|November 12, 2009 News
|SKUSA SuperNationals XIII - G1/TaG Masters Preview
Courtesy of eKartingNews.com
From the day that the final checkered flag waved and the competitors packed up under their gear in the paddock one year ago, the 13th annual Superkarts! USA SuperNationals has been in everyone’s mind. Set for November 18-22, over 400 drivers will head into battle at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino for what is expected to be the biggest and brightest karting event in the sport’s history. Drivers from all over North America and around the world will compete in an effort to score one of the nine class victories, all focused on placing their name into the SKUSA history books. eKartingNews.com has slated the days leading up to the event for an in-depth look at the entry list and the major players in each of the categories. We began with the TaG Junior and S5 categories, today we highlight G1 and TaG Masters, followed by S4, KF2, S3 and TaG Senior, all leading up to the headline SuperPro category.
To discuss the SKUSA SuperNationals XIII, visit the Official Discussion Thread in the eKartingNews.ca Forums.
To follow complete coverage of the event, including the Top-5 Canadian Performances, visit the Event Page.
| Still looking for that elusive victory, Kelly Baker is among the favorites in G1|
(Photo: Go Racing Magazine)
While this may be considered as the ‘gentleman’s division’ by many, the G1 shifter class is actually one of the most competitive categories, filled with both championship-winning veterans who have decided to move on from the SuperPro class and naturally talented competitors who came late to the sport. However you want to classify the drivers, the 30 years of age and older formula, which runs 125cc built-moto and ICC engines represents the many motorsports enthusiasts who enjoy getting out on the track, having a good time behind the wheel and maybe a couple of adult beverages afterwards. While on-track, though most respect one another, it is still some of the most hardcore racing that you’ll see.
Last year’s event was a walk-away, as the ‘Texas Tornado’ Collin Lynn put on a clinic to score his first SuperNationals victory by over seven seconds. Though Lynn will not return to defend his crown, having taken a break from racing, a number of drivers are eager at the chance to be this year’s winner. Holding the best record for the last five years in the G1 category is Kelly Baker (Italkart). The Washington driver runs from under the Italian Motors tent and has finished third the last two years running, along with sixth, fourth and 10th in the previous years. Despite the depth of talent in the field, only one driver competing in 2009 is a former G1 winner - Eduardo Martins. The driver from Tony Kart Florida stood on top of the podium in 2001 and the native Brazilian has been a consistent top-10 performer ever since. Martins earned the Florida Winter Tour Masters Shifter title back in March and he and brother Andre will both be favorites aboard their Tony Karts.
| Eduardo Martins is the only returning winner in this year's G1 field|
(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)
One driver expected to be near the front is four-time ProKart Challenge South G1 champion PP Mastro (CRG). Since finishing second in 2004, the SoCal driver has recorded two DNFs with a best finish of 10th (2005). Mastro has teamed with High-Rev Engineering and has put in some early practice, winning the recent Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix, which he hopes to use in an effort to continue the good vibe that he’s experienced thus far in 2009 all to the way to a maiden victory at the SuperNationals. Another driver who has not been lucky in Vegas recently is Kurt Mathewson. The two-time Great Lakes Pro Series Masters Shifter champion has yet to return to the top-10 since finishing ninth in ’04. Evolution Karting’s Mathewson was able to score his first Rock Island Grand Prix victory in September after many tries and hopes that this will be a preview of things to come, possibly his first SuperNats podium.
Other notable names to watch for through the event include Aluminos’ Fernando Diaz (GP), Team Top Kart/Grand Products’ Jason Lee (Top Kart) and Cameron Karting’s Jim Kidd (Italkart). Diaz is working with the Aluminos squad and was winner of the ProKart Challenge West Coast Shootout. Lee was leading the Rock Island GP ahead of Mathewson until engine failure put him on the sidelines. Kidd is the new ProKart Challenge North G1 champion and will look to improve on a tough ’08 SuperNats result.
