EKN Trackside: 2016 Superkarts! USA Pro Tour SummerNationals – Honda Preview

Stock Moto divisions under control by Bray, Wick, Michel and Firestone

(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)

SKUSA Pro Tour 2016-logoThe seventh season of the Superkarts! USA Pro Tour continues with the running of the SummerNationals at the New Castle Motorsports Park. The New Castle, Indiana facility is welcoming 248 pre-entries in nine categories, just a little bit more than the SpringNationals in May to once again set another record for entries outside the SuperNationals. Along with the number of racers, the number of laps are going up as well with 10-lap heat races and 20-lap main events each day for the headline divisions, 18-lap Finals for Master and Junior categories, with reduced laps for Mini and Micro competitors.

Television cameras will be rolling throughout the weekend with the CBS Sports Network and MotorTrendOnDemand coverage continues for the second straight year for Superkarts! USA, helping to promote the many drivers in attendance and spread the word about the sport of karting in general. This weekend is Round Three and Four of the SKUSA Pro Tour championship program, with well over $150,000 in cash and prizes set to be distributed throughout the year, all leading up to the 20th running of the SKUSA SuperNationals this November in Las Vegas.

New Castle Motorsports Park was constructed in 2003, opening up in 2004, quickly becoming a instant favorite within the industry. The 1-mile course provides a bit of everything, including long straights, tight corners, elevation changes and plenty of passing opportunities. Indiana was the longtime home of Superkarts! USA in its early years, coming back to the ‘Hoosier State’ for the first time with the current form of the Pro Tour last year. Another return signifies the prestige and excellence track owner Mark Dismore and the entire staff provided to the Superkarts! USA racers. Last year also introduced the new finish line, at the end of the long-pond straight, providing multiple photos finishes. 2016 is sure to do the same with the record number of competitors.

eKartingNews.com, the official media partner of Superkarts! USA, is proud to present the seventh straight year of Trackside Live coverage of the SKUSA Pro Tour. This weekend’s coverage is presented by PitKit. PitKit is something new in the sport, offering a pair of kart-specific tool packages, the PitKit Lite and the Elite, with have been designed with the travelling mechanic in mind. The kits feature Beta tools, organized in high-end portable cases. These kits include the tools you actually need to work on karts, instead of a box full of useless equipment that never get touched. PitKits are now being used by top tuners and club racers, all over the country. To learn more, check out their website – www.pitkitkarting.com. Those unable to attend can enjoy live audio and live timing at the EKN Live page – ekartingnews.com/live. Daily race reports can be seen each day, along with updates and results posted to the Official Discussion Thread, in addition to the EKN social media feeds – FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

PSL Karting S1 Pro Stock Moto

Kiwi Daniel Bray heads up the S1 Pro championship chase (Photo: EKN)

Kiwi Daniel Bray heads up the S1 Pro championship chase (Photo: EKN)

Looking at the top of the S1 championship standings, you may be thinking its 2011. Well, its not. 2011 SKUSA Pro Tour champion Daniel Bray is back at the top of the category, entering the SummerNationals as the championship leader. The Kiwi driver under the GP VCI Mexico tent scored the victory in Round Two in Phoenix – his first on the SKUSA Pro Tour since 2013 – to propel himself to the top of the standings. Bray was among the top contenders last year in New Castle, forcing the 14 others in Indiana to be on their best to help cut the championship lead.

The top challenger is EKN Stock Moto Driver Rankings #1 pilot Billy Musgrave. The 2012 SuperNationals S2 winner landed his first SKUSA Pro Tour victory in New Castle last year, adding a second this May in Phoenix. The gap between the MRC / Praga driver and Bray is 41 points, with the top-five all within 100 points of the title leader. Jake French (DKC / SodiKart) notched his first S1 podium in Phoenix, and had the rain stayed just 20 minutes longer Saturday at the SpringNationals, it could have been a first victory. SKUSA SuperNationals 2015 winner Danny Formal recorded a best finish of second in Phoenix to sit fourth in the standings. The DRT Racing / DR Kart driver has the opportunity to show his speed once again at the fast New Castle circuit. Kolton Griffin (Pure Karting / Tony Kart) is fifth, running consistently at the front during the SpringNationals. 2015 SummerNationals was the site of his first Pro Tour podium finish, with the Arizona driver looking for more success.

Any of the other entrants have the ability to fight for podium positions, making it another great S1 field full of talent. A new addition is Florida driver AJ Myers. A former KZ podium finisher at the SuperNationals, Myers has moved over to the TB Kart in TaG competition last month and is set to make his S1 debut for 2016.

