IndyCar Driver to Make NASCAR Debut at Indianapolis

Sage Karam

Getty Sage Karam prepares for a race at Daytona International Speedway.

The NASCAR Xfinity and Cup Series head to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Aug. 14-15, testing the drivers on the road course. An IndyCar driver will use the opportunity to make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut. Sage Karam will drive the No. 31 Chevrolet Camaro for Jordan Anderson Racing.

According to a press release, Karam will suit up for the Pennzoil 150 and strive to continue a season of strong performances by the first-year team. Karam does not have traditional stock car racing experience, but he competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2016 and 2017, made 24 NTT IndyCar starts, and posted two top-10 finishes in the Indianapolis 500.

“My goal is to learn as much as possible and soak in this experience,” Karam said in the press release. “It’s a welcomed challenge for me, and I’m looking forward to building strong relationships with the talented people of Jordan Anderson Racing.”

The Pennzoil 150 will take place on Saturday, Aug. 14, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. NBC Sports Network will provide coverage for the race, which starts at 4 p.m. ET.

Karam Will Use His Road Course Experience to Pursue Success

When Karam heads to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, he will face off with multiple Xfinity series drivers that have some experience on the road course. The NASCAR series headed to the track for the first time in 2020 in a race that Chase Briscoe won before moving on to the Cup Series.

While Briscoe is no longer in the Xfinity Series, Karam will still have to contend with such names as Austin Cindric, Noah Gragson, AJ Allmendinger, and Justin Allgaier. He will not enter the weekend as one of the favorites to win or crack the top 10, but JAR’s owner knows that the IndyCar driver can rely on past experience to help him find success.

“Our entire team is incredibly proud to add Sage Karam to our list of talented drivers that have driven the 31 Chevrolet this year,” Anderson said in a statement, per NASCAR. “With Sage’s extensive experience in road racing and open-wheel racing, along with finishing 7th in this year’s Indianapolis 500, we knew that the road course at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway would be a special place for him to make his NASCAR debut with support from Montage Mountain Resorts and so many other great partners.

“To bridge the gap between two different fields of racing is a challenge that I’m confident Sage will be able to master. We’re blessed to have some amazing drivers and people that continue to help our organization grow, and this opportunity is another pivotal part of our long-term goal.”

Karam Joins a Stacked Group of Drivers for JAR

Josh Berry

GettyJosh Berry (left) races at Mid-Ohio.

When Karam climbs into the No. 31 Chevrolet, he will become the fifth driver to make a start for the first-year Xfinity Series team. He will join Tyler Reddick, Josh Berry, owner Jordan Anderson, and Kaz Grala.

JAR did not compete in the first 10 races of the year due to rain washing out the Daytona qualifying and COVID protocols taking away the sessions for another nine. However, the team had the opportunity to finally compete during the first-ever NASCAR weekend at Circuit of the Americas in Texas.

Reddick set the No. 31 team up for success during the qualifying session at COTA. He posted the fifth-fastest time and then proceeded to follow it up with an eighth-place run during the race. He returned to the No. 31 Chevrolet at Charlotte Motor Speedway and posted the team’s first top-five finish of the year.

The drivers have yet to reach Victory Lane in the No. 31, but they have combined for four top-10 finishes. Along with Reddick’s performances at COTA and Charlotte, Berry finished eighth at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and ninth at Pocono Raceway. Now Karam will strive to add a strong finish of his own.

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