Aside from the Martins brothers, two other drivers will represent Brazil in G1 - Jorge Borelli (Tony Kart) and Antonio Canedo (Kart Mini). Canada will be represented with five solid drivers. Chris Perreault (Vemme), Daryle Redlin (PSL Karting CRG) and John Kwong (PTK) hail from the Western half of the country, while Daniel Nadeau (PSL Karting CRG) and Michel LeGrand (PSL Karting CRG) will travel in from Quebec. Denmark has two drivers on hand with Michael Zakrisen (GP) and Henrik Hajman (GP) running with Aluminos. Italy and India will also have drivers carrying their flags in Vegas with Antonio Dettori (Energy) and PKC regular Imran Husain (India).
Provisional G1 Entry List - as of November 11
|0||Daryl Choby||Scottsdale, AZ||USA||Innovative Karting||Tony Kart||ICC-TM|
|3||David Conyers||Golden, CO||USA||Rocky Mountain Kartworks||GP||ICC-TM|
|4||Kelly Baker||Bellevue, WA||USA||Italian Motors||Italkart||ICC-TM|
|5||Eduardo Martins||Jupiter, FL||Brazil||Tony Kart Florida||Tony Kart||ICC-Maxter|
|7||Jim Holloway||Huntington Beach, CA||USA||Aluminos||GP||ICC-TM|
|9||Antonio Canedo||Sao Paulo||Brazil||Team Kart Mini||Kart Mini||ICC-Maxter|
|13||Jason Lee||Indianapolis, IN||USA||Team Top Kart / Grand Products||Top Kart||ICC-TM|
|15||John Kwong||Calgary, AB||Canada||PTK||ICC-TM|
|18b||Robert Marks||Visalia, CA||USA||Team Visalia||CRG||ICC-TM|
|21||Antonio Dettori||Miami, FL||Italy||Energy Corse America||Energy||ICC-TM|
|21j||Joe Sturm||Neenah, WI||USA||Corrida Karting||GP||ICC-TM|
|21r||Chris Perreault||Campbell River, BC||Canada||Checkered Flag Racing||Vemme||ICC-TM|
|25j||Kurt Mathewson||Carmel, IN||USA||Evolution Karting||CRG||ICC-Maxter|
|26||Andre Martins||Jupiter, FL||Brazil||Tony Kart Florida||Tony Kart||ICC-Vortex|
|32f||Doug Cox||Coral Gables, FL||USA||CRG||ICC-Maxter|
|33c||Jason Campbell||Gilbert, AZ||USA||Tony Kart West||Tony Kart||ICC-TM|
|36b||Eric Wuestenhoefer||Phoenix, AZ||USA||Acceleration Karting||FA Kart||ICC-Vortex|
|41x||Darrell Tunnell||Visalia, CA||USA||Team Visalia / Fastech Racing||CRG||ICC-TM|
|44c||PP Mastro||Bakersfield, CA||USA||High-Rev Engineering||CRG||ICC-TM|
|47j||Tim Roberts||Muncie, IN||USA||Sharing Success Racing||Zanardi||Moto|
|54||Daniel Nadeau||Trois-Rivieres, QC||Canada||PSL Karting||CRG||ICC-Maxter|
|55c||Roy Montgomery||Corona Del Mar, CA||USA||Kimball Williams Racing||CRG||ICC-TM|
|57||Jorge Borelli||Jupiter, FL||Brazil||Tony Kart Florida||Tony Kart||ICC-Vortex|
|76||Fernando Diaz||Redondo Beach, CA||USA||Aluminos||GP||ICC-Maxter|
|78||Michel LeGrand||Trois-Rivieres, QC||Canada||PSL Karting||CRG||ICC-Maxter|
|81||Luis Sousa||Royal Palm Beach, FL||USA||LeGree Motorsports||Birel||ICC-Maxter|
|88||Tim Ulmen||Miami, FL||USA||Playthings Racing / Homestead Karting||CRG||ICC-Maxter|
|90r||Daryle Redlin||Aldergrove, BC||Canada||PSL Karting||CRG||ICC-Maxter|
|98y||Jim Kidd||Campbell, CA||USA||Cameron Karting||Italkart||ICC-TM|
|151y||Sergio Machado||San Leandro, CA||USA||Aluminos||GP||ICC-TM|
|172c||Troy Butts||Garden Grove, CA||USA||2Wild Karting||CRG||ICC-Maxter|
|192||Bob Kim||Auburn, WA||Russia||Italkart||ICC-TM|
|321||Imran Husain||Santa Monica, CA||India||PSL Karting||CRG||ICC-TM|
|911c||Tim Wyatt||Long Beach, CA||USA||UFO Motorsport||CRG||ICC-TM|
| Billy Cleavelin will look to defend his TaG Masters title|
(Photo: Go Racing Magazine)
The TaG Masters driver roster is probably one of the strongest and most talent-filled fields to compete in the category’s seven-year history at the SuperNationals. Since making its debut in 2003, the division’s numbers have grown steady to a point where the category is always one of the classes to first reach the cap number of 40. Aside from the full field, the drivers entered include the top-four from last year, along with three other previous winners. It’s stout field to be certain.
