EKN Exclusive: SKUSA SuperNationals XVII Gets Underway in Las Vegas
Record breaking event with over $100,000 in prizes hits the track outside the Rio
It has been a long journey since the inaugural Superkarts! USA SuperNationals back at the ‘Rock Pile’ south of the Las Vegas Strip. A gathering of shifterkart pilots from all across the country has led to the biggest karting event in world every November. Over 580 drivers, industry leaders throughout North America and the world, with hundreds of spectators will converge on the parking lot of the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for the 17th running of the SKUSA SuperNationals.
For complete coverage of the SKUSA SuperNationals XVII, visit the EKN Event Page
The initial gathering of the SKUSA SuperNationals began in 1997 outside the Vegas lights at the X-Plex karting circuit. For five years, Superkarts! USA provided THE event for shifterkarts in North America. Valiante, Barron, Elliott, Gidley, Speed – they all became legends through this event that continued to grow year after year. Under the guidance of Jim Murley, SKUSA took the SuperNats closer to the Strip – holding the event on a temporary circuit outside the Rio. These two years took the event to another level, with the glitz and glamour of Vegas welcoming the speed and excitement of karting.
Keeping with the temporary circuit atmosphere, the event moved east to the Sam Boyd Stadium – which has become home to a number of motocross and other motorsport events. Those four years were a period of change for the organization, transferring ownership under Joe Janowski before former racer and kart shop owner Tom Kutscher and is wife Patti took the reigns of the Superkarts! USA program. In 2008, Kutscher sparked up the interest in the SuperNationals again, bringing it back to the Rio, increasing its numbers, teams, and prize package year after year. 2013 is another record breaking year, welcome the most drivers ever in the event history, and providing one of the largest purses in karting anywhere.
Action begins Wednesday morning as the morning group of classes takes to the track. With the number of entries, and the 11 categories on the docket, Superkarts! USA breaks up the classes into the morning group and afternoon group. Each class will have four seven-minute sessions over the course of Wednesday and Thursday, as drivers adjust to the course, and adjust their machines for maximum speed. Times will matter for the classes over the 40-driver mark, as their practice times at the end of practice Wednesday determine the group they will run on Thursday and for qualifying Friday. Friday is the day that can make or break the SuperNationals, with qualifying to determine the starting position for the three heat races. Round one of heats take place Friday as well, with the final two set for decision Saturday. Those drivers unable to qualify directly into the SuperSunday action will have to contest the Last Chance Qualifier to earn their spot on the grid for the main event.
Over the last week and a half, eKartingNews.com has brought to you a preview of the 11 categories set to battle over the five days of action at the SuperNationals XVII. While a number of drivers were profiled throughout the program, their will be a number of drivers that will emerge as contenders throughout the week in a number of classes. That is the beauty of the SKUSA SuperNationals. A driver who can be quick on day one, may find themselves fighting for a transfer position in the LCQ.
eKartingNews.com, the official media partner of Superkarts! USA, is set to once again bring unparalleled coverage over the five days in Las Vegas. EKN Trackside Live will bring you Paddock Insider each day, give you the scope from the pit area and the action on track, updated continuously throughout the day. Updates on the Official Discussion Thread, along with Facebook and Twitter can keep race fans in the know as the action unfolds on the circuit. Don’t forget to follow the EKN Instagram feed as well, with a number of candid photos outside and inside the Rio as racers enjoy the SKUSA SuperNationals XVII. To help you feel as if your standing in one of the grandstands along the temporary circuit, EKN Trackside Live audio coverage is your ticket in. Thanks to presenting sponsor Champion Racing/Intrepid, daily event supporters DRT Racing, Leading Edge Motorsports/Supertuners Inc., and Acceleration Kart Racing, along with associate sponsors Courtney Concepts, SCCA Enterprises, Rolison Performance Group, US Pro Kart Series and KartSport North America, race call from the official voice of SKUSA Rob Howden can blast through your computer speakers or mobile device. The thrill and excitement from qualifying on Friday to the last lap of SuperSunday can be found at eKartingNews.com/live.