|November 09, 2010 News
|EKN Exclusive: SKUSA SuperNationals XIV Preview Series – TaG Master/G1
When the gates open the week of November 15 to the parking lot of the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, the Superkarts! USA organization will be welcoming the largest contingent to compete at the famed SuperNationals. The SKUSA SuperNationals XIV is set to host a record-breaking 485 entries for 11 categories on a temporary circuit outside the famed Las Vegas facility. Drivers from all over North American and around the world will converge to ‘Sin City’ at a chance to claim a piece of SuperNats glory and place their name into the history books. eKartingNews.com has slated the remaining days leading up to the event for an in-depth look at the entry list and the major players in each of the categories. TaG Cadet, TaG Junior and S5 started off the preview program and now, we follow that preview with TaG Master and G1. S4, S2, KF2, TaG Senior, KZ2 and the headline S1 division will follow leading up to the overall event preview.
For complete coverage, visit the EKN Event Page.
| Two-time defending winner Billy Cleavelin will attempt to earn a third straight TaG Master SuperNats title|
(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)
While the TaG Master division has been somewhat down across the country, it seems a number of drivers were saving their stuff for the SKUSA SuperNationals. The category has reached the 40-max drivers for the past three years now and over the 30-mark the two year prior, showing the old guys love the bright lights and ‘fountain of youth’ that Vegas provides. Like the previous editions, this year’s roster is the best of the best with all gunning for one person – Billy Cleavelin (CRG/Motori 7).
The defending two-time class champion has stamped his name on the category since returning to Rio in 2008. The 53-year old drove to a seven-second margin of victory one year ago while cruising to an 11-second win in ’08. Referred to as a ‘bad ass’ by Porsche driver and former karter Patrick Long during a Go Racing Magazine interview, Cleavelin will be hard to stop from clinching a third straight SuperNats title - a feat only done by Michael Valiante in Formula ICC in the beginning days of the event.
Aside from Cleavelin, the list of former winners is a short one. John Crow was the 2005 class winner while Paul Bonilla scored the Rotax Masters title in 2007 – the only year the category competed at the SuperNats. Both continue to be running strong, running the Gatorz Karting Cup program and other selected events. Crow is coming off a win at the Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix – a great warm-up event located in the SoCal area. The duo will be making their debut aboard Full Throttle Karting Arrow/Rotax packages.
Also on the entry list are the last three winners of the category at the Rock Island Grand Prix. This year’s race champion Mack McCormack (Arrow/Motori 7) has recharged after being out of the national scene for a few years and is ready to take on Vegas once again. Two-time RIGP winner Scott Hamble (Margay/Motori 7) will make the trek from Indy in hopes to return to the podium, finishing third in the ’08 SuperNats after placing eighth last year. 2007 RIGP champion Brian McHattie (Kosmic/Vortex ROK TT) stood on that same SuperNats podium as runner-up and finished one spot ahead of Hamble last year as well. All three should be among the front runners out of the box.
| Mack McCormack will lead a handful of veteran Master drivers looking to knock Cleavelin off the top of the hill|
(Photo: Joe Brittin)
The chase for the SKUSA Pro Tour TaG Master title will come to a close on SuperSunday with Ethan Wilson (Tony Kart/Motori 7) and Steve Wiener (FA Kart/Vortex ROK TT) in the hunt. Wilson finished 11th in last year’s main event while Wiener’s best in the last two editions at the Rio was 20th in 2008.
A number of top-10 finishers from last year’s event will return to accomplish the same performance or better it this time around. Aussie Kip Foster finished second to Cleavelin aboard a similar package but will switch to a Kosmic/Vortex ROK TT this year. Fellow podium finisher JP Cadoux was one spot behind Foster at the checkered and will also be switching rides, going from Energy to CRG with the same Motori 7 power.
Russell Karting Specialties’ Jim Russell Jr. and Chuck Gafrarar were winners last year – not under the SKUSA banner – rather the Machismo 500 endurance race that took place Saturday night. Overcome by the excitement of last year’s event, the two have decided to compete in the TaG Master category this year – both aboard Parolin/Leopard packages and bringing solid racing resumes with them from both sprint and road racing genres.
In celebrity sightings, one of the all-time greats in AMA motocross competition will trade in his two wheels for four in Vegas. Jeff Ward – the ‘Flying Freckle’ – is the first motocross rider in history to win every major AMA motocross national championships and will compete in TaG Master aboard a Wild Kart/Leopard package. Ward is no stranger to four wheels, competing in the IndyCar Series for eight years and has a best finish of second at the Indy 500 (1999).
