Star Mazda - Karam To Compete For 2012 Championship With Andretti Autosport
INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 13, 2011: Andretti Autosport announced today it will welcome back driver Sage Karam for his second season in the Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear in 2012. Karam will drive the Star Mazda car with support from Comfort Revolution, a leading distributor and marketer of high-end sleep products.
In his debut season in the competitive Star Mazda series, Karam had a total of seven top-five finishes, including three podiums, and secured two pole positions throughout the year. In June, Karam led 93 of 98 laps around the Milwaukee Mile to record his first victory of the season. He won his second race with a 7.8-second lead at Iowa Speedway. The up-and-coming young driver ultimately finished fifth in championship points standings and received the prestigious Rookie of the Year title.
Comfort Revolution, a longtime supporter of Andretti Autosport, will continue to sponsor Karam and his 2012 Star Mazda effort. The specialty bedding company, which includes brands such as Sleep Clinique, Fresh Foam and Body Therapy, was the first to create the egg crate foam mattress pads for retail and later unveiled the first memory foam mattress pads.
Karam, a 16-year old native of Nazareth, Pa., won the 2010 Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda driver championship with Andretti Autosport, scoring nine victories in 12 starts during the season, and earned the Rookie of the Year award. He also helped Andretti Autosport clinch the USF2000 team title, its first championship since re-branding in 2009.
Karam began competing in karts at the age of five. He has since established himself as a 35-time WKA and Indy Racing League (IRL) Stars of Karting national champion. Karam also stands as the only driver ever to win a WKA Triple Crown Championship and titles in the IRL Stars of Karting (East, West and National) all in the same year (2007). In 2008, Karam - then 13 - established himself as the youngest winner in the history of the Skip Barber Shootout. He moved on to compete in the Skip Barber National championship, a part of the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development ladder program, as well as the World Karting Association (WKA). He was the only American driver to compete in both a national karting championship and an open-wheel professional series full time in 2009.
In addition to his on-track duties, Karam volunteers with the nonprofit organization Operation Smile through the Michael Fux Foundation. He also is an honor student and a championship wrestler.
Sanctioned by INDYCAR, the Star Mazda Championship is one of two series part of both the Mazda Road to Indy ladder system and the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development driver program. Andretti Autosport is currently the only INDYCAR team to compete in each level of the Mazda Road to Indy.
MICHAEL ANDRETTI, CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT: "Sage has really matured a lot in his driving since we first put him in an USF2000 car a few years ago. After his success in 2010, he showed a lot of potential during his first season in Star Mazda and really exceeded our expectations. With his experience in 2011, we know he has what it takes to be a championship contender next season."
J-F THORMANN, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT: "I'm pleased we are able to work with Sage and Michael Fux for another year in Star Mazda. It's been eye-opening to see Sage come through the ranks of the Mazda Road to Indy-from dealing with rough finishes to celebrating wins, he has shown that he is a truly professional race car driver even at such a young age. I look forward to working with him again in 2012."
MICHAEL FUX, COMFORT REVOLUTION: "On behalf of Comfort Revolution, we are very proud of Sage and his accomplishments in the Mazda Road to Indy and his achievements as a rookie last year in Star Mazda. There's no doubt in my mind that he has even more success ahead."
SAGE KARAM, DRIVER, ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT: "I am so happy Michael Andretti is providing me with the opportunity to compete at Andretti Autosport again. It's such a privilege and honor to work with Michael, who has been such a large part of my career since I was 5 years old. J-F worked very hard with my long-time supporter, Comfort Revolution's Michael Fux, to establish a championship-contending program for me. Nobody will give me a better chance at winning the 2012 Star Mazda championship than Andretti Autosport. Staying in the Mazda Road to Indy program is where I want to be to accomplish my dream of winning the Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar title one day. I can't thank Comfort Revolution and the dedicated crew at Andretti Autosport enough for believing in me."