INDY 500 DRIVER SAGE KARAM CLAIMS FIRST ARX2 VICTORY
Story By: Parker Smith/ARX
LEXINGTON, Ohio (October 5, 2019) – Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Sage Karam completed a perfect day in Round 8 of the official Americas Rallycross (ARX) support category, ARX2, to claim his first rallycross win at the Cooper Tires ARX of Mid-Ohio.
The 24-year-old was fastest in each of Saturday’s three qualifying sessions on the 0.761-mile rallycross circuit at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Karam was in sensational form in his semi-final and the final, starting from pole position and leading both races from start to finish to claim his first win in only his fourth start.
Behind the dominant victor, there was drama as championship leader Fraser McConnell won semi-final two to start on the front row for the final. The Jamaican ran in second at the first turn, but DRR’s Cole Keatts was able to dive down the inside of the high-speed turn one and claim the position as the two entered the first dirt corner at the iconic keyhole section of the Mid-Ohio circuit. The strong overtake relegated the DirtFish Motorsports’ driver down to third, but still within contention to seal the championship come the checkered flag.
Keatts took his joker from second-place and held the position on Lap 4, with McConnell completing his joker the lap after to also maintain his track position. However, Buhl Sport’s Alex Keyes was on the scene and he was able to overtake McConnell despite the two cars making contact. This left the championship leader with front-left suspension damage, and therefore the title-fight goes down to the final round tomorrow.
Keyes, the Mid-Ohio Round 1 winner back in June, persevered to bring home another podium finish, even though he missed all of qualifying after an engine issue on the way to pre-grid for Q1. 2018 ARX2 Champion Connor Martell endured an eventful race as the DRR driver finished fifth. Lane Vacala advanced to the final after winning two out of his three qualifying races, but was forced to retire after contact with McConnell in the keyhole on Lap 1. DRR’s Gray Leadbetter and Loenbro Motorsports’ Michael Leach failed to advance to the six-lap final.
Championship Sunday of the 2019 ARX season begins tomorrow morning with the start of the ninth round of the ARX2 Championship at 9:55 a.m. ET followed by Qualifying Round 3 for the ARX Supercars. Coverage will be shown live on FB.com/ARXRallycross and on the ARX app. Television coverage from the Cooper Tires ARX of Mid-Ohio will be shown on Wednesday, October 9 at 9:00 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network.