|November 10, 2011 News
|EKN Exclusive: SKUSA SuperNationals XV Preview Series - S2
On the week of November 16-20, Superkarts! USA will host the 15th annual SKUSA SuperNationals in the parking lot of the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Since 1997, the event has produced a bit of history for the sport, with the 2011 edition no different. A record-breaking number of entries, including over 500 drivers from across the world, will all be vying to become one of the 11 winners at this year’s event. eKartingNews.com - in conjunction with it’s exclusive Trackside Live coverage - has slated the remaining days leading up to the event for an in-depth look at the entry list and the major contenders in each of the 11 categories.
Today, S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto takes the spotlight of the preview series, followed by the remaining groups: TaG Senior, KF2, KZ2 and S1 Pro Stock Moto.
For previous class previews and complete coverage throughout the event, visit the EKN Event Page.
S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto
| Coming into Vegas as the S2 point leader, Kyle Hathcox would enjoy clinching the title with a SuperNats victory|
(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)
The class name of S2 has been around the Superkarts! USA program since its early days. The category made its debut at the SuperNationals in 1998, but it went away in 2002 when the top level of 125cc racing became SuperPro and the Semi-Pro division took over the S1 name until 2009, when it was left off the class roster. Over that time, a number of drivers conquered their competition in the class to add their name to the historic list of former winners. When the SKUSA Pro Tour re-emerged with Stock Moto shifterkarts as its focus, so did the S2 name. Last year, it made its return to the SuperNationals as well as Derek Crockett scored an emotional victory.
Now in 2011, the field is even larger with almost 60 entries, filled mostly with drivers between the ages of 15 to 25, all looking to become the next star in Superkarts! USA competition. Crockett has moved on to S1, so the door has been left open for anyone to take up the torch. We have seen a fierce fight on the Pro Tour this year as three drivers are staking their claim for the S2 title. But in Vegas, only one will be able to take the #1 plate home with them. That said, the plate will not be put into play in 2012, as the winner will move to the S1 class for the following year.
Kyle Hathcox (GP) has been the most consistent through the four Pro Tour events thus far and leads the championship as a result. The Aluminos / AZ Kart Works driver has one win and two runner-up finishes, scoring the highest point total in each of those three events. In his last three starts, Kyle’s best finish was second in the S4 category, back before the age limit was raised to 30. The 19-year old from Arizona was a top-10 runner one year ago before retiring early. Consistency throughout the week will keep him in the hunt for the win and the S2 #1 plate. With the advancement of Crockett, the next in line from last year’s event is 20-year old Nicky Freytag (Intrepid). The Innovative Karting pilot challenged Crockett throughout the event last year, only to come up just short of the victory. It was a big leap, as he did not qualify for the main event in the S3 category the year prior, only showing the steps Freytag has made in the course of two years. Out of the point lead by 85 points, a perfect week is a must for Nicky to jump Hathcox in the standings for the title. Lurking behind them is double SummerNationals winner Cory Milne (GP). The Colorado driver swept his home-state event and showed well in Arizona to sit third in the championship chase. While a chance at the title may be too far out of reach, a victory at the SuperNationals is certainly a possibility for the Aluminos pilot after finishing 10th one year ago.
| Nicky Freytag's goal at the SuperNats will be to move one step up on the podium with victory in hand and chance at the S2 title|
(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)
Other drivers returning from the top-10 last year include podium finishers Cody Diede (Intrepid) and Josh Lane (DR Kart). Diede was fast in his Leading Edge Motorsports entry last year, qualifying up front, staying out of trouble and earning the third step of the podium. 2011 has been tough on the Pro Tour for Diede and a SuperNationals triumph will put that all behind him. Lane is your old-school type of racer, despite the fact that he's just 23 years of age. Lane is willing to throw his kart in the back of the pickup and travel anywhere for a good race, and his enthusiasm and love for the sport is among the highest in the paddock. Overcoming a bad heat last year, he came from 11th on the main event grid to finish fifth. Hoping the gremlins have hit him enough throughout 2011, Lane is gunning for a second straight podium finish at the SuperNats.
