Sage Karam of Nazareth, Pa., concluded a perfect weekend at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday morning by leading all 20 laps of Round 2 of the USF2000 National Championship, which is presented by Cooper Tires and powered by Mazda. By backing up his victory in Saturday's season opener with another triumph on Sunday, Andretti Autosport officials said Karam also gave Michael Andretti his 50th victory as a team owner.
Being the first race on Sunday's card that featured the IZOD IndyCar Series meant that the drivers had to be careful not to be too aggressive too early, since their Cooper tires were cold and the track was green. That was no problem for Karam, and he had an even bigger margin of victory on Sunday than he had in Saturday's season opener for the series, which is part of both the Road to Indy and the MAZDASPEED Motorsports driver development programs.
Karam had a whopping 16.732sec lead over the first of two drivers from Cape Motorsports by Wayne Taylor Racing who shared the podium with him on Sunday. Josh Fielding of Chesterfield, England took the runner-up honors, while Patrick McKenna of Dublin, Ireland finished third for his second podium finish in as many days.
Karam was able to get a good start initially and on the one restart on lap five, and he had things his way throughout the race.
"On the start and the restart, I knew I had to get a good jump and avoid the mayhem. I did that, and then checked out. I really learned how to race on cold tires in karting. I had a good idea of when I could get on it.
The two Cape Motorsports cars were very evenly matched, although stronger than the other in different sections of the 1.8-mile, 14-turn street course. McKenna said his car was better in the braking zones and Fielding's car was better off the corners, and they finished the way they started.
Fourth went to the driver who finished third on Saturday, Terrick Mansur of Aruba, who drives for Liberty Motorsport, and rounding out the top five was ZSports Midwest's Benjamin Searcy of Tuscaloosa, Ala.,