#Shirts4Sage campaign both humorous, brilliant at the same time

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Earlier this week, IndyCar released what might have been its most humorous video of all-time.

I’m not prone to hyperbole often, but this video makes an exception.

When I first saw “#Shirts4Sage,” I could not stop laughing.

It’s been something of a running joke in the Verizon IndyCar Series this season that Sage Karam – brash, bold, bloody fast and the emerging “black hat” of the series – posted way too many shirtless selfies.

I even wrote in that aforementioned “black hat” column:

Yes, he could afford to take fewer shirtless selfies. And yes, he could calm down on track a bit.

But as a “Paul Tracy-in-training” badass who people can either love or love to hate, Karam is perfect. And desperately needed.

IndyCar and Josef Newgarden came together to produce this brilliant, two-minute mock-umentary video and premiere the #Shirts4Sage campaign, complete with the requisite sad Sarah McLachlan song in the background.

How Newgarden kept his composure on what was likely the umpteenth take is beyond me.

Even better is how Karam’s reacted to it.

Ordinarily, when you’re the butt of a joke on social media (and I can speak from experience on this, given an inside joke about blaming me for bad weather that’s grown legs and endured over four years), you have multiple options.

You can:

  • Cry about it and try to get it removed
  • Laugh it off, but make no further mention of it
  • Embrace the whole thing, play it up, and become part of the joke yourself

And fortunately for all of us, both Karam and his dad Jody have chosen the latter option.

More hilarity, tweets and requests for Sage to wear a shirt – or not – can be found by searching the #Shirts4Sage hashtag on Twitter, or by perusing Newgarden’s feed.

The IndyCar offseason is long and devoid of much on-track action.

So when Newgarden, Karam and IndyCar come together to produce a video as brilliant and humorous as this one, we all win.

Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list; Musquin remains out

Shimoda injured
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.

“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”

Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.

The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.

Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.

Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.

Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.

Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.

Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”