TaG Master Provisional Entry List - Updated 11.15.10
|1||Jeff Ward||Kartel Motorsports||Wild Kart||Leopard||Sacramento||CA||USA|
|3j||Mark Baier||Franklin Motorsports||BRM||Vortex ROK TT||Oshkosh||WI||USA|
|3s||Chuck Gafrarar||Russell Karting Specialties||Parolin||Leopard||Concord||NC||USA|
|5d||Mike Urban||Doghouse Racing||Birel||Leopard||Centennial||CO||USA|
|10||Mack McCormack||KartSport North America||Arrow||Motori 7||Athens||AL||USA|
|11||Fernando Guzzi||Italian Motors||Italkart||Leopard||Sao Paulo||Brazil|
|11d||William Heim||Critical Zone Racing||Emmick||Leopard||Aspen||CO||USA|
|12y||Larry Fraser||Aluminos||CRG||Motori 7||Novato||CA||USA|
|16d||Brian Robson||Doghouse Racing||Birel||Leopard||Golden||CO||USA|
|18y||Jeff Deehan||Corwin Motorsports||MBA||Motori 7||Woodacre||CA||USA|
|20||Paul Bonilla||Full Throttle Karting||Arrow||Rotax||Cypress||CA||USA|
|20a||Kip Foster||J3 Competition||Kosmic||Vortex ROK TT||Balcatta||Perth||Australia|
|20r||Jayson Clunie||Italian Motors||Italkart||Leopard||Prince Albert||SK||Canada|
|21e||Jim Russell Jr.||Russell Karting Specialties||Parolin||Leopard||Raymore||MO||USA|
|25x||Allan Svela||2Wild Karting||Tony Kart||Leopard||Aliso Viejo||CA||USA|
|27||Jim Hargrove||Italian Motors||Italkart||Leopard||Surrey||BC||Canada|
|29c||Billy Cleavelin||Mike Manning Karting||CRG||Motori 7||Covina||CA||USA|
|31c||John Crow||Full Throttle Karting||Arrow||Rotax||Anaheim||CA||USA|
|31y||Paul Hohlbein||GSR||GSR||Vortex ROK TT||Fair Oaks||CA||USA|
|41||Pedro Gomes||JC Karting||Kart Mini||Leopard||Opa Locka||FL||Brazil|
|42||Jerry Peterson||Empire Karts||Top Kart||Rotax||Bellevue||WA||USA|
|44||Joe Palmer||Paragon Motorsports||Tony Kart||Vortex ROK TT||St. Augustine||FL||USA|
|49||Mike Hacquard||Italian Motors||Italkart||Leopard||Surrey||BC||Canada|
|49y||Ethan Wilson||Corwin Motorsports||Tony Kart||Motori 7||Campbell||CA||USA|
|50||Paul Halliday||BTK Motorsports||Arrow||Rotax||Cilandak Timur|
|51y||Carl Freese||Cambrian Go-Karts||Birel||Motori 7||Salinas||CA||USA|
|54c||Steve Wiener||Phil Giebler Racing||FA Kart||Vortex ROK TT||Chula Vista||CA||USA|
|54f||Jason Bell||KartSport North America||Arrow||Rotax||Tampa||FL||USA|
|57a||Jorge Borelli||Tony Kart America||Tony Kart||Vortex ROK TT||Sao Paulo||Brazil|
|58c||Ron Rossetti||Arrow||Rotax||Rancho Cucamonga||CA||USA|
|63a||Eric Smith||J3 Competition||Kosmic||Vortex ROK TT||Karratha||Pilbara||Australia|
|63y||JP Cadoux||Corwin Motorsports||MBA||Motori 7||San Rafael||CA||USA|
|65a||Craig Willis||J3 Competition||Kosmic||Vortex ROK TT||Subiaco||Perth||Australia|
|79j||Brian McEvoy||Franklin Motorsports||Merlin||Leopard||Waukesha||WI||USA|
|84d||Jim Keesling||Doghouse Racing||Birel||Vortex ROK TT||Littleton||CO||USA|
|85||Randy Froom||Leading Edge Motorsports||Intrepid||Leopard||Orangevale||CA||USA|
|93g||Chris Koster||Comet Kart Sales||Arrow||Leopard||Springdale||AR||USA|
|93j||Brian McHattie||DB Motorsports||Kosmic||Vortex ROK TT||Youngstown||OH||USA|
|96j||Scott Hamble||2nd 2 None Racing||Margay||Motori 7||Indianapolis||IN||USA|
|99||Jose Franca||PSL Karting||CRG||Leopard||Sao Paulo||Brazil|
|153y||Joey Ritorto||JMS Racing||CRG||Rotax||Las Vegas||NV||USA|
|161y||David Harwin||Flat Out Racing||Tony Kart||Motori 7||Reno||NV||USA|
|462||Ken Maxfield||MSquared Karting||Arrow||Rotax||Murray||UT||USA|
|999||Scott Falcone||Full Throttle Karting||Arrow||Rotax||Lonetree||CO||USA|
| Italian Antonio Dettori will defend his G1 title from last year|
(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)
With three Master groups at this year’s SKUSA SuperNationals, the smallest is the G1 category at 35 racers – the same number represented from the last two editions of the event. The 2010 roster is solid as in previous years with four of last year’s five podium finishers returning.
Last year’s fight for the win was an epic battle between Italian Antonio Dettori (Energy/TM) and Washington’s Kelly Baker (Italkart/TM). Baker was primed to earn his first SuperNats title, only to be outdueled by Dettori in the closing laps. Dettori will return to Vegas once again, looking to match his performance from last year and enjoy the spoils of victory. For Baker – who has finished on the podium in four times in the last five events – will attempt to earn that elusive SuperNats title.
