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November 13, 2007 News
Event Preview: SKUSA SuperNationals XI Preview - Part 1
 


The next six days will represent ‘SuperNats Week’ here at EKN, as the Superkarts! USA’s 11th edition of the MG Tires SuperNationals XI Presented by Mazda is set to take place at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. Following five long days of racing from November 14-18, a total of 10 class winners will add their names to the history books after standing on the top step of the victory lane podium.

To begin EKN’s unparalleled coverage of the biggest karting event of the year, we will look at the provisional entry list of all ten classes, highlighting selected drivers who will be the names to watch during the week. Today we begin with a look at five classes, followed the next day with the remaining five - including the headliner - SuperPro.

On-track action begins Wednesday morning with a full day of practice. Thursday is when the talk ends and the action begins with qualifying. Friday will be two heat races per class with Saturday hosting the final heat and the Last Chance Qualifiers before the main events on Sunday. For a detailed schedule, click HERE. To discuss the entry list and watch updates throughout the weekend, please visit the Official Discussion Thread.


 

Curtis Cooksey is among the favorites in S3  (Photo: EKN)
Curtis Cooksey is among the favorites in S3
(Photo: EKN)

S3
S3 is being sponsored by RCE Racing and will match the best Stock Honda drivers in the country against one another for ultimate glory. Improving from 25 entries last year to the point where it is reaching the 40-kart field limit this year only serves to show the improving popularity of this spec shifter class. With none of the previous five class winners in the line-up, this year will produce a first time SuperNationals victor in S3.

Defending class champ Connor DePhillippi has moved up a division and this will allow some of last year’s fastest drivers to step up to the limelight. 2006 runner-up Eddie Olpin will be returning this year, looking to move up one step higher on the podium. Switching from CRG to First Kart, Olpin hopes that move will be the right one.

As last year’s event unfolded, the story of Las Vegas’ own Curtis Cooksey was an interesting plot. Going into the event knowing that he would miss SuperSunday’s main to leave for the Rotax Grand Finals in Portugal, Cooksey earned the pole position for the final on the strength of a good run of heat race results, but he would relinquish the front row starting position as he headed to the airport on Saturday night. The Acceleration Karting owner/driver will not have such plans hanging over his head this year and, knowing that, he is completely focused on putting his name in the SuperNationals history books. Cooksey already has a prestigious position in SuperNats lore, having been on the SuperPro podium in the first-ever Las Vegas spectacular back in 1997.

The youngest competitor in the class is Cam Egger. At age 14, the young Oregon driver will battle against pilots two and three times his age. Another young driver making his shifter debut is reigning Rotax Junior Grand National champion Jose Zanella. They will both battle against shifter kart veterans like Tom Dyer and Joe Janowski. Both drivers were at the top of their karting careers during the early SKUSA years, both with plenty of experience at big events such as the SuperNationals. Joining them in the line-up will be 2006 S4 winner Jeff Littrell. The Californian took home the inaugural S4 victory last year and will be running double duty, adding S3 to his class list this time around.

Three international drivers will complete the field - two from New Zealand and one returning from Bermuda looking for his first SuperNats win. Jason Lee and Daniel Eggleton both have victories in the New Zealander shifter classes, while Scott Barnes returns to Vegas with PG Racing, looking to add to his 125 Moto victory from Rock Island Grand Prix this past September.

With the help of FX Racing, the top five finishers in the class will receive a certificate for a new K&N airbox - a total value over $500.

