Mecum Auctions DRR team likes No. 24 car’s direction and will work on qualifying trim
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 18, 2017) – Sage Karam enjoyed another busyday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Thursday in the No. 24 Mecum Auctions DRR Chevrolet in recording the sixth fastest speed of the Round 4 practice with a best of 225.185 miles per hour in preparations for the 101st Indy 500 on May 28.
After a tough day on Wednesday with high winds, the DRR crew got to work early Thursday as Sage vaulted to the top speed charts in the first 30 minutes with his first 225 plus lap of the week. The team continued its pit stop practice as well as many Indy 500 squads began to take downforce off the cars with qualifying set to begin Saturday (May 20).
Karam, who sat out overall track runs Wednesday with only pit stop practice, clocked 64 circuits of the famed 2.5-mile IMS oval with more race-trim setup in the afternoon before taking out some of the car’s downforce. And Sage and his Mecum Auctions crew have slowly worked with their machine in various weather conditions this week.
“It was a pretty solid day,” said Karam. We made a lot of progress on the race car today, which was the main objective. P6 is great. We’re not too concerned with the lap times as we’re more concerned about how the car feels. The car feels good and I think I can pass other cars really. I feel good overall. We did some qualifying stuff at the end of the day. Trimming out at Indy is always sketchy. But, we have to do that to qualify better this year, which is what we have to do. We made some aggressive steps today and we get the (turbocharger) boost Friday, which helps. It’ll be interesting to see how tomorrow plays out.”
Weather has been the word this week in practice rounds with heat and wind making some runs difficult. And rain storms are expected late Friday and through the weekend which could change some of the practice and qualifying strategies for many of the Indy 500 teams.
“Fast Friday’s” six-hour practice (noon to 6 p.m.) is always a favorite for the racing fans as well as the teams with preparations for this weekend’s qualifying attempts.
Leading Thursday’s practice runs was Jay Howard at 226.744 m.p.h. followed by Ryan Hunter-Reay at 225.826, Marco Andretti at 225.709, former F1 champion and Indy 500 rookie Fernando Alonso at 225.455, Josef Newgarden at 225.455 and Karam at 225.185.