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Karam, DDR Team Up Again For 101st Indy 500

Despite being unable to find a full-time seat on the Verizon IndyCar Series tour for the second consecutive off-season, former Indy Lights champion Sage Karam will once again join forces with the team that gave him his first shot at making the 33-car field three years ago.

For the third time, Indianapolis car dealership owner Dennis Reinbold will put Karam behind the wheel of the No. 24 Chevrolet for the 101st running of the Indianpolis 500.  

“We are very pleased to have Sage back with our Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team for the 2017 Indy 500,” said team owner Dennis Reinbold. “We have had two sensational showings at the 500 with Sage in 2014 and 2016. His impressive runs give the team great confidence in returning to the 500 this year. Sage has worked well with the engineering staff and the crew and his approach to the (Indianapolis Motor) Speedway setups have been outstanding as his speed has shown.”

The Nazareth, Pennsylvania native made an impressive debut at the Brickyard as a 19-year old rookie in 2014, coming from the 31st starting position to finish ninth. Karam however, is looking to bounce back in the 2017 edition of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing after suffering race-ending accidents in his last two appearances.

Driving for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2015, Karam finished 33rd after coming into contact on the opening lap with Takuma Sato. Last year, after starting 23rd Karam marched his way to fifth just before the halfway point of the race before colliding with Townsend Bell and finding the turn one wall. Karam was credited with a 32nd-place finish.

“I’m really excited to be back with Dennis and the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team for the Indianapolis 500 this May,” said Karam, 21. “Trying to win the 500 as a one-off team is certainly a big challenge, but I’m confident in this team and their ability to field a race car that can win this race.

“I’ll be working with the same engineers and the same pit crew from the last two races at Indy with DRR,” added Karam, “and I trust that we can build upon that continuity and ride that momentum to the double checkers and into Victory Lane.”

Although Karam is not a full-time member of the IndyCar Series circuit, his current focus is on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT Daytona, driving a factory-support Lexus RCF GT3 for Paul Gentilozzi. The team made its debut last weekend at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and returns to action in March at the 12 Hours of Sebring.

INDYCAR team boss Dennis Reinbold has successfully placed a car in every Indianapolis 500 since the year 2000 and qualified four cars into the 2010 event. Oriol Servia earned the team’s best Indy 500 race result with a fourth place in 2012, while former driver and co-owner Robbie Buhl qualified for the center of the front row for Reinbold in 2002.

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By Matt Embury

An auto racing writer for over five years, Matt Embury's interest in auto racing was influenced from his father's side of the family. His first recollection of live racing attendance was in the early 1990s watching winged sprint car action at Butler Motor Speedway in Michigan with his uncle and dad.

A major follower of both the Verizon IndyCar Series and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Matt has attended six previous Indianapolis 500s and rates Tony Kanaan's long awaited victory in the 2013 edition of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing as his favorite memory.

Outside of following auto racing, Matt is an avid fan of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish athletics program and can often be seen at home games throughout the season or running the audio controls on several ND-related radio programs. A native of Springboro, Ohio, Matt now resides in Mishawaka, Indiana.