S3 Provisional Entry List
No.DriverChassisHometownAge
2Tom DyerGPCorte Madera, CA29
3Cam EggerBirelMulino, OR14
7Jason LeeGPNew Zealand20
15Kristina McKnightIntrepidConcord, CA16
22Matt KistlerGPCastle Rock, CO18
27Craig FinerIntrepidNorth Bend, WA38
56Matthew TrottCRGKingwood, TX18
70Chad AllenTony KartPuyallup, WA32
77Steven ReasonerGPRipon, CA24
99Carter JamesPTKOgden, UT16
387Jose ZanellaFA KartJupiter, FL16
10zTed PyleZanardiBellevue, WA23
111cClinton SchoombeeBirelLadera Ranch, CA25
113zCameron KingsleyTony KartCamano Island, WA17
12dIan KoentgesGPWheat Ridge, CO17
14uEddie OlpinFirst KartNorth Salt Lake, UT27
15eMatt ZeisWildkartSt. Louis, MO20
1nzDaniel EggletonGPNew Zealand22
22dJeff WelchShockwaveArvada, CO22
22uOliver CrenshawArrowBountiful, UT24
25cKyle ZirkleGPLakewood, CA17
27tNick LucidoCRGPlano, TX17
27uPatrick CushenberryTony KartProvo, UT18
28eRick FreundWild KartHillsboro, MO45
30yBryan EadyIntrepidShasta, CA20
32uKeenan SchmitkeGPMidvale, UT17
33dJD MobleyFirst KartCastle Rock, CO16
40cCurtis RuthIntrepidPeoria, AZ29
41yCurtis CookseyCRGLas Vegas, NV35
46xFlemming TranbergGT KartSan Diego, CA40
4cJeff LittrellTony KartManhattan Beach, CA44
51cBobby LegateCRGSan Clemente, CA23
51eDerek CrockettWild KartCahokia, IL20
55cDoug HayashiTony KartHuntington Beach, CA48
56xEllie NashItalkartVail, AZ29
6jJoe JanowskiGPNoblesville, IN35
7uWyatt LloydIntrepidPleasant Grove, UT18
800cWayne MelloTony KartHuntington Beach, CA48
9bScott BarnesWildkartBermuda23
9zChristopher BarkleyTony KartMarysville, WA16



 

Jeff Littrell will look to defend his S4 title in Vegas this week  (Photo: Shift Sport)
Jeff Littrell will look to defend his S4 title in Vegas this week
(Photo: Shift Sport)

S4
Introduced at last year’s event, the RLV S4 class (Stock Honda Heavy) is another option for those club-type racers who just want to go out and have fun competing against one another. This year’s entry list has matched last years number of 35 drivers set to battle in Vegas, with the average age of the class at just over 40 years old.

Defending class winner Jeff Littrell will be back to defend his title. The Californian is double dipping this year, running both S3 and S4, which could hamper his chances at repeating. Still, Littrell is considered one of the favorites heading into the event, at least until someone steps up during the week. Only two drivers are under the age of 30: Matt Alcorn and Marty Henderson. Both are top ProKart Challenge drivers, and will be joined by the rest of their fellow PKC competitors, such as Fernando Diaz, Rob Whitley, and John Espinor.

Only two drivers will travel from East of the Rocky Mountains for this year’s race: SKUSA Great Lakes competitor Eric Chappell and Indiana’s Jason Ewers. They will be joined by two more New Zealand drivers - Snow Mooney and Steve Brown.

FX Racing is also stepping up for the S4 division, providing five certificates for the new Ingels karting shoes by Piloti, a total value over $500.

S4 Provisional Entry List
No.DriverChassisHometownAge
16Matt AlcornSwiss HutlessPortola Valley, CA23
24Lloyd PutnamArrowHerriman, UT42
39Chris RappTrackmagicSeattle, WA56
58Brad JohnsonCRGMagnolia, TX38
10cTim McClanahanGPAnaheim, CA50
110cTom LevenbergBirelSan Diego, CA43
12jEric ChappellMonzaSaginaw, MI37
15cMichael MihldTony KartMurrieta, CA47
161cJim LewisGPVista, CA47
1nzSnow MooneyGPNew Zealand40
23uTodd EdgingtonArrowSalt Lake City, UT41
23zDavid JonesSodikartTigard, OR44
2nzSteve BrownGPNew Zealand40
31xMarty HendersonGPSan Clemente, CA22
32jJason EwersGPNoblesville, IN34
36cBill CoxGPSan Diego, CA56
3xMark BlackArrowYorba Linda, CA41
42uRyan PoolArrowSouth Jordan, UT36
42yJohn EspinorGPSacramento, CA43
45cFernando DiazSodikartSan Pedro, CA35
45uRJ EdgingtonArrowSalt Lake City, UT31
49cRob WhitleyTony KartTorrance, CA58
4cJeff LittrellTony KartManhattan Beach, CA44
50zTim DavisonTrackmagicDeer Park, WA49
53cDave Van GordonIntrepidPeoria, AZ44
55cDoug HayashiTony KartHuntington Beach, CA48
5zAndy SoleTony KartArlington, WA40
64uScott ClarkTony KartSalt Lake City, UT49
65cGrant WestmorlandGPChula Vista, CA51
66yRob SoaresGPSan Ramon, CA41
68yMark DrennanIntrepidSan Jose, CA41
6xMatthew MaasArrowAnaheim Hills, CA38
75zSteve PerdueArrowAlgona, WA39
89xPaul RussellCRGSan Diego, CA41
95xTommy BakerIntrepidPhoenix, AZ36



 

Brett Smrz will make an emotional return back to the SuperNationals  (Photo: brettsmrz.com)
Brett Smrz will make an emotional return back to the SuperNationals
(Photo: brettsmrz.com)

Rotax Senior
New to the SuperNationals is the involvement of Champ Car Rotax Kart Challenge to the program. The result was two additional classes that are Rotax only. The first is the Rotax Senior division where, besides earning the title of SuperNationals winner, the victor will also be awarded an all-expenses paid trip and a qualifying invitation to the 2008 Rotax Grand Finals.

