|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 |
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
|2||Tom Dyer||GP||Corte Madera, CA||29|
|3||Cam Egger||Birel||Mulino, OR||14|
|7||Jason Lee||GP||New Zealand||20|
|15||Kristina McKnight||Intrepid||Concord, CA||16|
|22||Matt Kistler||GP||Castle Rock, CO||18|
|27||Craig Finer||Intrepid||North Bend, WA||38|
|56||Matthew Trott||CRG||Kingwood, TX||18|
|70||Chad Allen||Tony Kart||Puyallup, WA||32|
|77||Steven Reasoner||GP||Ripon, CA||24|
|99||Carter James||PTK||Ogden, UT||16|
|387||Jose Zanella||FA Kart||Jupiter, FL||16|
|10z||Ted Pyle||Zanardi||Bellevue, WA||23|
|111c||Clinton Schoombee||Birel||Ladera Ranch, CA||25|
|113z||Cameron Kingsley||Tony Kart||Camano Island, WA||17|
|12d||Ian Koentges||GP||Wheat Ridge, CO||17|
|14u||Eddie Olpin||First Kart||North Salt Lake, UT||27|
|15e||Matt Zeis||Wildkart||St. Louis, MO||20|
|1nz||Daniel Eggleton||GP||New Zealand||22|
|22d||Jeff Welch||Shockwave||Arvada, CO||22|
|22u||Oliver Crenshaw||Arrow||Bountiful, UT||24|
|25c||Kyle Zirkle||GP||Lakewood, CA||17|
|27t||Nick Lucido||CRG||Plano, TX||17|
|27u||Patrick Cushenberry||Tony Kart||Provo, UT||18|
|28e||Rick Freund||Wild Kart||Hillsboro, MO||45|
|30y||Bryan Eady||Intrepid||Shasta, CA||20|
|32u||Keenan Schmitke||GP||Midvale, UT||17|
|33d||JD Mobley||First Kart||Castle Rock, CO||16|
|40c||Curtis Ruth||Intrepid||Peoria, AZ||29|
|41y||Curtis Cooksey||CRG||Las Vegas, NV||35|
|46x||Flemming Tranberg||GT Kart||San Diego, CA||40|
|4c||Jeff Littrell||Tony Kart||Manhattan Beach, CA||44|
|51c||Bobby Legate||CRG||San Clemente, CA||23|
|51e||Derek Crockett||Wild Kart||Cahokia, IL||20|
|55c||Doug Hayashi||Tony Kart||Huntington Beach, CA||48|
|56x||Ellie Nash||Italkart||Vail, AZ||29|
|6j||Joe Janowski||GP||Noblesville, IN||35|
|7u||Wyatt Lloyd||Intrepid||Pleasant Grove, UT||18|
|800c||Wayne Mello||Tony Kart||Huntington Beach, CA||48|
|9z||Christopher Barkley||Tony Kart||Marysville, WA||16|
| Jeff Littrell will look to defend his S4 title in Vegas this week |
(Photo: Shift Sport)
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
|16||Matt Alcorn||Swiss Hutless||Portola Valley, CA||23|
|24||Lloyd Putnam||Arrow||Herriman, UT||42|
|39||Chris Rapp||Trackmagic||Seattle, WA||56|
|58||Brad Johnson||CRG||Magnolia, TX||38|
|10c||Tim McClanahan||GP||Anaheim, CA||50|
|110c||Tom Levenberg||Birel||San Diego, CA||43|
|12j||Eric Chappell||Monza||Saginaw, MI||37|
|15c||Michael Mihld||Tony Kart||Murrieta, CA||47|
|161c||Jim Lewis||GP||Vista, CA||47|
|1nz||Snow Mooney||GP||New Zealand||40|
|23u||Todd Edgington||Arrow||Salt Lake City, UT||41|
|23z||David Jones||Sodikart||Tigard, OR||44|
