IndyCar driver set to make NASCAR debut at Indianapolis

35

IndyCar driver Sage Karam is set to make his NASCAR debut in the Xfinity Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course next month.

Sage Karam is set to make his NASCAR debut in the second ever Xfinity Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on Saturday, August 14, and he is set to do so driving for Jordan Anderson Racing.

Karam is set to pilot the #31 Chevrolet in this 62-lap race around the 13-turn, 2.439-mile (3.925-kilometer) Indianapolis Motor Speedway natural terrain road course in Speedway, Indiana.

Here is what Karam had to say about the opportunity in a team press release.

“It has always been a dream of mine to be able to compete at this level with some of the world’s best stock car drivers. My goal is to learn as much as possible and soak in this experience. It’s a welcomed challenge for me, and I’m looking forward to building strong relationships with the talented people of Jordan Anderson Racing.”

Here is what team president Jordan Anderson had to add.

“Our entire team is incredibly proud to add Sage Karam to our list of talented drivers that have driven the 31 Chevrolet this year. 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.”

The 26-year-old Nazareth, Pennsylvania native is set to join Santino Ferrucci as an IndyCar driver making his NASCAR debut in 2021. Ferrucci competes part-time for Sam Hunt Racing in the Xfinity Series after spending the 2019 and 2020 seasons competing full-time for Dale Coyne Racing in IndyCar.

Karam has never competed full-time in IndyCar, but he ran almost the entire schedule in 2015, and he has competed in the Indy 500 in each of the last eight years. After finishing in ninth place as a 19-year-old rookie in 2014, he finally topped his best result this year with a seventh place finish.

He started on the back row in 31st place in both races and has now started in 31st for four of his eight Indy 500 starts, including the last three.

He has also made three starts at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. All three of those starts came during the 2020 season, his third season as a part-time driver as opposed to an Indy 500-only driver. He finished those three races in 23rd, 23rd, and 24th place.

Karam may very well not be the last IndyCar driver to make his NASCAR debut this year, as there are talks about Marco Andretti, who stepped away from full-time IndyCar racing after 15 years following the 2020 season, potentially doing the same now that the inaugural six-race season of SRX is in the books.

Andretti, who has been the subject of NASCAR debut rumors in the past, won the SRX race at Slinger Speedway and finished in third place in the championship standings.

The Xfinity Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course is set to be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 14. This race is the second Xfinity Series race back from the current Summer Olympics break, and it is the first race back that is set to be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network.