|November 18, 2008 News
|EKN Trackside: SKUSA SuperNationals XII Preview - Senior Classes
History is in the making this week at the 12th annual National Guard Superkarts! USA SuperNationals. Along with the return to the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, the total entry counts are over 400, the most ever for the event. Along with just the location and sheer numbers making history, the driver line-ups are making this one of the most anticipated events in karting history.
Over the next three days, eKartingNews.com will preview all ten classes, split up accordingly. The first day, the three Junior divisions will be under the microscope to point out the early favorites heading into Vegas. The second day will be the Senior support classes, from S1 to TaG Masters. The headline SuperPro division and the TaG Senior class, boasting 100 entries, will be examined thoroughly to point out the big names returning to their karting roots and those making the long journey across the pond from Europe.
To discuss the event, visit the SKUSA SuperNationals XII Official Discussion Thread.
| Jacob Neal will look to add his name to the long list of first time winners in S1|
(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)
Since becoming the ‘Semi-Pro’ division of the SuperNationals, the S1 winners list reflects a number of karting stars and rising open-wheel stars: Speed, Funakoshi, Gomez, and last year’s winner Connor DePhillippi just to name a few. With no returning winners, one of the 27 drivers entered will place their name into the history books.
Looking at the results from last year, five drivers that finished inside the top-ten will return. One who finished on the podium is Wild Kart driver Derek Crockett. The 20-year old ran his first season on the national ICC program and also captured his first victory at the Rock Island Grand Prix in the 125cc Stock Moto class. Seventh through tenth in 2007 were Andrew Zimmer (Intrepid), Jimmy McNeil (CRG), Ben Schermerhorn (CRG), and Don McGregor (Italkart). Zimmer has spent the past season going back and forth between karts and car racing. McNeil is the reigning ProKart Challenge South S1 champion while Schermerhorn is the Colorado Sprint Championship shifter titlist. McGregor ran the full national schedule in the TaG ICC division, finishing fourth in the season ending standings.
Drivers that have been strong all year long nationally include ICC rookie Jacob Neal (CRG). Neal was ninth in the final standings, racing among some of the top pilots racing in the SuperPro category in Vegas. Michael Hogg (Italkart) and Jose Zanella (Tony Kart) have raced each other all season long in the TaG ICC division, both capable of running up front in S1. Hogg will also be coming off his second straight victory at the IAME International Challenge in Spain. Jess Peterson (CRG) ran 11th at last year’s event and showed much improvement this past season in the ICC category.
Also on the radar this year will be Cody Hodgson and Scott Barnes. Hodgson was the ProKart Challenge North S1 champion aboard his Tony Kart package and represented SKUSA at the Granja Viana 500 in Brazil. Barnes, a Bermuda native, continues to return to the SuperNats in search of victory. With just one class on his docket, he’ll be ‘all-in’ with his Wild Kart entry.
Three special entries of note are Firestone Indy Lights driver Arie Luyendyk Jr., Birel driver Zach Beard, and New Zealander Daniel Bray. Luyendyk, who finished fourth in the Indy Lights standings for 2008, can be found piloting his FA Kart during the off-weekends in Arizona. Beard spent much of the summer running NHRA events when not at the kart track and will be making his first shifter kart start of his career. Bray (GP) competed in last year’s event, running near the front until retiring early. He will make the long journey from the deep, deep south to redeem himself.
Superkarts! USA just released the prize package for the S1 class. Jim Russell Racing Drivers School will be awarding the winner with a three-day school of racing with second and third receiving two-day school of racing each.
