INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - High school senior Sage Karam will race in his first Indianapolis 500 next month in a car fielded jointly by Chip Ganassi Racing and Dreyer & Reinbold Kingdom Racing.
Karam is the reigning Indy Lights champion, but the 19-year-old was unable to parlay that into a full-time IndyCar ride. Instead, he's hooked on with Ganassi in a driver development role. He'll drive the No. 22 Chevrolet in his Indianapolis 500 debut under a deal announced Tuesday.
''It is honestly a dream come true for me and my racing career,'' said Karam, who hails from Nazareth, Pa., the hometown of the Andretti family. ''Chip has created a fantastic organization that judges success by just one thing - winning both races and championships. This is a very big day for me.''
Karam ran in the first two events of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship with Ganassi, and drove with Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan at Sebring. He is the first driver to compete at all levels of the Mazda Road to Indy program, and the only driver to win races at each level.
''Sage is a unique talent that we believe is a future star of the sport,'' Ganassi said. ''Even at a young age, he has been successful at every level that he has raced. It is nice to see his poise and tenacity on the race track as I think that will translate well to his driving at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 500. He reminds me of the two other recent young drivers that we have in our program, Kyle Larson and Dylan Kwasniewski.''
Larson races for Ganassi in the Sprint Cup Series, while Kwasniewski is in a development deal and races in the Nationwide Series for Turner Scott Motorsports.