started the Indianapolis Motor Speedway race on Aug. 14 in the 18th position. He lined up next to Austin Dillon and behind Kevin Harvick before fighting to navigate his way through the field. According to “TobyChristie,” he raced inside the top 15 for 45.8% of the race before a mechanical issue sent the No. 31 Chevrolet to the garage. Karam ultimately finished 26th overall.
“Totally unlike anything I’ve ever done,” Karam told NBC Sports about his Xfinity Series debut. “I thought that there would be some car I’ve driven in the past that would have matched up a little bit to this, and it’s just not the case at all. I’ve been learning every single lap. I’ve been a giant sponge and just taking in everything I can get. I feel like I wish I had one more practice session before I qualified.”
Karam Had Previously Circled Bristol as a Potential Second Race
Going from the road course at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway to one of the most famous short tracks in all of NASCAR will not be a simple task. However, Karam specifically chose Bristol Motor Speedway as a track where he would like to test his skills.
The eight-time Indy 500 starter told “TobyChristie” prior to his Xfinity Series debut that he wanted to race at Bristol Motor Speedway. He explained that the Tennessee track had similarities to road courses in that the drivers have to be heavy on the brakes and “put a lot of wheel into it.”
Karam added that he could probably compete at a superspeedway, but he would enter the race at a disadvantage. He does not have the experience to know the best way to side-draft and make moves on the track.
“The expectation won’t be high either,” Karam told “TobyChristie” about his desire to race at Bristol. “It’s just going to be, do as many laps as you can, learn as much as you can, and bring the car home in the best result you possibly can. I just think it would be a really good learning experience for me going forward.”
Another Driver Will First Control the No. 31 Chevrolet
Karam will return to JAR for the race at Bristol Motor Speedway and will strive to learn as much as possible about short track racing. However, he will first have to wait for another driver to finish up with the No. 31 Chevrolet Camaro.
Josh Berry, who will return to JR Motorsports on a full-time basis in 2022, will be back with JAR on Sept. 11 for the Go Bowling 250 at Richmond Raceway. He will make his fourth start for the race team and will fight for his third top-10 finish in the No. 31. Berry finished eighth for JAR at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on June 5 and ninth at Pocono Raceway on June 27.
Berry only has one start at Richmond in his Xfinity Series career. He previously suited up for JR Motorsports during the 2015 season and climbed into the No. 88 Chevrolet. Berry started the race fifth overall and finished seventh behind teammate Regan Smith. Chase Elliott, who also drove for JRM at the time, won the race after holding off Kyle Busch.
READ NEXT: Cody Ware To Miss 2 Cup Series Races