Sage Karam visits Ganassi’s NASCAR team, but here’s to him sticking in IndyCar

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Over the years, there’s been a lot of potential young, American open-wheel stars – Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson immediately come to mind – who had open-wheel roots but eventually made it big in NASCAR.

Here’s to hoping for IndyCar’s sake that Sage Karam, the 2013 Indy Lights champion, isn’t on that list.

Karam, who starred in his Indianapolis 500 debut and in various sports car races as a Chip Ganassi Racing development driver, visited Ganassi’s NASCAR shop in Charlotte for the first time on Tuesday.

Ganassi has Larson in his rookie year of Sprint Cup and also has Dylan Kwasniewski as a development driver on the NASCAR side.

Although at the moment Karam doesn’t have any additional Verizon IndyCar Series races planned this year – Iowa and/or Milwaukee were mooted in a 1260 WNDE radio interview in early June – he’s still Ganassi’s best IndyCar prospect, especially considering a seat could be opening there in the next two to three years.

Karam, a native of Nazareth, Pa., will not be racing at Pocono this weekend for what would be his home race.

We’re hopeful and optimistic he’ll get at least one more IndyCar race this year, to once again show the potential and flare he displayed at Indy.

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.