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Karam Seeing Psychologist In Wake Of Wilson Death

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Friday, August 28 2015
Justin Wilson, right, was one of the most popular drivers in the paddocks. His death has taken a toll on young Sage Karam. (Photo courtesy of the IZOD IndyCar Series)

Justin Wilson, right, was one of the most popular drivers in the paddocks. His death has taken a toll on young Sage Karam. (Photo courtesy of the IZOD IndyCar Series)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
RacinToday.com

Sage Karam, the IndyCar Series driver whose car lost the debris that struck and killed fellow driver Justin Wilson last week at Pocono Raceway, told reporters bugindycaron Friday that he has been seeing a psychologist because of the incident.

“I’ve been working with a psychologist this week,” Karam, who drives for Chip Ganassi Racing, said. “I’ve worked with him in the past and he’s really been there for me this week. It’s been tough on me, but the main thing is Justin’s family. I can’t imagine what they’re going through.”

The incident happend late in the race when Karam’s car was involved in a wreck and what appeared to be its nose cone flew into the air. Wilson, who was driving behind Karam, was hit in the head with the debris.

He was taken to a hospital and remained in a coma until he was prounounced dead the next afternoon.

Karam, 20, said the incident has had a major effect on him psychologically.

“For me, the night time is the worst for me just when you’re sitting there thinking of things,” he said. “Just getting out of the house and keeping busy is the main thing. I’ve been trying not to spend a lot of alone time, because that’s when I start thinking of things and asking ‘What if?’ ’’

Asked if being so young was helping him cope, Karam said, “I think this would be difficult for anyone. It’s just an unfortunate thing.”

Karam was also injured – bruised foot – and will not drive in this weekend’s season-ending race at the Sonoma Raceway road course.

Asked if he would drive if physically able, he said, “If I were in a car I would do what Justin would want me to do, which is go out there and be a badass and do what I always do.”

The type of incident in which Karam and Wilson were involved in was the second in as many years as James Hinchcliffe was injured when hit by debris at Indianapolis last May.

The incident in which Karam and Wilson were involved was mirrored by James Hinchcliffe’s single-car crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 18. Hinchcliffe, of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, suffered life-threatening injuries during practice for the Indianapolis 500 when his Honda-powered car hit the Turn 3 wall and SAFER Barrier.

A piece of the car’s right front suspension penetrated the tub section and struck Hinchcliffe near his upper left thigh, severing an artery. First-responders from the series’ Holmatro Safety Team saved the 28-year-old Canadian’s life. Hinchcliffe faces another “clean-up” surgery in his on-going rehab program.

Still, the type of injury is fairly rare. Karam said fluke or no fluke, he’s sick about it.

“I don’t think there’s any comfort in this but it was such a freak accident,” he said. “It is a tough time, and I’m just hoping his family is able to get through this with me. At night, you’re (in bed) looking at the ceiling and saying, ‘What if I didn’t spin?’ And that’s the toughest thing.”

Karam also talked about being back at a track this week.

“I had questions about coming to this race whether I needed to or not,” he said. “But it’s always good to be around the racing family because these are the people who are closest to me and will be able to pick me up when I need to be picked up. Being around my teammates and the crew and all the fans out here has bene good so far.”

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Friday, August 28 2015
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