Sage Karam remains undefeated at Iowa Speedway. The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver has now won at the 7/8-mile bullring for the fourth consecutive year after holding off teammate Gabby Chaves by less than three-tenths of a second to take the Firestone Indy Lights’ Sukup 100.
“I saw the opportunity, took it and that was it,” said Karam, who took the lead for good from Jack Hawksworth on Lap 49. “We had a good race. I will tell you what, that was one of the hardest victories I’ve had to work for. That definitely goes down as the best drive I’ve ever had.”
Karam won a USF2000 race at Iowa in 2010, and then followed that up with a pair of Pro Mazda wins there in 2011 and 2012. Now he’s pulled off his biggest win yet in the cornfields and has also assumed the Indy Lights points lead by nine points over Carlos Munoz, who finished three laps down in eighth position because of an undefined problem.
“Don’t know what really happened,” said Munoz, who had won the pole for the 115-lap race. “On the first lap, we had a huge problem with the front tires that wasn’t there [before]. We were good all weekend and then something was wrong with the race.”
Chaves attempted to take a shot at Karam in the closing laps but also had to deal with Hawksworth trying to grab his runner-up position.
“It’s a bit hard running in dirty air,” said Chaves after his fourth podium of the year. “I had a good run on Sage and he defended. It’s just hard keeping the car down on the racing line when you’re so close to the car in front as well as trying to keep another car behind you. You’re working twice as hard.”
Hawksworth came home third, completing a lockout of the podium for SPM.