S1 Provisional Entry List
|22||Mitchell Egner||First Kart||TM||Victoria||BC||Canada|
|55||Ben Schermerhorn||CRG||Maxter||Highlands Ranch||CO||USA|
|73||Andrew Zimmer||Intrepid||TM||Spokane Valley||WA||USA|
|87||Jose Zanella||Tony Kart||Vortex||Doral||FL||USA|
|94||Michael Hogg||Italkart||TM||North Vancouver||BC||Canada|
|400||Myles Marolt||GP||Maxter||Castle Rock||CO||USA|
|16j||Cody Elliott||Merlin||Pavesi||Lake Geneva||WI||USA|
|24d||Kody Adcock||CRG||Moto||Grand Junction||CO||USA|
|25x||Arie Luyendyk, Jr.||FA Kart||TM||Scottsdale||AZ||USA|
|2nz||Daniel Bray||GP||Maxter||Howick||Auckland||New Zealand|
|32x||Imran Husain||GP||TM||Santa Monica||CA||USA|
|4c||Vivek Tandon||Top Kart||TM||Simi Valley||CA||USA|
|55y||Cody Hodgson||Tony Kart||Maxter||Escalon||CA||USA|
|87f||Brandon Frank||Intrepid||Maxter||Smiths Parish||Bermuda|
| Trying to add another first win, Rock Island GP G1 winner Collin Lynn is searching for SuperNats glory|
(Photo: Go Racing Magazine)
For the ‘seasoned’ veterans of the sport, the SuperNationals is THE event to race at and with the G1 category the field just gets better and better. Even with two-time defending race winner Darren Elliott absent and ’04 winner Bonnier Moulton moving classes, the field is one of the toughest it has been in years with a number of potential winners. Two positives is that half the field from last year will be returning to put the total number at 43 strong with eight of them coming from outside North America. One negative is that only four drivers come from the East side of the Mississippi, obviously travel costs a big factor in that stat.
Six of the top ten return in ’08, led by podium finishers Kelly Baker (Italkart) and Nick Firestone (Tony Kart). Baker has tried year in, year out to claim a SuperNationals victory, running third last year with the top-two missing this year’s event. Firestone completed the podium in ’07 and will be among the favorites in the G1 category.
The lone returning race winner is Eduardo Martins (Tony Kart). The 2001 champion finished seventh at last year’s event, behind his brother Andre Martins, the Tony Kart Florida manager. Their Brazilian connection will be bringing six in total from the country to compete in G1 among other classes.
Ethan Wilson (Tony Kart) and Craig Corwin (MBA) battled each other all summer in the inaugural ProKart Challenge North program with Corwin getting the championship. However, Wilson had the advantage in Vegas, finishing eighth, one spot ahead of Corwin.
Drivers to watch include front runners from the Rock Island Grand Prix event. 125cc Masters winner Collin Lynn (Birel) and third place finisher Jason Lee (CRG). Lynn, a usual front runner at the SuperNats, put in an epic performance for his first ‘Rock’ win. He was however not at the SuperNats last year however returning to the Rio, it could be to his advantage. Lee will be visiting the SuperNats for the first time this year. A die-hard shifter fan, Lee would like nothing better than to run up front in Vegas. Lee’s teammate, Kurt Mathewson (CRG) will also represent the Midwest. Mathewson is the two-time 125cc Masters Shifter champion in the Great Lakes Pro Series and had it not been for a rib injury, would have challenged Lynn and Lee at the RIGP.
Keep your eye on PP Mastro (CRG) and first time G1 driver Jimmy McNeil (CRG), who will be doing double duty - G1 and S1 - and with the many heat races, fatigue could be a factor for these to challenging for the win. Also, former G1 front runner Howie Idleson (Sodi Kart) returns to the class after a couple years in the TaG category. If the gremlins can stay away, Idleson will be up front.
G1 Provisional Entry List
|0||Daryl Choby||Tony Kart||TM||Scottsdale||AZ||USA|
|4||Andre Martins||Tony Kart||Vortex||Jupiter||FL||USA|
|5||Eduardo Martins||Tony Kart||Maxter||Jupiter||FL||Brazil|
|8||Guilherme Jacob||Tony Kart||Vortex||Jupiter||FL||Brazil|
|9||Antonio Canedo||Tony Kart||Vortex||Jupiter||FL||Brazil|
|11||Emilio Padron Ianez||Tony Kart||Vortex||Jupiter||FL||Brazil|
|12||Dave Fultz||Top Kart||Moto||Las Vegas||NV||USA|
|27||Pedro Serrano||Tony Kart||TM||Jupiter||FL||Brazil|
|31||Stacey Cook||CRG||Maxter||Grand Junction||CO||USA|
|44||Jimmy Lucas||First Kart||CRS||Victoria||BC||Canada|
|57||Jorge Borelli||Tony Kart||TM||Jupiter||FL||Brazil|
|95||Jeff Littrell||Tony Kart||TM||Manhattan Beach||CA||USA|
|172c||Troy Butts||CRG||TM||Garden Grove||CA||USA|
|181c||Blair Chang||GP||Maxter||Los Angeles||CA||USA|
|18b||Robert Marks||Top Kart||TM||Visalia||CA||USA|
|19c||Howie Idelson||SodiKart||TM||Pacific Palisades||CA||USA|
|21r||Chris Perreault||Mandarino||Maxter||Campbell River||BC||Canada|
|45c||Fernando Diaz||SodiKart||TM||Redondo Beach||CA||USA|
|49y||Ethan Wilson||Tony Kart||TM||Campbell||CA||USA|
|55c||Roy Montgomery||GP||Moto||Corona Del Mar||CA||USA|
|5c||Nick Firestone||Tony Kart||TM||Paradise Valley||AZ||USA|
|63y||JP Cadoux||Rosso Korsa||TM||San Rafael||CA||USA|
|911c||Tim Wyatt||Birel||Moto||Los Angeles||CA||USA|
|93c||Steven Ferrario||Arrow||TM||San Luis Obispo||CA||USA|
| Derek Crockett will be the top returning driver in a star-studded S3 field|
(Photo: Go Racing Magazine)
The ever-growing S3 division has gained a lot of attention throughout the country, and looking at the entry list shows just how enticing the package has become to those who are entering the sport or those who can be considered veterans. Like the G1 category however, only five drivers from East side of the country will contend, as the stock moto craze slowly works its way toward the East Coast. The 2006 winner, Connor DePhillippi, won his first Senior race at the SuperNationals that helped propel his career while seasoned pilot Tom Dyer returned last year to put in a stellar performance.