|2nz||Steve Brown||GP||New Zealand||40|
|31x||Marty Henderson||GP||San Clemente, CA||22|
|32j||Jason Ewers||GP||Noblesville, IN||34|
|36c||Bill Cox||GP||San Diego, CA||56|
|3x||Mark Black||Arrow||Yorba Linda, CA||41|
|42u||Ryan Pool||Arrow||South Jordan, UT||36|
|42y||John Espinor||GP||Sacramento, CA||43|
|45c||Fernando Diaz||Sodikart||San Pedro, CA||35|
|45u||RJ Edgington||Arrow||Salt Lake City, UT||31|
|49c||Rob Whitley||Tony Kart||Torrance, CA||58|
|4c||Jeff Littrell||Tony Kart||Manhattan Beach, CA||44|
|50z||Tim Davison||Trackmagic||Deer Park, WA||49|
|53c||Dave Van Gordon||Intrepid||Peoria, AZ||44|
|55c||Doug Hayashi||Tony Kart||Huntington Beach, CA||48|
|5z||Andy Sole||Tony Kart||Arlington, WA||40|
|64u||Scott Clark||Tony Kart||Salt Lake City, UT||49|
|65c||Grant Westmorland||GP||Chula Vista, CA||51|
|66y||Rob Soares||GP||San Ramon, CA||41|
|68y||Mark Drennan||Intrepid||San Jose, CA||41|
|6x||Matthew Maas||Arrow||Anaheim Hills, CA||38|
|75z||Steve Perdue||Arrow||Algona, WA||39|
|89x||Paul Russell||CRG||San Diego, CA||41|
|95x||Tommy Baker||Intrepid||Phoenix, AZ||36|
| Brett Smrz will make an emotional return back to the SuperNationals |
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
|3||Kyle Kuntze||KRT||Poway, CA||18|
|4||Arturo Gonzales||CRG||Trois-Rivieres, QC||19|
|5||Alex Ellis||CRG||St. Catharines, ON||16|
|6||Connor Dimond||CRG||Perris, CA||16|
|8||Pier-Luc Ouellette||Arrow||St. Roch de L'Achigan, QC||20|
|9||Gregory Liefooghe||CRG||San Francisco, CA||27|
|10||Eric Gerrits||First Kart||Sharon, ON||21|
|12||Mike Herda||Birel||Las Vegas, NV||18|
|15||Daniel Parras||Birel||Los Angeles, CA||23|
|16||David Ostella||CRG||Maple, ON||16|
|25||Kenny Maler||Birel||Acton, CA||17|
|34||Braydon Ouellet||Arrow||Prince George, BC||17|
|36||Zach Woodsford||Birel||Las Vegas, NV||21|
|39||Alex Laboissonniere||CRG||Trois-Rivieres, QC||18|
|44||Gerald Caseley||CRG||Trois-Rivieres, QC||17|
|46||Zac Clark||Arrow||Salt Lake City, UT||17|
|48||Carl Modoff||CRG||Las Vegas, NV||19|
|57||Roger Scott||CRG||Las Vegas, NV||16|
|60||Rodolfo Camarillo||FA Kart||Jupiter, FL||39|
|64||Olivier Sirois||CRG||L'Ancienne-Lorette, QC||17|
|69||Gerardo Gonzales||CRG||Trois-Rivieres, QC||17|
|77||Michael Czaja||CRG||St. Albert, AL||16|
|92||Christophe Boisclair||Arrow||St. Roch de L'Achigan, QC||17|
|98||Vincent Arsenault||Arrow||Mission, BC||18|
|107||Clayton Snow||Energy||Napa, CA||21|
|144||Blake Choquer||Gillard||Langley, BC||23|
|409||Austin Isaac||Birel||Salt Lake City, UT||17|
|412||Michael Self||Arrow||Park City, UT||17|
|16j||Cody Elliott||Merlin||Lake Geneva, WI||15|
|29x||Airel Jimenez||MMK||Canyon Country, CA||16|
