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NASCAR XFINITY Road America

Karam hopes Road America finish leads to a fulltime NASCAR ride

Sage Karam’s surprise finish at Road America in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity race only reinforced he’s already made the right choice in his motorsports career.

Sage Karam, Alpha Prime Racing, Building Research Systems Chevrolet Camaro

Karam, competing for the first time this season for Sam Hunt Racing, ran up front all day in the No. 24 Toyota Saturday at Road America and nearly pulled off an upset win.

Instead, after briefly taking the lead in the second of two overtimes, Karam ran off course after going through speedy dry left on the track after a fluid spill and still managed to score a career-best fourth-place finish.

It was a big day all around for Sam Hunt Racing, which also saw Karam’s teammate Kaz Grala end up seventh.

Karam, whose diverse racing background includes the IndyCar and the Nitro Rallycross series, made his 20th series start on Saturday. His previous best finish was fifth last year at Daytona. He’s also made one start in NASCAR’s Truck series.

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“I’ve made the decision that I want to be here full-time. This is what I’ve been trying to do, and I’ve been chasing the stock car dream now,” the 28-year-old native of Nazareth, Pa., said after the race. “This is my 20th race in Xfinity, getting the experience under my belt.

“I feel like when things go right, we can have good results – today everything went right, and the team gave me a great car. Our Toyota was great. It makes the driver’s job really easy when that’s all in the cards for us and I can go out there and focus on driving.

“We didn’t have to worry about pit stops, anything like that. It was all just focus forward and driving. That was pure race. That is what I love to do. Went for it – just speedy dry.”

Sage Karam, Alpha Prime Racing, RichMar Florist/Green Line Automotive Chevrolet Camaro

Sage Karam, Alpha Prime Racing, RichMar Florist/Green Line Automotive Chevrolet Camaro

Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

Hunt, the team owner, called Saturday’s race “a really special one.”

“We were so close to that first win. We are getting closer and closer,” he said. “Just can’t thank everybody for making this weekend happen. The future looks really good for us.”

Karam hasn’t competed fulltime in a major motorsports series since 2015 in IndyCar but has tried to piece together more and more NASCAR races in recent seasons.

Saturday’s race was an important confidence builder, not only because he was in equipment with which he could contend, but he also showed he had to ability to run up front and challenge for a win against the Xfinity Series’ best.

“It’s been an absolute blast all weekend. It’s been an absolute pleasure, and I hope this leads to some more opportunities down the road,” Karam said. “It’s really fun when you can battle up front with those guys.

“Those guys are really good here in the Xfinity Series – they are the best out there – and when you can be doing aggressive restarts like that with Justin (Allgaier) and Sam (Mayer) and have a shot at it, it is a really good feeling.”

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