Showing just how serious the field is this year are two popular entries - Memo Gidley and Jamie McMurray. Gidley, the 1999 S1 SuperNationals champion, is returning to the event that helped propel his motorsports career to the top level of the open wheel world and now competing regularly in the Rolex Grand-Am Daytona Prototype series. A longtime Trackmagic supporter, the NorCal pilot will drive aboard a GP Kart in his return to the national karting spotlight. McMurray, a regular fixture at the kart track when not piloting his number 26 NASCAR machine, also has a strong background in all forms of karting. McMurray will be keeping busy as he will campaign both S3 and the TaG Senior.
Both will be among the favorites heading into the event, among the many others that make up the stout 44-driver field. Two drivers who stood out in 2008 stood on the podium in ’07. Bobby Legate (Arrow) is the reigning ProKart Challenge South S3 champion and finished third last year. Derek Crockett (Wild Kart) ran fifth last year but added a Rock Island Grand Prix victory since then. He will be doing double duty in search of his first SuperNats win. A quick SuperNats trivia fact, Connor DePhillippi is the only driver to earn two victories in one year, as he did so in 2005 in JICA and 80cc Junior (K2).
Usual suspects from year’s previous will be on the grid in 2008, including Vegas’ own Curtis Cooksey. The CRG pilot was on his way to a possible victory in 2006 when he relinquished his pole position for the S3 main event, jumping a plane to the Rotax Grand Finals in Portugal on SuperSunday. The Rocky Mountain area will be represented well in S3, lead by Utah’s Eddie Olpin (First Kart) and Colorado’s Jeff & Greg Welch, both on the new American made Shockwave chassis. Behind Legate, Clinton Schoombee (Arrow) challenged him for the PKC South championship as did Patrick Cushenberry (Arrow) and other Utah drivers making the journey to SoCal, including Mike Beeny (PTK) and Tyler Bennett (PTK).
New for 2008 will be the fastest journalist in karting, Bonnier Moulton, and reigning JICA national champion Brendan Phinny. Moulton (PTK), the 2004 G1 champion, has embraced the stock moto package this season and will no doubt be among the lead group. The LA transplant by way of Utah will be the oldest driver, three times older than the youngest driver, that being Phinny. ‘Mini’ Phinny (Top Kart) won the inaugural S5 title last year and will move up to the Senior level at the age of 14. Growing up in the former Cadet shifter program, Phinny has plenty of experience grinding the six-speed of a moto engine.
S3 Provisional Entry List
|13||Victor Carbone||Kart Mini||Boca Raton||FL||USA|
|16||Ryan O'Connell||Italkart||Orland Park||IL||USA|
|48||Carl Modoff||CRG||Las Vegas||NV||USA|
|99||Carter James||First Kart||Ogden||UT||USA|
|366||Brendan Phinny||Top Kart||Carmel Valley||CA||USA|
|111c||Clinton Schoombee||Arrow||Ladera Ranch||CA||USA|
|134x||Bryce Miller||SodiKart||Laguna Niguel||CA||USA|
|146u||Zac Clark||Tony Kart||Salt Lake City||UT||USA|
|14u||Eddie Olpin||First Kart||North Salt Lake||UT||USA|
|16y||Matt Alcorn||Energy||Portola Valley||CA||USA|
|19c||Cory Neveau||Tony Kart||Santa Ana||CA||USA|
|41y||Curtis Cooksey||CRG||Las Vegas||NV||USA|
|46c||Slava Prikhodko||Arrow||Studio City||CA||USA|
|51c||Bobby Legate||Arrow||San Clemente||CA||USA|
|9z||Christopher Barkley||Tony Kart||Marysville||WA||USA|
| Phil Conte would like nothing more than a SuperNats victory to go with his PKC South championship|
The S4 division, the stock moto heavy division at the SuperNationals, is entering its third year offered at the event and like S3, continues to grow. Two-time defending class winner Jeff Littrell will move up to the G1 category this season, allowing a hungry group of returnees the chance to earn SuperNats glory.
