Indianapolis Indy Lights: Sage Karam gets maiden pole
Sage Karam edged out Carlos Munoz to take his first career Indy Lights pole at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Thursday
In a session delayed three hours by rain, Karam went to the top with a two-lap average speed of 189.243mph, putting the Schmidt driver just ahead of Munoz's 189.103mph effort.
"I can't thank the team enough," said Karam. "The team put a good car together for me. The rain threw a little bit of a curve ball.
"To get the pole is a surprise; we've been working really hard on the race set-up. Qualifying here isn't as important as other tracks, but it's definitely a confidence-booster."
Munoz, who will start both the Lights race and the Indianapolis 500 from second on the grid, admitted that jumping between the Lights car and the IndyCar had made things a little trickier for him.
"It was totally different as I was used to IndyCar [and had] to go back to Indy Lights," said the points leader.
"Here in Indy Lights, the qualifying is not as important as the tow in the race. We had so much fun last year in that race because we were overtaking all the time. But I am going one by one. I am focusing first on Indy Lights, then I will focus on the Indy 500."
The Colombian's closest title rival Jack Hawksworth ended up fifth on the grid behind Peter Dempsey and Gabby Chaves, but said that he was satisfied with his starting position.
"The car was pretty decent, and we're pretty happy with it," Hawksworth said. "The qualifying round doesn't mean too much, so we can't read too much into it. It's going to be about what happens tomorrow.
"I was very happy with the race car the last time we ran it, so I think we're in for a good race."
Pos Driver Team Speed 1. Sage Karam Schmidt Peterson 189.243 2. Carlos Munoz Andretti 189.103 3. Peter Dempsey Belardi 188.793 4. Gabby Chaves Schmidt Peterson 187.770 5. Jack Hawksworth Schmidt Peterson 187.410 6. Kyle O'Gara Schmidt Peterson 187.276 7. Zach Veach Andretti 187.013 8. Juan Pablo Garcia Moore 186.509 9. Chase Austin Herta 186.261 10. Jorge Goncalvez Belardi 186.183 11. Jimmy Simpson Moore 185.967 Order set by average speed over two-lap run
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