Sage Karam continued his early season stranglehold on the Lionheart Retro Series presented by ButtKicker, leading all 34 laps in an easy win during the Plasma-Tracks Grand Prix of Sebring Thursday night.
It was the second win and third top five in as many races for the NTT IndyCar Series driver preparing for his sixth Indianapolis 500.
“This is always a tough track to handle, especially in these cars,” Karam said. “I was lucky enough to break the draft early, that’s kind of the name of the game in theses cars.”
Karam sat on the pole and jumped out in front right away following a restart on lap four, finishing 22 seconds ahead of second place Dave Walsh.
“I had a really good race start and then we had that yellow,” Karam said. “But I had just as good of a restart, so I just put my head down and ran clean laps.”
Walsh was stuck in a hornets nest on the final laps, edging George Sandman by 0.42 seconds for second.
“I was very inconsistent,” Walsh said. “I finally got past Ryan Otis. On the last lap, I got run off the track by a lapped car and George pushed me the rest of the lap. It was closer than it needed to be.”
Sandman had his mirrors full as well, with Alex Saunders and Ryan Otis both finishing within 2.5 seconds.
“I didn’t do as good as I thought I could in qualifying,” Sandman said. “It was slippery out there, and the yellow took away the fuel savings and I think I could’ve done better with that.”
Eleven of the 34 starters finished on the lead lap, in a race that featured a rare full-course caution on a road course.
As the field exited turn one, J.P. Windschitl tagged the back of Justin Weaver. The duo were racing in the back half of the top ten.
As they spun across the field with 20 plus cars coming, race control threw the caution to avoid others wrecking to avoid.
After the restart, the race ran fairly clean.
Karam leads Otis by 39 points, with Saunders another six behind, after three rounds.
The fourth race on the 18 event calendar heads to the Valley of the Sun and ISM Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Sam Maxwell Customs 175 is scheduled for Thursday, May 2 with a 10:35 p.m. EST start on the iRacing eSports Network with Global SimRacing Channel producing the action.