Post-Iowa, how Sage Karam responds at Mid-Ohio will speak volumes about his versatility


Even more than race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, Sage Karam was the story in the Verizon IndyCar Series coming out of its most recent round at Iowa Speedway two weeks ago.

Yes, even more than that pesky new Rule 9.3.8 that entered the INDYCAR Rulebook last Tuesday.

Karam’s post-race dustup with Ed Carpenter dominated the headlines, then the two did a series of radio interviews, then Karam addressed a wide range of topics in a 45-plus-minute conference call with assembled reporters.

While my MotorSportsTalk colleague Daniel McFadin noted the maturation of Karam throughout this year – particularly in the last two months – I’ll be very interested to see Karam’s on-track encore post-Iowa at Mid-Ohio, because this is an important weekend for him.

Frankly, Karam and permanent road courses have not gelled well this year.

It all started with Karam’s testing accident at Barber Motorsports Park in the preseason. His wrist injury had two knock-on effects: it left him less than 100 percent for his first ever IndyCar road or street course start at St. Petersburg two weeks later, and, crucially, it cost him valuable testing time.

With so little time to test in modern-day IndyCar racing, losing the multiple days after the Barber crash was a rough setback for the driver of the No. 8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.

“I was talking to Dario about this in Iowa. He was talking about when he drove he had so much testing as a rookie compared to me,” Karam told me during the conference call.

“He says he’s really impressed with how far I’ve come for the limited testing, especially in my case, crashing in Alabama, I missed the two- or three-day test there. I missed two days after that in NOLA. I missed four or five solid days of testing that everyone got over me. That hurt me so much. I only had I think about two or three, maybe four solid days of testing before St. Pete.

“At the beginning of the season, I don’t think people realize this was almost completely new to me. I was coming into a really great team at such a young age, with almost virtually no testing basically, and hurt.

“I think once we got past the injury, I got a little bit more seat time, thinking now the speed is starting to show, we’re showing that we can run up front.”

Karam has raced at Mid-Ohio before, most recently in 2013 when he qualified ninth and finished eighth in Indy Lights.

That wasn’t his best weekend in his championship-winning season, but Karam is optimistic he’ll do well this time around.

“At this point I’m just kind of taking it race by race because I still have things to prove, still my rookie season. I feel like every time I go out there I need to prove something,” Karam said. “I’m honestly just looking at Mid-Ohio. I haven’t had any discussions yet about 2016.

“Yeah, I raced there in Lights. I was fast. It’s a good track for me. I definitely like it. It’s a track that you have to take risks at. I guess from the past week, people think I take a lot of risks. Hopefully it plays out well.”

Karam will look to improve upon a rough couple opening road course races in his IndyCar career.

He spun twice at NOLA Motorsports Park, starting 19th and finishing 18th. His return to Barber after his testing crash didn’t go much better. He started 12th and ended 18th.

As he missed the Toronto race, it’s been a full two months since Karam last competed on a road or street course, when he raced the double in Detroit.

Karam impressed in qualifying at Detroit but had a ragged weekend in the races, particularly race two, where he received two drive-through penalties for avoidable contact.

From a versatility standpoint, the 20-year-old rookie who is a star in the making on ovals needs a clean, solid, respectable weekend on a road course.

Right now, it’s his last scheduled road race too, with Sebastian Saavedra set to take over the No. 8 car at Sonoma. So a good performance this weekend could help Karam, who currently sits 18th in points and 39 back of top rookie Gabby Chaves, finish the season himself.

Vicki Golden and 805 Beer tell a unique story from an Inverted Perspective


Vicki Golden has earned a career worthy of a thousand stories and 805 Beer tells at least one of them, as “Inverted Perspective” premiered March 30 on the company’s website and YouTube channel.

Golden did more to break the glass ceiling in SuperMotocross than she ever thought possible. She knows this because riders have never felt the need to explain any of her accomplishments with the disclaimer, “for a girl”. 

At this point in Golden’s career, she’s been the first woman to finish top 10 in AMA Arenacross Lites, the first woman to qualify in the Fast 40 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the first woman to compete in freestyle Moto X competition, earning a bronze medal by doing so.

Her love for moto came from childhood while she watched her dad and brother ride. By seven she was on her bike and making waves throughout Southern California. 

Golden, 30, is still madly in love with the sport and has no plans on moving away but her career is already one to talk about. 805 Beer’s film series wanted to do exactly that.

“I’m taken aback by it all,” Golden told NBC Sports about the documentary. “It’s just crazy to see your story, it’s one thing to live your life and battle everything that comes about but it’s another to just sit there and talk about it.”

805 approached Golden about the feature by asking, “Do you even realize that what you do, and your story is special?”

Golden took the question as a blank canvas to map out the highs and lows of her career and life. 

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The title “Inverted Perspective” came from a brainstorming session with Dominick Russo and it highlights Golden’s outlook on the sport of SuperMotocross and her life in general. 

“My whole life, my whole career was thinking differently and looking at things that shouldn’t be done and aren’t there, while being able to make a place for myself, where no one thought there should be a place,” Golden said.  “It’s inspiring someone to think in different ways. It sums up my life.”

Vicki Golden is not “fast for a girl”; she’s just fast. – 805 Beer

While Golden is no stranger to the spotlight, this was the first time she’s been fully involved with the storytelling and creation of a feature about herself. 

“It’s not like a full new experience,” Golden said. “Obviously, you get your standard questions about your upbringing and accomplishments, but I’ve never really put into perspective things that happened in my past with my dad and putting that to light. Also, certain other things that maybe got overlooked in previous interviews or films. I wanted to touch on these and Dom wanted to create a story. It’s just cool to see it come to light, it’s a nearly impossible thing to tell somebody’s life story in 40 minutes.”

Golden’s father was left paralyzed after an ATV accident, robbing him the opportunity to ride again. This happened a few months before the father-daughter duo was set to compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals when Vicki was 12. While she might have been unable to grasp the severity at the time, it’s something she carries with her. Golden continues to ride in his honor.

Years later, an accident in 2018 nearly sidelined the then 25-year-old Vicki when a freestyle accident almost resulted in the amputation of her lower leg. 

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Golden 805 Beer
Vicki Golden has ridden a variety of disciplines in SuperMotocross, which gives her a unique perspective. – 805 Beer

“Inverted Perspective” highlights her father’s diligence in helping Vicki continue with her career and the kindness and strength he carried while fighting his own battle. 

“My dad was the entire reason that I started riding in the first place,” Golden said. “So, to honor his memory and to honor what we went through and how hard he pushed to keep our dream alive and keep everything going – in that sense then, it was really special to be able to honor him and talk about him.”

The 40-minute feature was filmed entirely in black and white, a stark contrast from the oversaturated world of motocross where the brighter the suit the easier it is for fans to find their rider and follow him in the race. By filming in monochrome Russo and Golden had the chance to focus on the race and track from a different perspective. 

“It was cool to be able to film it differently,” Golden said. “It created a challenge in the sense of what was going to be more visually impactful for the film.

“I couldn’t be here without the companies that back me but at the same time, it’s not like the logos or colors disappeared, it’s just different lights shed on different spots. It’s just a cool way to do it and to take color away and still be impactful. When you think of black and white, you think of old school, the OG way of doing things.”