Unable to attend high school prom due to Indy 500, Sage Karam’s team brought prom to him

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On the surface, it would seem hard to top Chase Elliott graduating from high school in suburban Atlanta early on a Saturday morning and then flying right from there to qualify at Iowa Speedway later the same day for the following day’s race a couple weeks ago.

Well, IndyCar driver Sage Karam may very well have beaten Elliott for bragging rights.

A week ago, just before Karam would make his first appearance in the Indianapolis 500 at the precocious age of 19, his team went above and beyond the call of duty to give Karam something preparing for the 500 forced him to miss:

Going to prom.

According to a story by Austin Coop at RoadTrippers.com, Karam was unable to attend his senior prom back at Nazareth Area High School in Nazareth, Pa. (which also happens to be homestead to much of the Andretti clan).

So with Karam unable to go to the prom, members of Ganassi/Dreyer and Reinbold Racing brought the prom to him.

With only three days of planning, the prom planners not only shined on short notice, they outdid themselves. Not only did they decorate the area around the team’s home in Gasoline Alley, they flew in Karam’s girlfriend, Anna de Ferran (yes, that’s Gil’s daughter) to have a prom that neither will ever forget.

And while it was a two-person prom for the most part, Karam and de Ferran danced and partied as part of Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Community Day, allowing fans, fellow drivers and members of other teams to stop by and spend some quality time with and offer congratulations to the cute couple.

In addition to taking traditional prom photos, Karam, who graduates from high school next week, was named “Prom King,” receiving his “crown” from Indy 500 Festival Queen Lauren Isaacs.

So, let’s recap: In just over a couple of weeks, Karam goes to prom, races in the Indy 500 and then prepares for high school graduation.

How cool is all that?

Congratulations, Sage … and eat your heart out, Chase.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama final practice report

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Will Power posted the fastest lap in the third practice session for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.953 mph.

Rookie Robert Wickens (122.552 mph) was second fast, foretelling a continuation of his incredible rookie season.

Scott Dixon (122.237), Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.231) and Alexander Rossi (122.106) rounded out the top five.

The practice was interrupted several times for incidents. 

Ed Jones spun off track in turn five after locking up his brakes with 30 minutes remaining in practice three. He was able to drive back to the pits under his own power.

With 20 minutes still on the clock, Jordan King took a trip into the fence after posting a fastest lap of 121.753 mph. He sustained substantial left side damage to his car and came back to the pits on the hook.

“I’m annoyed really,” King said afterward on the live stream at IndyCar.com. “I slightly locked the inside front, then just stayed off onto the grass and that was it. But I wasn’t really even pushing that hard.”

With two minutes remaining, Charlie Kimball lost power and pulled off the track, bringing an end to the practice session.

Dixon also had an off-road excursion.