Karam, Carpenter discuss respect in interviews with Query, Schultz


“R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Find out what it means to me.”

Aretha Franklin’s 1967 cover of the Otis Redding piece came out well before both Ed Carpenter (1981) and Sage Karam (1995) were born, but one of R&B’s all-time biggest hits might be the lyric that best described their separate post-Iowa interviews on Query & Schultz, the radio show hosted by Jake Query and Derek Schultz on WNDE Radio in Indianapolis.

At issue was Carpenter’s viewpoint that Karam, the rookie who raced the veteran hard Saturday night in the Iowa Corn 300, lacks the necessary respect both for himself and the rest of the field, and it will eventually catch up with him.

“I was upset with Sage for the way he was driving,” Carpenter told Query. “He’s a talented guy in a great car and I thought he could have been more respectful.

“I wasn’t mad because we were racing close. I was mad because he was doing things 95 percent of the field doesn’t do.”

Carpenter said this has been building over the last three oval races in the Verizon IndyCar Series season, at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, last weekend at the Milwaukee Mile and Saturday night at Iowa Speedway.

Carpenter, driver of the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet and team co-owner at CFH Racing, said he was not angry about the close racing and losing the podium but just how Karam is driving, in his estimation.

“The part I was angry was the lack of respect he was shwing for himself, the car, other drivers. That’s what I was going to talk to him about,” Carpenter said.

“It’s the lack of respect he’s showing. It was me in that race. I saw him doing some crazy stuff at Fontana and Milwaukee. I’m not mad he’s on the podium. He ran strong all night. I was angry about how he was driving, not that he beat me.”

Karam, who came on the show before Carpenter, noted his respect for not just him, but the entire field.

“I respect him. He’s a race winner. He’s a proven driver. I respect all the drivers,” said the driver of the No. 8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.

“Nothing’s intentional. There were 20 laps left in the race. If that were 20 laps from the beginning of the race, no one would have talked about it.

“You watch the Fontana race, I can’t tell you how many bonehead moves were thrown. Everyone was mad at someone. It’s close racing. We can run side-by-side. Fumes are gonna occur when this happens.”

After the post-race confrontation, it turned out Karam and Carpenter had another face-to-face meeting on the flight back to Indianapolis.

“Actually we were on the same flight home together which was funny,” Karam said. “I was in the aisle seat. Ed walked by. I looked at him. He looked at me. He smiled a bit. He was joking a bit. He said, ‘I’m still mad at you by the way.’

“It’s open seating. So I say ‘I have an open seat right alongside me if you want to talk about it.’ He made a joke, ‘I gotta go back. I have three kids to take care of, I don’t need to take care of a fourth.’ It was pretty funny. I was sitting with my whole crew. It’ll be alright. Everyone starts laughing. It’s just the heat of the moment, it’s all good.”

Carpenter confirmed the story, but didn’t consider it a laughing matter.

“I was stopped right next to Sage. He looked at me. I said, ‘I’m still mad at you.’ He said, ‘I’ve got a seat in the middle.’ Then I said, ‘no, I have three kids to take care of, I don’t need a fourth.’

“I was mostly serious, at that point.”

A funnier moment both seemed to agree on was their respective inclusion in the same “Clash of Clans” clan, a game on the iPhone.

“Me and him have always been close. We’re on the iPhone app “Clash of Clans,” we’re in the same Clash of Clans clan,” Karam said.

Both interviews are well worth a listen in full, and are linked here.

Karam, who I wrote earlier today has perhaps inadvertently grown into IndyCar’s needed “black hat,” will race at the next IndyCar round at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 2, while Carpenter’s next driving appearance will come at Pocono Raceway on August 23 – a race that is right now scheduled as both drivers’ last in 2015.

Josef Newgarden claims first Indy 500 victory, outdueling Marcus Ericsson in 1-lap shootout


INDIANAPOLIS — Josef Newgarden won the 107th Indy 500 with a last-lap pass of Marcus Ericsson, giving team owner Roger Penske his 19th victory in the race but his first as the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

In a one-lap shootout after the third red flag in the final 20 laps, Newgarden grabbed the lead from Ericsson on the backstretch and then weaved his way to the checkered flag (mimicking the same moves Ericsson had made to win at the Brickyard last year). Santino Ferrucci finished third for AJ Foyt Racing, maintaining his streak of finishing in the top 10 in all five of his Indianapolis 500 starts.

“I’m just so thankful to be here,” Newgarden told NBC Sports’ Marty Snider. “You have no idea. I started out as a fan in the crowd. And this place, it’s amazing.

INSIDE TEAM PENSKE: The tension and hard work preceding ‘The Captain’s’ 19th win

“Regardless of where you’re sitting. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving the car, you’re working on it or you’re out here in the crowd. You’re a part of this event and the energy. So thank you to Indianapolis. I love this city. I grew up racing karts here when I was a kid. I’m just so thankful for Roger and (team president) Tim (Cindric) and everybody at Team Penske.

“I just felt like everyone kept asking me why I haven’t won this race. They look at you like you’re a failure if you don’t win it, and I wanted to win it so bad. I knew we could. I knew we were capable. It’s a huge team effort. I’m so glad to be here.”

