Race Weekend Central

Sage Karam Wins IndyCar iRacing Challenge Series Opener at Watkins Glen

Sage Karam took the lead from the start and never looked back in the IndyCar iRacing Challenge’s series opener at Watkins Glen International.

The part-time Dreyer & Reinbold Racing driver started from the pole and only surrendered the lead to Team Penske driver Will Power during his two pit stops.

It was nerve-wracking for sure there at the end,” Karam said during his post-race interview.

Karam avoided disaster late in the American Red Cross Grand Prix when Kyle Kirkwood, subbing for Ryan Hunter-Reay, spun in front of him coming out of turn 10.

“That was a little too close for comfort, definitely a code brown moment,” Karam said. “I didn’t know which way he was going to go, and he was starting to spin, so I had to quick rely on some instinct. I picked left and thankfully it was the right choice.

“It was a lot of fun; great that we can be able to give the fans something to watch.”

Chip Ganassi Racing driver Felix Rosenqvist was over three seconds behind Karam in second. Team Penske’s Power was third, Scott McLaughlin was fourth and Oliver Askew rounded out the top five.

The 45-lap event had no cautions, as is often the case for this type of course on iRacing. However, that didn’t mean there weren’t any incidents.

On the very first lap, Alexander Rossi was turned around and collected other cars, including Marcus Ericsson’s. This put several drivers laps down after they made their repairs. Ericsson later posted on Twitter that he lost his internet connection after thunderstorms moved through the area.

Then on lap 6, Simon Pagenaud, Josef Newgarden, McLaughlin and Askew collided with each other in the bus stop.

Eight laps later, Pato O’Ward got loose and was turned by Kirkwood.

A single-car incident took out Scott Speed when he spun and tagged the wall on lap 23.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson also tagged the wall while running in the top 15. He ended the race 16th.

Another driver suffered the earliest possible exit: James Hinchcliffe had a glitch and his car never appeared in the event.

Colton Herta, Tony Kanaan and Sebastien Bourdais also retired in the beginning laps. Bourdais was disqualified when he failed to make a pit stop for damage, he tweeted.

Robert Wickens had hoped to enter this week’s race as well, but his equipment didn’t arrive in time. He hopes to race next week at Barber Motorsports Park.

About the author

Joy joined Frontstretch in 2019 as a NASCAR DraftKings writer, expanding to news and iRacing coverage in 2020. She's currently an assistant editor and involved with photos, social media and news editing. A California native, Joy was raised as a motorsports fan and started watching NASCAR extensively in 2001. She earned her B.A. degree in Liberal Studies at California State University Bakersfield in 2010.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Share via