NASCAR Xfinity Series

Alpha Prime unveils second car, adds Sage Karam

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Credit: Joe Skibinski/Penske Entertainment

For 2022, Alpha Prime Racing will be a two-car operation. On Wednesday, with 45 days before the NASCAR Xfinity Series season opener at Daytona, the team announced the introduction of a #45 car to complement the #44 running the full schedule. The following day, APR revealed Sage Karam as one of the second car’s drivers and that it will indeed run the full schedule.

Known as Martins Motorsports until the end of the 2021 season, Alpha Prime is primarily owned by Tommy Joe Martins and his family. The current incarnation began in 2020 with Martins racing full-time in the #44, and he finished the next two seasons twenty-second in points with a best finish of tenth at Texas the first year. For 2021, the team was reformed into APR with the addition of Caesar Bacarella to the ownership group, while the #44 will be shared by multiple drivers including the two owners, Rajah Carruth, Ryan Ellis, and Andy Lally.

The news indicates the return of the #45 to the Xfinity Series for the first time since 2018 when Josh Bilicki ran the full schedule for JP Motorsports. Prior to that year, it was last used by Petty Enterprises for Kyle Petty and his late son Adam, and such was also the case at the Cup Series until 23XI Racing revived the number with Petty’s blessing for Kurt Busch this upcoming season. Niece Motorsports fields the #45 for Lawless Alan in the Camping World Truck Series, meaning the #45 will be used in all three national series for the first time since 2000 when Petty held it in Cup and Xfinity while SS-Green Light Racing did so in Trucks.

Karam, a veteran of the NTT IndyCar Series and Nitro Rallycross NEXT competitor, began dabbling in NASCAR last year when he ran four Xfinity races and a Truck Series event for Jordan Anderson Racing. He scored his first career NASCAR top twenty when he finished sixteenth at Bristol in the Xfinity Series.

“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunities that 2021 provided and am equally as excited to join Alpha Prime Racing for 2022,” said Karam. “I can’t thank Tommy Joe Martins enough for his trust and confidence heading into this season. I welcome the opportunity to learn from him and his team and look forward to competing against some of the toughest competition in motorsports.”

Karam’s first start will come at Atlanta Motor Speedway on 19 March.

“As competitive as the Xfinity Series field is going to be this year, it’s even more important to our team to bring in talented drivers like Sage,” Martins stated. “Sage is a top-level race car driver with a history of success in everything he’s ever driven. We can’t wait to work with him.”

Further drivers of the #44 and #45 were not immediately revealed, though the team will likely rely on those with sponsorship.

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History major at San Jose State University and lifelong motorsports fan who covers NASCAR and the Stadium Super Trucks.
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