In the Mazda Road to Indy ladder, there were few better on short ovals than Sage Karam.
Actually, scratch that. There hasn’t been anyone better.
Karam heads to the next two short ovals on the Verizon IndyCar Series calendar with a win streak to uphold, even though racing the Milwaukee Mile and Iowa Speedway in an IndyCar is a different animal from racing in the junior categories.
Karam swept both Milwaukee and Iowa in Indy Lights in 2013; the former following a pass of longtime rival Zach Veach, and the latter following a fifth-to-first comeback to secure the win.
He won the only short oval in the 2012 Star Mazda season, also at Iowa. In 2011, he won both short ovals at Milwaukee and Iowa in Star Mazda once more.
And for good measure, back in 2010 as a then-15-year-old, he won at Iowa in USF2000. Only in 2010 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis was Karam not on top of the field; Patrick McKenna took the win.
All told, that’s six races in a row on short ovals in the Mazda Road to Indy that Karam won.
Anyway, Karam enters Milwaukee this weekend following the best finish of his brief Verizon IndyCar Series career, fifth at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana two weeks ago.
And the driver of the No. 8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet is as good a sleeper as you’ll find in the field this week.
“I feel more confident than ever heading in to the race in Milwaukee this weekend,” Karam said in an advance release. We got a great result of fifth under our belt at Auto Club Speedway in the last race. It was a career best for me in the series and it felt good.
“We’ve been in a position to run at the front a few times this season and to get it done was a big relief. I know what this team is capable of and I’ve had some success at Milwaukee in the ladder series, so I can’t wait to get back at it.”
In the interim time since Fontana, Karam’s made more waves for a series of shirtless photos posted on social media, and endured some good natured ribbing from his Ganassi teammates.
It follows on from earlier this year, when Karam’s pink “Karamo” got mileage – and jokes – during the month of May in Indianapolis.