Sage Karam enjoys best run of budding IndyCar career

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It was 150 years ago that author Horace Greeley wrote those famous words, “Go West, Young Man,” that opportunity beckoned west of the Mississippi River.

He may not have known it, but young IndyCar driver Sage Karam put that advice to good use in Saturday’s MAV TV 500 at Auto Club Speedway.

Traveling from his native Pennsylvania to southern California, the 20-year-old Karam appeared to take that advice to heart, emerging with the best finish of his IndyCar career.

In his eighth IndyCar start this season and ninth overall, Karam finished fifth (previous best was ninth, 2014 Indianapolis 500) and also led the first laps (five in total) of his budding IndyCar career.

“It was good to lead my first laps,” Karam told NBCSN. “The car was quick all day. To be mixing it up at the front after the season we’ve been having felt so good.

“That’s the confidence I need to go to the remaining races. I’m just so thrilled to get my crew forward a good result. They’ve been working their butts off and it’s finally paid off.”

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Valtteri Bottas fastest in Friday F1 practices for Russian Grand Prix

F1 Sochi Valtteri Bottas
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SOCHI, Russia — Valtteri Bottas paced both F1 practices Friday for the Russian Grand Prix on Friday as Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton was slowed by damaged tires in the first session.

Bottas turned a fast lap of 1 minute, 33.519 seconds in the second session that bettered Hamilton’s 1:33.786.

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo was more than a second behind Bottas in third at 1:34.577, followed by the McLaren Racing duo of Carlos Sainz Jr. (1:34.723) and Lando Norris (1:34.847).

In the first F1 session at Sochi, Valtteri Bottas set the pace with a time of 1 minute, 34.923 seconds, beating Ricciardo by half a second. Max Verstappen was third quickest in his Red Bull, a further 0.147 back.

Hamilton could only manage 19th fastest after locking up his tires and leaving them with a flat spot. Ferrari again struggled to find pace with Sebastian Vettel ninth and Charles Leclerc 11th.

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The first session was briefly red-flagged when Nicholas Latifi crashed his Williams. Carlos Sainz Jr. spun his McLaren backward into a barrier and broke off his rear wing.

Verstappen spun during the second session but avoided damage to his car.