Andre Martins (Tony Kart/Vortex) and Robert Marks (CRG/TM) make their return coming off strong podium finishes last year. While Martins has not been in the seat regularly during the season, managing the new Orlando Kart Center, Marks was third in this year’s ProKart Challenge South points chase. Martins’ brother – Eduardo – is the only other former winner in the field, scoring the class victory at the 2001 event. Eduardo will be completing his season long battle with Fernando Diaz (GP/Maxter) for the SKUSA Pro Tour title. Diaz holds the point lead with two victories to his credit. While Diaz has been among the front-runners at the event previously, he has only recorded a best finish of 22nd in the last two trips to the Rio.
| Kelly Baker will continue his journey toward a SKUSA SuperNationals title|
(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)
Other notables to watch as the event goes on include regional champions: Jim Kidd (Italkart/TM) is coming off a big win at the Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix. 2009 Rock Island Grand Prix winner Kurt Mathewson (GP/Maxter) has been training all-season for these five days in Vegas, looking to better a P15 from last year. PP Mastro (CRG/TM) is another driver that has had a SKUSA victory absent from his racing resume after scoring the ProKart Challenge South class title five times in the last six years. Roy Montgomery (CRG/TM) has been another consistent driver in 2010, sitting third in the SKUSA PT standings and earning the vice-champion position behind Mastro in the PKC South program.
G1 Provisional Entry List
|2h||Todd Bridgeman||Franklin Motorsports||Trackmagic||Maxter||Faribault||MN||USA|
|4||Carlos Lopes||Action Kart Racing||EKS||DeBei||Roselle Park||NJ||USA|
|4f||Andre Martins||Tony Kart America||Tony Kart||Vortex||Orlando||FL||Brazil|
|4z||Kelly Baker||Italian Motors||Italkart||TM||Bellevue||WA||USA|
|5f||Eduardo Martins||Tony Kart America||Tony Kart||Vortex||Orlando||FL||Brazil|
|06||Jayson Nazario||Total Karting USA||Tony Kart||Vortex||Orlando||FL||USA|
|7||Emilio Padron||PSL Karting||CRG||Maxter||Sao Paulo||Brazil|
|7c||Nick Firestone||2Wild Karting||Tony Kart||TM||Paradise Valley||AZ||USA|
|09||Antonio Canedo||PSL Karting||CRG||Maxter||Sao Paulo||Brazil|
|18b||Robert Marks||Team Visalia||CRG||TM||Visalia||CA||USA|
|19c||Howie Idelson||G-Phactory||SodiKart||TM||Pacific Palisades||CA||USA|
|21||Antonio Dettori||Energy Corse America||Energy||TM||Italy|
|21r||Chris Perreault||Checkered Flag Racing||Vemme||TM||Campbell River||BC||Canada|
|22||Tony Burgess||Evolution Karting||CRG||TM||North York||ON||Canada|
|23||Fabrizio Nannini||Energy Corse America||Energy||TM||Italy|
|23c||Joe di Vito||Tony Kart West||Tony Kart||TM||Scottsdale||AZ||USA|
|24||Frans Ollierook||Energy Corse America||Energy||TM||Holland|
|25j||Kurt Mathewson||Evolution Karting||GP||Maxter||Carmel||IN||USA|
|27||Pedro Serrano||PSL Karting||CRG||Maxter||Sao Paulo||Brazil|
|27c||PP Mastro||Hi-Rev Engineering||CRG||TM||Bakersfield||CA||USA|
|33c||Jason Campbell||Team AZ Karting||Birel||TM||Gilbert||AZ||USA|
|41x||Darrell Tunnell||Team Visalia||CRG||TM||Visalia||CA||USA|
|46b||Christiaan Bouhuys||Tony Kart West||Tony Kart||Vortex||Phoenix||AZ||USA|
|48y||John Lewis||Online Racing||Tony Kart||Maxter||Santa Rosa||CA||USA|
|53||Rui Lima de Loiola||PSL Karting||CRG||Maxter||Sao Paulo||Brazil|
|55c||Roy Montgomery||Kimball Williams Racing||CRG||TM||Newport Beach||CA||USA|
|57a||Jorge Borelli||Tony Kart America||Tony Kart||Vortex||Sao Paulo||Brazil|
|76c||Fernando Diaz||Aluminos||GP||Maxter||Redondo Beach||CA||USA|
|81||Luis Sousa||PSL Karting||CRG||Maxter||Sao Paulo||Brazil|
|88||Tim Ulmen||Playthings Racing||CRG||Maxter||Miami||FL||USA|
|98y||Jim Kidd||Cameron Karting||Italkart||TM||Campbell||CA||USA|
|172c||Troy Butts||2Wild Karting||CRG||TM||Garden Grove||CA||USA|
|321x||Imran Husain||Alan Sciuto Racing||CRG||Maxter||Santa Monica||CA||India|