Arie Luyendyk Jr., Adam Booker, and Harley Owen complete the list of top-10 performers from a year ago. Luyendyk - a Team Principal of the Zanardi America program - has provided some drama on the Pro Tour this season. Among the front-runners each weekend, he has been unlucky in getting pushed to the back for the main event, only to drive forward to top-10 finishes. A seventh last year should be the minimum the second-generation driver is shooting for this time around. Booker was a sleeper last year, sliding into the top-10 action with an eighth place finish in his first SuperNats start. Booker returns to Vegas with Kartel Motorsports aboard a Wild Kart, having not been a player on the national scene in 2011. Owen enjoys ‘Sin City’ despite being unable to legally gamble. He keeps the action on the race track where he’s placed in the top-15 the past two years. Partnered with Select Shifter Services, Owen could be a factor on SuperSunday.
Two drivers to watch, both making their class debut, will be Jordon Musser and Nick Neri. Musser is doing double-duty, running S4 as well as S2. Thankfully, they are in separate schedule blocks so the 3G Kart Racing/Birel pilot should be able to last the entire event with no troubles and be among the contenders in each category. Neri is a new name to the SuperNationals, but no stranger to the top of the podium. In July, Neri scored the Rotax Grand Nationals championship and elected to pass on the trip to the Rotax Grand Finals in UAE to compete in his first SuperNationals. Neri is working with 2010 S1 winner and multi-time national champion Alex Speed throughout the summer at Ocala Gran Prix in Florida amd the event will be the first national start for the Tony Kart pilot in a shifterkart.
| Cory Milne comes into Vegas off a double win at the SummerNationals in Colorado|
(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)
To reaffirm the young age of the field, eight of the drivers in this year’s line-up are S5 Junior Stock Moto graduates from last year - including Pro Tour and SuperNats champion Daniel Langon. The Californian clinched the title with his victory one year ago and has been impressive in his rookie S2 season. Last month, the Zanardi America pilot scored a big win in the Pro Shifter category at the Streets of Lancaster GP against current S1 and S2 championship drivers. Other drivers to watch include Patrick Cushenberry and Ryan Kinnear, who sit fourth and fifth respectively. ‘Cush’ (CRG) is still mathematically in the title chase and is still in position for one of the coveted top three number plates for 2012. He returns to Vegas following a year off from competition. Kinnear has been solid in his return to shifterkarts with a runner-up in Tucson and two top-five finishes to back it up. Teamed with Champion Racing, his Intrepid could be found up front early and remain there until SuperSunday. Adding international flavor is Dutch driver Milan Dontje (Energy). His brother Indy challenged for the S1 victory last year and his two years in the KZ2 category could help him become a contender early in Vegas.
With the growth in numbers, there is no doubt shifterkart racing in America is on the rise again. An average age of 20 for this year’s field leaves little doubt there will be plenty of rising stars over the next few years to the S1 category. For now, this year will be about showing who has what it takes to become the next S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto SuperNationals champion.