|33r||Dylan Gibson||CRG||Burlington, ON||16|
|41y||Curtis Cooksey||CRG||Las Vegas, NV||35|
|45d||Greg Welch||Shockwave||Arvada, CO||19|
|46x||Geoffery Roberti||SodiKart||Portland, OR||17|
|55c||Chad Brassfield||PTK||Scottsdale, AZ||19|
|6z||Brett Smrz||Birel||Coeur d' Alene, ID||16|
|7y||Dusty Davis||Maranello||Las Vegas, NV||15|
|87v||Troy Goldberg||CRG||Haiku, HI||20|
| When Andy Seesemann is in Vegas, you never know what's going to happen |
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
|2||Kevin Williams||Top Kart||Henderson, NV||42|
|4||Kurt Fisher||CRG||Kirkland, WA||42|
|7||Gary Pesner||CRG||Anaheim, CA||38|
|31||John Crow||Birel||Anaheim, CA ||38|
|46||Rich Stillwell||CRG||Kirkland, WA||42|
|51||Andy Seesemann||Birel||Orange, CA||37|
|93||Paul Walker||CRG||Trois-Rivieres, QC||39|
|777||Maverick Bartlett||Arrow||Jackson, WY||17|
|07y||Sammy Valafar||CRG||Las Vegas, NV||28|
|10c||Jerry Henderson||MMK||Fountain Valley, CA||52|
|12k||Brad Smith||CRG||Lexington, NC||34|
|161y||Dave Harwin||Tony Kart||Reno, NV||33|
|17j||Voytek Burdzy||Merlin||Schiller Park, IL||36|
|20c||Paul Bonilla||Birel||Cypress, CA||39|
|27x||John Borroel||GT Kart||Santa Ynez, CA||44|
|3r||Brent Bolster||CRG||Calgary, AL||35|
|41c||Ian Thomas||Tony Kart||Anaheim Hills, CA||48|
|43d||J. Mark Krivanek||Intrepid||Salida, CO||44|
|62u||Ken Maxfield||Arrow||Murray, UT||45|
|6d||Rodney Ebersole||GP||Grant, CO||45|
|7d||Roman Gutierrez||GP||Arvada, CO||19|
|7x||Shannon Schmidt||Monza||Salt Lake City, UT||34|
|84d||Jim Keesling||Birel||Centennial, CO||46|
|86c||Erik Jackson||Arrow||Long Beach, CA||31|
|8g||Keith Karr||Birel||Montevallo, AL||41|
| Austin Newmark has the most S5 experience going into the SuperNats |
(Photo: Glen Kendall)
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
|4||Austen Duncan||Wild Kart||Imperial, MO||12|
|13||Victor Carbone||Kart Mini||Encino, CA||15|
|33||Matthew Mair||Tony Kart||Miami, FL||14|
|88||Colby Yardley||Birel||West Jordan, UT||13|
|366||Brendan Phinny||Top Kart||Carmel Valley, CA||13|
|12d||Kody Adcock||CRG||Grand Junction, CO||14|
|13y||Dylan Kwasniewski||Tony Kart||Las Vegas, NV||12|
|20c||Taylor Miinch||Top Kart||El Cajon, CA||13|
|24t||Chance Turner||CRG||Manvel, TX||12|
|25x||Nicholas Silva||Kart Mini||Encino, CA||12|
|2c||Gustavo Menezes||Tony Kart||Coto de Caza, CA||13|
|34c||Race Liberante||CRG||Quartz Hill, CA||13|
|38d||Jack Bradley||Birel||Littleton, CO||14|
|47x||Austin Newmark||Birel||Sierra Vista, AZ||13|
|47f||Court Vernon||Birel||Key Biscayne, FL||15|
|7z||Sam Gallo||Tony Kart||Puyallup, WA||13|
|96c||Timmy Bachman||Top Kart||Bakersfield, CA||13|