Newgarden became the first driver from Tennessee to win the Indy 500 and the first American to win the Greatest Spectacle in Racing since Alexander Rossi in 2016.

“I think the last two laps I forgot about being a track owner and said let’s go for it,” Penske told Snider. “But what a great day. All these wonderful fans. To get No. 19 racing my guy Ganassi, my best friend in this business. But a terrific effort by Josef. Tim Cindric called a perfect race.

“Had a great race, safe race. I’ll never forget it. I know Josef wanted it so bad and wondered why he couldn’t be there, but today all day long, he worked his way up there, and at the end when it was time to go, I was betting on him.”

After Newgarden finally got his first Indy 500 victory on his 12th attempt the two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion climbed out of his No. 2 Dallara-Chevrolet, squeezed through a hole in the catchfence and ran into the stands to celebrate with fans.

“I’ve always wanted to go into the crowd at Indianapolis,” Newgarden said. “I wanted to go through the fence. I wanted to celebrate with the people. I just thought it would be so cool because I know what that energy is like on race day. This was a dream of mine. If this was ever going to happen, I wanted to do that.”

After finishing 0.0974 seconds behind in second with his No. 8 Dallara-Honda, Ericsson was upset about how IndyCar officials handled the ending.

Though it’s not the first time a red flag has been used to guarantee a green-flag finish at the Indy 500, IndyCar races typically haven’t been restarted with only one lap remaining. The green flag was thrown as the field left the pits in an unusual maneuver that had echoes of Formula One’s controversial 2021 season finale.

“I just feel like it was unfair and a dangerous end to the race,” Ericsson told NBC Sports’ Kevin Lee. “I don’t think there was enough laps to do what we did. We’ve never done a restart out of the pits, and we don’t get the tires up to temperature.

“I think we did everything right today. I’m very proud of the No. 8 crew. I think I did everything right behind the wheel. I did an awesome last restart. I think I caught Josef completely off guard and got the gap and kept the lead. But I just couldn’t hold it on the (backstretch). I was flat but couldn’t hold it. I’m proud of us.

“Congratulations to Josef, he did everything right as well. He’s a worthy champion, I’m just very disappointed with the way that ended. I don’t think that was fair.”

There also were a lot of emotions for Ferrucci, who was tearing up as he exited his No. 14 Dallara-Chevy. In the past eight weeks, the team has weathered the deaths of A.J. Foyt’s wife and longtime publicist Anne Fornoro’s husband.

“It’s just tough,” Ferrucci told NBC Sports’ Dave Burns. “We were there all day. All day. I’m just so proud of our AJ Foyt Racing team. We had a few people riding on board with us. This one stings, it’s bittersweet. I’m happy for third and the team. I’m happy for Josef and all of Team Penske.

“I was trying not to tear up getting into the race car before we started the race. Different emotions. It was different. I think coming to the end, the last few restarts. I think IndyCar did the right decision with what they have done. a green-flag finish for the fans. Wish we had a couple more laps to finish that off.”

Pole-sitter Alex Palou rebounded to finish fourth after a collision in the pits near the midpoint. Alexander Rossi took fifth.

The race was stopped three times for 37 minutes for three crashes, including a terrifying wreck involving Felix Rosenqvist and Kyle Kirkwood that sent a tire over the Turn 2 catchfence.

It had been relatively clean with only two yellow flags until the final 50 miles.

After spending the first half of the race trading the lead, pole-sitter Alex Palou and Rinus VeeKay (who started second) collided while exiting the pits under yellow on Lap 94.

Leaving the pits after leading 24 laps, VeeKay lost control under acceleration. He looped his No. 21 Dallara-Chevy into the No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Palou that already had left the first pit stall after completing its stop,

Palou, who had led 36 laps. stayed on the lead lap despite multiple stops to replace the front wing but restarted in 28th.

“What an absolute legend trying to win it,” Palou sarcastically radioed his team about VeeKay, who received a drive-through penalty for the contact when the race returned to green.

The incident happened after the first yellow flag on Lap 92 after Sting Ray Robb slapped the outside wall in Turn 1 after battling with Graham Rahal.

Robb put the blame on Rahal in an interview with NBC Sports’ Dillon Welch.

“I think I just need to pay more attention to the stereotypes of the series,” Robb said. “Pay attention to who I’m racing, and that was just way too aggressive of a move I thought. But yeah, I guess we’re in the wall and not much further to say.”

An already miserable May for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing continued before the race even started.

Rahal, who failed to qualify but started his 16th consecutive Indy 500 in place of the injured Stefan Wilson, was unable to start his No. 24 for Dreyer & Reinbold/Cusick Motorsports.

After two aborted attempts at firing the car’s Chevrolet engine, team members pushed Rahal behind the pit wall and swapped out a dead battery. Rahal finally joined the field on the third lap, but he wouldn’t finish last.

RLL teammate Katherine Legge, who had been involved in the Monday practice crash that fractured Wilson’s back, struggled with the handling on her No. 44 Dallara-Honda and nearly spun while exiting the pits after her first stop on Lap 35.

Legge exited her car about 30 laps later as her team began working to fix a steering problem.