SKUSA SummerNationals to Take On Streets of Modesto
New temp circuit to be constructed in Northern California city for August festival
As announced on Tuesday by the Modesto Bee newspaper, Superkarts! USA will be taking its growing Pro Tour to northern California in August of 2014 for the fifth running of the SummerNationals. The City of Modesto, which is located roughly an hour away from San Francisco Bay area, will welcome SKUSA racers and teams on August 1-3, 2014 and present them with an exciting street circuit in their downtown core. The combination of the increasing numbers on the Pro Tour, along with the uniqueness of a brand new street race, could position the 2014 SKUSA SummerNationals as one of the biggest karting events in North America.
“I’m incredibly excited to have the opportunity to work directly with a city like Modesto in bringing the SummerNationals to northern California. In fact, I haven’t been this excited in a long time,” commented Tom Kutscher, who has being working for over four months to put this program together. “The city is thrilled to have us and we’re designing a professional level event to present to both the city’s motorsports enthusiasts and to those who don’t know much about racing. They are going to take this race to the next level and are working to build the atmosphere to new heights.”
The SummerNationals were first held in Shawano, Wisconsin in 2010 and then moved to Grand Junction Motor Speedway in Colorado in 2011. The state of Utah was the site in 2012, as the Pro Tour welcomed the largest turnout to date at the Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele where the numbers topped 180. This year’s SummerNats eclipsed that number, reaching well beyond 200 drivers as the event returned to Grand Junction. Each year, the numbers have continued to increase, and more are expected to travel to the new and unique Modesto location in 2014.
Superkarts! USA staff and officials will manage all of the operations within the confines of the safety fencing, while the Modesto Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods staff will oversee an incredible effort that will transform the grounds into a F1-style festival. The race is already gaining impressive support from local and regional businesses, in terms of sponsorship and interest in VIP areas, where they will use the race to entertain clients and staff. Plans for the event include several big screens around the track to provide an unparalleled spectator experience, as well as professional level sound and video, beer gardens and food providers around the layout, and spectator bridges to open up viewing areas all around the track. A full festival that will include nightly bands and parties will support the race. In past years, Modesto was a stop on the AMGEN Tour of California cycling race, so major sports events is not something new to this city. Plans for a massive local advertising and marketing campaign are already in motion.
“Modesto is looking forward to the SKUSA SummerNationals with open arms and lots of excitement,” said Julie Hannon, Director of the Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Department. “We have a strong history of hosting world-class events, and this one will be no different – we know that Modesto folks are the best and expect them to come out in droves just like AMGEN!”
The event will also provide a brand new challenge for SKUSA’s Pro Tour competitors, as this will be the first temporary circuit in the four-year history of the emerging national program, outside the annual SuperNationals each November. Each racer will arrive with the same level of testing time on the facility, which will be zero. It will be a level playing field heading into Friday practice, and as spectators will watch the cream rise to the top as the weekend unfolds. The track layout is all but completed, and will be very wide and safe. The urban layout of Modesto’s downtown core offers a wide area of asphalt in which to route the track map, so the racing will be very competitive.
One of the most exciting elements of the race is that it will take place through the afternoon and evening, under the lights. The high heat of an August day in NorCal will be avoided and the atmosphere created by the night events will be stunning. While the actual time schedule has yet to be developed, it is expected that the on-track activities will run from approximately 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm.
This event has all the makings of a huge influx of awareness and interest in northern California, and SKUSA is very cognizant of this fact, offering up a pavilion for NorCal clubs and shops to setup and promote their programs to the spectators. The massive benefits in terms of promotion for the sport will be leveraged to their fullest.
“This is not only good for Superkarts! USA and the city of Modesto, but for karting in general,” added Kutscher. “Aside from the SuperNationals in Las Vegas and the Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix in Southern California, our events are held on permanent facilities where the spectators are made up of racers and family members themselves. This new venture is guaranteed to introduce karting to a massive audience who may not be familiar with the sport. It’s a great opportunity for us as an organization, as well as teams and drivers to experience. We’re also going to make a key area available to the NorCal karting community so that they can come in and promote the sport. This is going to be big. You won’t want to miss it.”
A press conference will be held in late October or early November to announce the track layout, event details, title sponsor and much more. Stay tuned to www.superkartsusa.com for any late breaking news, as well as updates on Twitter at @SuperKartsUSA and at Facebook or Twitter.