Provisional 2011 SKUSA SuperNationals S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto Entry List
|0||Parker McKean||Shark Shifter||Kosmic||WA||USA|
|3e||Kaylee Granberg||Russell Karting Specialties||Parolin||MO||USA|
|3j||Cole Mathewson||Motorama Kart Parts (MKP)||Birel||IN||USA|
|6||Antonio Renna||Pitts Performance||DR Kart||CA||MEX|
|7e||Evan Walters||Champion Racing||Intrepid||MO||USA|
|8t||Ryan Kinnear||Champion Racing||Intrepid||TX||USA|
|9e||Shane Walters||Champion Racing||Intrepid||MO||USA|
|9m||Mariana Ramirez||Leading Edge Motorsports||Intrepid||MEX|
|10||Ivan Guevara||Ferdez Racing||Italkart||MEX|
|11||Rodrigo Fonseca||Autodromo de Leon||CRG||MEX|
|12d||Connor Wogrin||Rocky Mountain Kartworks (GP West)||GP||CO||USA|
|12k||Augie Lerch||Innovative Karting||Intrepid||AZ||USA|
|13c||Imran Husain||Alan Sciuto Racing||CRG||CA||IND|
|14||Milan Dontje||Energy Corse||Energy|| ||HOL|
|15b||Alec Gumpfer||Tony Kart West / Buddy Rice Karting||Tony Kart||HI||USA|
|15d||Eli Ziegler||Rocky Mountain Kartworks (GP West)||GP||CO||USA|
|15t||Connor Wagner||The Kart Shop / Champion Racing||Intrepid||TX||USA|
|16||Jordon Musser||3G Kart Racing||Birel||TX||USA|
|17d||Christian Schureman||Rocky Mountain Kartworks (GP West)||GP||CO||USA|
|17h||Nicholas Lougee||Riverlake Racing||Birel||MN||USA|
|22d||Jeremy Lee||CRG USA||CRG||CO||USA|
|23k||Nicky Freytag||Innovative Karting||Intrepid||AZ||USA|
|24k||Kyle Hathcox||Aluminos / AZ Kart Works||GP||AZ||USA|
|24x||Harley Owen||Select Shifter Services||CRG||AZ||USA|
|25k||Arie Luyendyk Jr.||Zanardi America||Zanardi||AZ||NED|
|26t||Kyle Books||3G Kart Racing||CRG||TX||USA|
|27u||Patrick Cushenberry||Kimball Williams Racing||CRG||UT||USA|
|31y||Jared Woolf||Leading Edge Motorsports||Intrepid||CA||USA|
|32y||Travis Duhn||TCT Racing||Emmick||NV||USA|
|33e||Kyle Gnau||Crockett Motorsports||GP||MO||USA|
|37y||Neil Joseph||Cameron Karting||Italkart||CA||USA|
|38d||Jack Bradley||CRG USA||CRG||CO||USA|
|40z||Skyler Benoit||Shark Shifter||Intrepid||OR||USA|
|44j||Josh Lane||DRT Racing||DR Kart||IL||USA|
|48||Fidencio Guzman||Figuse-Proa Racing||CRG||MEX|
|51y||Daniel Langon||Zanardi America||Zanardi||CA||USA|
|66y||Luis Tyrrell||Kartel Motorsports||Wild Kart||CA||USA|
|75t||Connor Iseli||3G Kart Racing||Birel||TX||USA|
|77||Carlos Medina||Autodromo de Leon||CRG||MEX|
|88c||Matias Podboj||Kimball Williams Racing||CRG||CA||ARG|
|117||Ricardo Gonzales||Sindikato Performance||Intrepid||MEX|
|118||Jorge Alcocer||Acceleration Karting||CRG||MEX|
|125||Nicholas Silva||CRG USA||CRG||CA||USA|
|131||Roman Lagudi||CRG USA||CRG||CO||AUS|
|138r||Scott Hargrove||Italian Motors||Italkart||BC||CAN|
|140y||Jamie Wilson||Cambrian Go-Karts||Birel||CA||USA|
|151||Nick Neri||Koene USA||Tony Kart||FL||USA|
|164y||Adam Booker||Kartel Motorsports||Wild Kart||CA||USA|
|175||Chris Jennings||3G Kart Racing||Birel||TX||USA|
|188||Colby Yardley||Yardley Racing||CRG||UT||USA|
|248y||Cody Diede||Leading Edge Motorsports||Intrepid||CA||USA|
|317d||Sabre' Cook||CRG USA||CRG||CO||USA|
|335||Scott Holmboe||CMC Karting||Swiss Hutless||OR||USA|
|441y||Troy Diede||Leading Edge Motorsports||Intrepid||CA||USA|
|511||Fauzi Dib Saad||Phil Giebler Racing||FA Kart||MEX|