The entry list is split in half between United States and Canadian competitors. There are several Canadians making the journey across the border, including many former Rotax Grand Finals qualifiers: Pier Luc Ouellette, Christophe Boisclair, Braydon Ouellet and others. On the U.S. side, members of America’s Team 2006 will be in competition, including Austin Isaac, Michael Self, and Curtis Cooksey, as well as former Worlds qualifier Mike Herda. They will be joined by other Rotax veterans and up-and-coming young Rotaxians.

The uplifting story of the class will be the return of Brett Smrz to the SuperNationals. Smrz had his left leg partially amputated following a freak non-racing accident at home earlier this year. Smrz is making a complete recovery, already winning in regional formula car action and participating in the Mazda RoboPong 200 last month in Indianapolis.

Rotax Senior Provisional Entry List
No.DriverChassisHometownAge
3Kyle KuntzeKRTPoway, CA18
4Arturo GonzalesCRGTrois-Rivieres, QC19
5Alex EllisCRGSt. Catharines, ON16
6Connor DimondCRGPerris, CA16
8Pier-Luc OuelletteArrowSt. Roch de L'Achigan, QC20
9Gregory LiefoogheCRGSan Francisco, CA27
10Eric GerritsFirst KartSharon, ON21
12Mike HerdaBirelLas Vegas, NV18
15Daniel ParrasBirelLos Angeles, CA23
16David OstellaCRGMaple, ON16
25Kenny MalerBirelActon, CA17
34Braydon OuelletArrowPrince George, BC17
36Zach WoodsfordBirelLas Vegas, NV21
39Alex LaboissonniereCRGTrois-Rivieres, QC18
44Gerald CaseleyCRGTrois-Rivieres, QC17
46Zac ClarkArrowSalt Lake City, UT17
48Carl ModoffCRGLas Vegas, NV19
57Roger ScottCRGLas Vegas, NV16
60Rodolfo CamarilloFA KartJupiter, FL39
64Olivier SiroisCRGL'Ancienne-Lorette, QC17
69Gerardo GonzalesCRGTrois-Rivieres, QC17
77Michael CzajaCRGSt. Albert, AL16
92Christophe BoisclairArrowSt. Roch de L'Achigan, QC17
98Vincent ArsenaultArrowMission, BC18
107Clayton SnowEnergyNapa, CA21
144Blake ChoquerGillardLangley, BC23
207Toms BobrovskisEnergyLatvia21
409Austin IsaacBirelSalt Lake City, UT17
412Michael SelfArrowPark City, UT17
16jCody ElliottMerlinLake Geneva, WI15
29xAirel JimenezMMKCanyon Country, CA16
33rDylan GibsonCRGBurlington, ON16
41yCurtis CookseyCRGLas Vegas, NV35
45dGreg WelchShockwaveArvada, CO19
46xGeoffery RobertiSodiKartPortland, OR17
55cChad BrassfieldPTKScottsdale, AZ19
6zBrett SmrzBirelCoeur d' Alene, ID16
7yDusty DavisMaranelloLas Vegas, NV15
87vTroy GoldbergCRGHaiku, HI20



 

When Andy Seesemann is in Vegas, you never know what's going to happen  (Photo: EKN)
When Andy Seesemann is in Vegas, you never know what's going to happen
(Photo: EKN)

Rotax Masters
The second class added to this year’s schedule with the Champ Car Rotax Kart Challenge involvement is the Rotax Masters division. The ‘more experienced’ and ‘above average weight’ drivers will be competing for a spot at the 2008 Rotax Grand Nationals that includes free entry, tires, and pit space.

The entry list includes many of the regular Rotax Masters competitors you see around the country, with many of this year’s Grand Nationals drivers making the trip to Vegas this week. Andy Seesemann, Brad Smith, Jim Keesling, Erik Jackson, Keith Karr, Paul Bonilla and Gary Pesner a just a few of the fast guys we’ll see on-track.

