hunter-reay karting scene
karam karting scene

CONCORD, N.C. – Former WKA national champs Hunter-Reay, Karam shine at Indianapolis

A pair of former World Karting Association Triple Crown champions made headlines at this year’s 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Winner Ryan Hunter-Reay and ninth-place finisher Sage Karam, who was a rookie in this year’s 500, both made the karting community proud in Sunday’s 500-miler for the Verizon IndyCar Series.

Hunter-Reay drove his Andretti Autosport entry to his first Indy 500 win after a spirited late-race battle with three-time Indy winner Helio Castroneves.

While Hunter-Reay added to his already-impressive IndyCar driving career on Sunday, many past and current karters remember him for his prowess on the national WKA sprint karting scene.

Hunter-Reay, a Florida native, was a mainstay at the front of the pack in 1996 and ’97 in the WKA Manufacturers Cup and Gold Cup series.

Racing primarily in the 4-cycle classes, Hunter-Reay won four national championships in 1996 between the Man Cup and Gold Cup circuits. In Gold Cup, he won the Controlled Stock Medium and Heavy classes while in Man Cup Hunter-Reay won 4-Cycle Lite and Heavy. The four championships were enough to win Hunter-Reay the WKA Triple Crown, one of the most prestigious awards in karting.

Hunter-Reay added another WKA national title to his resume in 1997 in the Man Cup’s 4-Cycle Heavy class.

More recently Sage Karam, who turned many a head Sunday at Indy with a fine ninth-place run in his first 500, was a WKA Triple Crown winner.

Karam, a native of Nazareth, Pa., was a top Manufacturers Cup Series racer for several years. His best season came in 2007 when he won the Triple Crown with three championships on the Man Cup tour. That year Karam swept the Junior Sportsman divisions, winning Cadet, Yamaha and HPV Sportsman national titles on his way to the Triple Crown.

WKA is proud to list Hunter-Reay and Karam as past Triple Crown champions and we hope their years in WKA and other national karting programs played at least a minor role in leading to their success at Indianapolis and in the IndyCar Series.

Congrats Ryan and Sage!

Click here to view the all-time WKA Triple Crown Club web page.