Littrell’s teammate Doug Hayashi will be among the favorites that will be returning in S4. A front runner both years, Hayashi (Tony Kart) was third on the podium in ’07 and would like to keep the title ‘in the family’. Paul Russell (Tony Kart) was fourth last year however ran a partial 2008 schedule, so that could become a factor come SuperSunday. Utah is again well represented with Ryan Pool along with Todd and RJ Edgington all returning aboard Arrows. They ran sixth, eighth, and tenth respectively.
Representing SoCal will be PKC champions Phil Conte (Trackmagic) and Ken Schilling (GP). Both are looking to turn in their championship seasons for a SuperNats victory. From the Northern Pacific area are a good number of drivers, led by Craig Sender (Intrepid) and Scott Officer (Tony Kart). S4 will also have some international flavor with New Zealander Bradley Alexander (GP) and Oscar Casillas (Italkart).
S4 Provisional Entry List
|14||Jonathon Allen||GP||San Diego||CA||USA|
|60||Dave Stevens||CRG||Las Vegas||NV||USA|
|72||Bradley Alexander||GP||Howick||Auckland||New Zealand|
|101||Dayna Ward||Tony Kart||Damascus||OR||USA|
|10y||Jimmy Barnes||TrackMagic||San Francisco||CA||USA|
|164u||Scott Clark||PTK||Salt Lake City||UT||USA|
|22k||Peter Workum||Intrepid||Paradise Valley||AZ||USA|
|22t ||John Gianette||Birel||Spring||TX||USA|
|23u||Todd Edgington||Arrow||Salt Lake City||UT||USA|
|31x||Marty Henderson||GP||San Clemente||CA||USA|
|36c||Bill Cox||GP||San Diego||CA||USA|
|42u||Ryan Pool||Arrow||South Jordan||UT||USA|
|45t||Todd Vandermolen||Intrepid||League City||TX||USA|
|45u||RJ Edgington||Arrow||Salt Lake City||UT||USA|
|50z||Tim Davison||TrackMagic||Deer Park||WA||USA|
|53c||Dave Van Gordon||Intrepid||Peoria||AZ||USA|
|55c||Doug Hayashi||Tony Kart||Huntington Beach||CA||USA|
|60x||Pete Pittman||PTK||Gold Canyon||AZ||USA|
|61z||David Barkley||Tony Kart||Marysville||WA||USA|
|88z||Scott Officer||Tony Kart||Des Moines||WA||USA|
|89x||Paul Russell||Tony Kart||San Diego||CA||USA|
| Defending TaG Masters champion Jerry Henderson will be the driver the driver to beat all weekend|
(Photo: Go Racing Magazine)
One class that has seen a bit of controversy and epic final lap finishes has been the TaG Masters category. A full field will again do battle in Vegas, led by the defending class winner Jerry Henderson. The Californian has been a factor each year at the SuperNats, earning his first win in 2004 until post-race inspection on his Biland removed him from the results. Henderson has put that behind him and let his racing doing the talking, especially last year to earn his first official SuperNats title.
A slue of drivers however would like to keep Henderson from a second win. With last year’s event hosting Rotax only classes, the fields were split, however many from both will be returning. Names to watch that ran well in TaG Masters include podium finisher Larry Fraser (GP), the mysterious Goggles Pizano (Merlin) and the always entertaining Mel Snow (Birel), Wayne Enright (Italkart), and Jim Keesling (Birel).
Add to the list of drivers to watch are 2007 Rock Island Grand Prix TaG Masters winner Brian McHattie (Kosmic), this year’s RIGP champion Scott Hamble (Margay), ProKart Challenge North champion Rob Soares (GP) and the always fast John Crow (Birel).
TaG Masters Provisional Entry List
Please visit the Official Discussion Thread for Entry List