California’s Billy Cleavelin put on a clinic in last year’s edition of the SuperNationals as he ran to a near 12-second victory in the 30-lap main event. Keeping in shape to defend his crown, Cleavelin ran a limited ProKart Challenge South schedule against the young guns in TaG Senior. Back with the same CRG/ Motori 7 package that earned him his SuperNats crown, Cleavelin will be the guy with the target on his back. Second in last year’s event was Ohio’s Brian McHattie (Kosmic/Vortex). Falling to as deep as seventh, the former Rock Island Grand Prix winner muscled his way up to the runner-up spot. McHattie ran to third at this year’s RIGP to ’08 SuperNats podium finisher and reigning RIGP TaG Masters champion Scott Hamble (Margay/Motori 7). Trumping McHattie’s drive forward last year at Vegas, Hamble came from back in 18th and climbed up to finish third, right on McHattie’s on his rear bumper. Hamble is street racing monster, running a number of temp courses in the state of Indiana, so he will be tough once again on the Rio parting lot. BTK Motorsports’ Jim Busby (Arrow/Rotax) was fourth in 2008 and is certainly among the favorites heading into the event. Busby finished the same position at the recent Rotax Grand Nationals in September, but will look for a few steps higher when he reaches Vegas. With the top four returning, things should be interesting at the front.
| Saskatchewan's Jayson Clunie will roll the dice in TaG Masters|
Looking to dethrone the top three are a number of serious contenders within the field. Returning former winners Jerry Henderson and John Crow certainly have the ability to stand on the podium once again. Henderson (MMK/Motori 7) won in 2007 and was the provisional winner back in 2004 until technical issues stripped him of the title. Crow (Birel/Rotax) - the 2005 winner and twice a podium finisher - experienced similar issues back in September after taking the checkered flag at the Rotax Grand Nationals. A spark plug incompliance took away that title, leaving Crow hungry for redemption. In 2007, Rotax Masters was offered and brought out a number of solid Rotaxians to Vegas for the SuperNats. Winning that battle by edging out Crow was Paul Bonilla. The SoCal driver stood on the Rotax Grand Nationals podium this year and was a contender for the win in 2007. Bonilla (Birel/Rotax) hopes his return to the SuperNationals brings him his second win at the famed event.
Aside from them, there are a number of other drivers that will certainly be ones to watch come race time. Veterans of the Masters division include Keith Karr (CRG/Rotax), Larry Fraser (GP/Motori 7), Howie Idelson (MMK/Motori 7), Andy Seesemann (Birel/Rotax), and David Harwin (Tony Kart/Rotax). New to the Masters category and the SuperNationals is Eric Jones. A legendary street racer from Iowa, now the BTK Motorsports team manager, Jones is a young gun in the Masters field and could be the biggest surprise of all.
Canadian entries include Saskatchewan's Jayson Clunie and British Columbia's Mike McGowan, both running Italkarts for Italian Motors, along with Quebec's Francis Mondou (Tony Kart).
