Karam reflective, thinking of Wilson family upon heading to Sonoma


SONOMA, Calif. – While not in a car this weekend, Sage Karam has still made the trip to Sonoma Raceway for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season finale.

Karam lost control of his car while leading last week at Pocono Raceway, and ultimately, tragically, a piece of debris from his car struck Justin Wilson in the head. It left Wilson with a severe head injury, which he ultimately succumbed to on Monday.

The 20-year-old rookie met with the media earlier today. A transcript is below:

THOUGHTS ON THE LOSS OF VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES DRIVER JUSTIN WILSON LAST WEEK AT POCONO NOTE: KARAM WAS INVOLVED IN A SINGLE CAR ACCIDENT AHEAD OF WILSON ON-TRACK AND SUSTAINED AN INJURY TO HIS FOOT: “It’s been a tough week. This isn’t a good week for racing losing such a great guy. I’ve been working with a psychologist this week. I’ve worked with him in the past and he’s really been there for me this week. It’s been tough on me, but the main thing is Justin’s family. I can’t imagine what they’re going through.”

HAVE DETAILS OF THE INCIDENT BEEN DISCERNED: “We looked into the data and did nothing different from the laps before. I was actually in the lead for a few laps so the clean air didn’t catch me by surprise or anything. I made a few adjustments two laps before to give the car a little bit more understeer. Nothing popped out. Nothing on the car broke. I didn’t hit the apron. It was a late corner spin, and when it went it went fast.”

WHAT WAS ADVICE OF PSYCHOLOGIST: “For me, the night time is the worst for me just when you’re sitting there thinking of things. Just getting out of the house and keeping busy is the main thing. I’ve been trying not to spend a lot of alone time, because that’s when I start thinking of things and asking ‘What if?’ ’’

DOES YOUR AGE – 20 YEARS OLD – MAKE A DIFFERENCE: “I think this would be difficult for anyone. It’s just an unfortunate thing.”

HOW THERAPEUTIC IS IT TO BE AT THE RACETRACK: “I had questions about coming to this race whether I needed to or not. But it’s always good to be around the racing family because these are the people who are closest to me and will be able to pick me up when I need to be picked up. Being around my teammates and the crew and all the fans out here has bene good so far.”

WOULD YOU BE ABLE TO COMPETE THIS WEEK: “If I were in a car I would do what Justin would want me to do, which is go out there and be a badass and do what I always do.”

HOW IS YOUR FOOT, WHICH WAS INJURED IN THE CRASH: “It’s just bruised. No broken bones or anything. It’s getting better.”

IS THERE COMFORT IN THE FACT THAT IT WAS SUCH A FLUKE INCIDENT: “I don’t think there’s any comfort in this but it was such a freak accident. It is a tough time, and I’m just hoping his family is able to get through this with me. At night, you’re (in bed) looking at the ceiling and saying, ‘What if I didn’t spin?’ And that’s the toughest thing.”

UNTIL THAT POINT, HOW CONFIDENT WERE YOU ABOUT WINNING: “I was super confident. I was such a zone. The car wasn’t loose the whole race, and that’s why I don’t understand what happened and I’ve looked at the video 100 times. The car was really fast and the crew did a great job. I was bummed that I couldn’t finish the job for them.”

HAVE YOU SPOKEN TO WILSON’S WIDOW, JULIA: “I want to talk with her when the time is right. I have talked with (Wilson’s brother) Stefan at the hospital. He’s been there for me and I’ve been there for him.”

Seattle Supercross by the numbers: Three riders separated by 17 points


Three riders remain locked in a tight battle with 17 points separating the leader Cooper Webb from third-place Chase Sexton and these are only a few Supercross numbers to consider entering Seattle.

Seattle Supercross numbers
Chase Sexton made a statement in Detroit with his second win of 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

For the fifth time in 10 rounds. Sexton, Webb, and Eli Tomac shared the podium in Detroit. Between them, the trio has taken 23 podiums, leaving only seven for the remainder of the field. Jason Anderson, Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia have two each with Aaron Plessinger scoring the other.

Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.

Tomac has won two of the last three Seattle races and those two wins in this stadium are topped only by James Stewart. Fittingly, if Tomac gets a third win this week, he will tie Stewart for second on the all-time wins’ list. Tomac tied Ricky Carmichael for third with 48 wins at Oakland and took sole possession of that spot with his Daytona win.

Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.

The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.

In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.

Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.

Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.

Last Five Seattle Winners

2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto

2022: Hunter Lawrence
2019: Dylan Ferrandis
2018: Aaron Plessinger
2017: Aaron Plessinger
2014: Cole Seely

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

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Chase Sexton wins in Detroit, penalized seven points