One name that stood out at the Grand Nationals this past year was the young Maverick Bartlett. The driver from Wyoming put on a performance all week long in Colorado before a broken chain in the Prefinal put him at the back of the field for the main event. Never doubting what could happen, he drove through the pack to finish eighth. Sporting a pink helmet that he spray painted just before the Grand Nationals began, Maverick will be a character to watch during the SuperNationals week.

Rotax Masters Provisional Entry List
No.DriverChassisHometownAge
2Kevin WilliamsTop KartHenderson, NV42
4Kurt FisherCRGKirkland, WA42
7Gary PesnerCRGAnaheim, CA38
31John CrowBirelAnaheim, CA 38
46Rich StillwellCRGKirkland, WA42
51Andy SeesemannBirelOrange, CA37
93Paul WalkerCRGTrois-Rivieres, QC39
777Maverick BartlettArrowJackson, WY17
07ySammy ValafarCRGLas Vegas, NV28
10cJerry HendersonMMKFountain Valley, CA52
12kBrad SmithCRGLexington, NC34
161yDave HarwinTony KartReno, NV33
17jVoytek BurdzyMerlinSchiller Park, IL36
20cPaul BonillaBirelCypress, CA39
27xJohn BorroelGT KartSanta Ynez, CA44
3rBrent BolsterCRGCalgary, AL35
41cIan ThomasTony KartAnaheim Hills, CA48
43dJ. Mark KrivanekIntrepidSalida, CO44
62uKen MaxfieldArrowMurray, UT45
6dRodney EbersoleGPGrant, CO45
7dRoman GutierrezGPArvada, CO19
7xShannon SchmidtMonzaSalt Lake City, UT34
84dJim KeeslingBirelCentennial, CO46
86cErik JacksonArrowLong Beach, CA31
8gKeith KarrBirelMontevallo, AL41



 

Austin Newmark has the most S5 experience going into the SuperNats  (Photo: Glen Kendall)
Austin Newmark has the most S5 experience going into the SuperNats
(Photo: Glen Kendall)

S5
Superkarts! USA introduced a new junior shifter program at the beginning of the year and they have added it to the SuperNats schedule this year to help build the new package some momentum. Using the same Stock Honda packages that the S3 and S4 classes use, with the addition of an exhaust restrictor and a two-hole airbox, the package is focused on bringing in the career shifter karters at an early age.

With the class making its debut at the SuperNationals and not many regional programs adopting the new class in 2007, the entries are surprisingly higher than expected, with 17 drivers set to battle. The one driver with the most S5 experience is ProKart Challenge driver Austin Newmark. The Arizona pilot was one of the first to strap on the restricted Stock Honda engine packages, providing a lot of feedback for PKC and SKUSA.

He’ll be joined by a handful of SuperNationals veterans. Gustavo Menezes and Dylan Kwasniewski are the last two drivers to win in Cadet shifter competition at the SuperNats. Menezes has two SuperNationals victories on his young driving resume while Kwasniewski was the last K3 class winner. They will be joined be fellow national competitors and regional stars.

SwedeTech Racing Engines has stepped up to support the $1,750 cash purse along with a matching contingency program. Ribtect, Zamp Helmets, Aluminos, and Hitch Hiker Kart Stands have also stepped up to support the class at this year’s event.

S5 Provisional Entry List
No.DriverChassisHometownAge
4Austen DuncanWild KartImperial, MO12
13Victor CarboneKart MiniEncino, CA15
33Matthew MairTony KartMiami, FL14
88Colby YardleyBirelWest Jordan, UT13
366Brendan PhinnyTop KartCarmel Valley, CA13
12dKody AdcockCRGGrand Junction, CO14
13yDylan KwasniewskiTony KartLas Vegas, NV12
20cTaylor MiinchTop KartEl Cajon, CA13
24tChance TurnerCRGManvel, TX12
25xNicholas SilvaKart MiniEncino, CA12
2cGustavo MenezesTony KartCoto de Caza, CA13
34cRace LiberanteCRGQuartz Hill, CA13
38dJack BradleyBirelLittleton, CO14
47xAustin NewmarkBirelSierra Vista, AZ13
47fCourt VernonBirelKey Biscayne, FL15
7zSam GalloTony KartPuyallup, WA13
96cTimmy BachmanTop KartBakersfield, CA13
United States Quebec Ontario Manitoba Saskatchewan Alberta British Columbia New Brunswick Nova Scotia



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