Provisional TaG Masters Entry List - as of November 11
|8k||Keith Karr||Montevallo, AL||USA||kartsouth.com||CRG||Rotax|
|10c||Jerry Henderson||Fountain Valley, CA||USA||Mike Manning Karting||MMK||Motori 7|
|11e||Brit Phillips||Raymore, MO||USA||WildKart||Leopard|
|12y||Larry Fraser||Novato, CA||USA||G Force Motorsports||GP||Motori 7|
|14||Mike Daniel||Dundee, OR||USA||CRG||Rotax|
|16d||Brian Robson||Golden, CO||USA||Doghouse Racing||Birel||Leopard|
|17||Glenn McKinnon||Reno, NV||USA||Tony Kart||Leopard|
|19c||Howie Idelson||Pacific Palisades, CA||USA||Mike Manning Karting||MMK||Motori 7|
|20a||Kip Foster||Balcatta||Australia||Kartforce||MMK||Motori 7|
|20b||Paul Bonilla||Cypress, CA||USA||Full Throttle Karting||Birel||Rotax|
|20r||Jayson Clunie||Prince Albert, SK||Canada||Italian Motors||Italkart||Leopard|
|21||Leonardo Nienkotter||Florianapolis,||Brazil||J3 Competition||Kosmic||Vortex ROK TT|
|22||Keith Stuckey||Dallas, TX||USA||The Kart Shop||BRM||Leopard|
|22k||Peter Workum||Paradise Valley, AZ||USA||Aluminos||Intrepid||Leopard|
|23||Juan Carlos Pulido||Laredo, TX||USA||Arrow||Rotax|
|29c||Billy Cleavelin||Covina, CA||USA||Mike Manning Karting||CRG||Motori 7|
|31c||John Crow||Anaheim, CA||USA||Full Throttle Karting||Birel||Rotax|
|31y||Paul Hohlbein||Fair Oaks, CA||USA||Emmick Cobra Racing||Emmick||Vortex ROK TT|
|34||Eric Jones||Decatur, AL||USA||BTK Motorsports||Arrow||Rotax|
|44||Joe Palmer||St. Augustine, FL||USA||Paragon Motorsports||Tony Kart||Vortex ROK TT|
|49y||Ethan Wilson||Campbell, CA||USA||G Force Motorsports||Tony Kart||Vortex ROK TT|
|51||Andy Seesemann||Orange, CA||USA||Full Throttle Karting||Birel||Rotax|
|54c||Steve Wiener||Chula Vista, CA||USA||FX Racing||TrackMagic||Leopard|
|57||Jorge Borelli||Jupiter, FL||Brazil||Tony Kart Florida||Tony Kart||Vortex ROK TT|
|61x||Jim Busby||Rancho Santa Fe, CA||USA||BTK Motorsports||Arrow||Rotax|
|62||Ken Maxfield||Murray, UT||USA||MSquared Karting||Arrow||Rotax|
|63y||JP Cadoux||San Rafael, CA||USA||Syar Motorsport||Energy||Motori 7|
|A63||Eric Smith||Karratha||Australia||Mike Manning Karting||MMK||Motori 7|
|64b||Jim Elia||Bakersfield, CA||USA||Arrow||Leopard|
|65||Craig Willis||Balcatta||Australia||Kartforce||MMK||Motori 7|
|73||Ty Matta||Baldwin Park, CA||USA||Position One Motorsports||Avanti||Motori 7|
|78||Jose Luis Trevino||Laredo, TX||USA||Arrow||Rotax|
|86z||Tim Moss||Portland, OR||USA||Team RPG||CRG||Rotax|
|87||Mike McGowan||Vancouver, BC||Canada||Italian Motors||Italkart||Leopard|
|91||Cody Leibel||Beverly Hills, CA||USA||Full Throttle Karting||Birel||Rotax|
|93j||Brian McHattie||Youngstown, OH||USA||J3 Competition||Kosmic||Vortex ROK TT|
|96j||Scott Hamble||Indianapolis, IN||USA||2nd 2 None Racing||Margay||Motori 7|
|128||Francis Mondou||Shawinigan, QC||Canada||Apollo Motorsports||Tony Kart||Rotax|
|141z||Kurt Fisher||Richland, WA||USA||Gibraltar Racing||CRG||Rotax|
|151y||Carl Freese||Salinas, CA||USA||Cambrian Go-Karts||Birel||Leopard|
|161y||David Harwin||Reno, NV||USA||MMS Racing Engines||Tony Kart||Rotax|
|171y||Mike Kelley||Las Vegas, NV||USA||Acceleration Karting||Birel||Rotax|