Provisional S1 Pro Entry List
[table]No.,Driver,Team,Chassis,Engine Builder,State,Country
38f,Oliver Askew,PSL Karting,BirelART,SwedeTech,FL,USA
62nz,Daniel Bray,GP VCI Mexico,GP,Fisher Racing Engines,,NZL
32j,Robert Bujdoso,Checkered Motorsports,PCR,BBS Racing Engines,OH,USA
1y,Jarred Campbell,Champion Racing,Intrepid,Pinzini Racing Engines,CA,USA
317d,Sabre’ Cook,Energy Kart USA,Energy,SwedeTech,CO,USA
37a,Danny Formal,DRT Racing,DR,SRS Racing Engines,,CRI
16t,Jake French,Dallas Karting Complex (DKC) / SodiKart USA,SodiKart,SwedeTech,TX,USA
4k,Kolton Griffin,Pure Karting,Tony Kart,SwedeTech,AZ,USA
44j,Josh Lane,DRT Racing,DR,Fisher Racing Engines,IL,USA
131n,Alex Manglass,DRT Racing,DR,SwedeTech,NY,USA
N2,Billy Musgrave,Musgrave Racing Company (MRC),Praga,Musgrave Racing Company (MRC),CA,USA
128f,AJ Myers,,TB Kart,,FL,USA
217f,Nick Neri,Champion Racing,Intrepid,SwedeTech,FL,USA
88c,Matias Podboj,Mad Old Nut Racing,Mad – Croc,Darcy DeCoste Racing Engines (DDR),CA,ARG
27z,Joey Wimsett,Phil Giebler Racing (PGR),Ricciardo,SwedeTech,OR,USA

3G Kart Racing S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto

S2 point leader Kyle Wick is making his first SummerNats trip to New Castle (Photo: EKN)

S2 point leader Kyle Wick is making his first SummerNats trip to New Castle (Photo: EKN)

The 2016 SKUSA Pro Tour is shaping up to be another competitive year in the S2 division. Last year was dominated by two drivers over opening four rounds. After the SpringNationals, there is no clear-cut favorite with two different winners and another driver leading the championship chase. Kyle Wick used his sweep of the four heat races to secure the top spot in the point standings in S2. The RPG / Kosmic pilot went winless in the main events, placing fourth and second to establish a 137-point advantage in the title chase. Austin Wilkins (DKC / SodiKart) and Hunter Kelly (LEM / Praga) were triumphant in Phoenix, each taking home their first ever SKUSA Pro Tour victory. Kelly enters New Castle second in the standings with Wilkins in fourth. Between them is Franklin Motorsports / Merlin driver Kyle Kalish. The Illinois native was runner-up in the messy Round One main event, with a fifth in Round Two. Kalish finished on the second step of the podium both days last year in New Castle, looking to improve that in his first race since Phoenix.

There is a long list of drivers still looking for their first Pro Tour victory in the 34-driver field. Champion Racing / Intrepid driver Harry Gottsacker landed his first SKUSA Pro Tour podium at the SpringNationals, sitting fifth in the championship standings. Jamaican driver Collin Daley was impressive in his SKUSA Pro Tour debut in Phoenix, placing third in Round Two. The 19-year-old is back with DRT Racing / DR Kart for New Castle.

A number of local area drivers are set to defend home turf, including Derek Dignan (KSNA / Praga), Andrew Bujdoso (Checkered Motorsports / PCR), Cody Elliott (Champion Racing / Intrepid). Tommy Andersen (Kosmic) is making his first ever S2 start this weekend, as is Indiana’s Robby Seward (BBS / PCR). Double TaG Senior winner at last year’s SummerNationals Jesus Rios Jr. is moving over to the S2 division, still competing aboard the Indianapolis’ manufactured iKart chassis. The list continues on with other notable drivers with a chance to land on the podium this weekend.

Provisional S2 Semi-Pro Entry List
No.,Driver,Team,Chassis,Engine Builder,State,Country
00t,Nathan Adds,Dallas Karting Complex (DKC) / SodiKart USA,SodiKart,SwedeTech,TX,USA
77j,Colton Aldridge,GP USA,GP,SwedeTech,IN,USA
2j,Tommy Andersen,Mitz Racing,Kosmic,Musgrave Racing Company (MRC),WI,USA
8k,Kol Bailey,Pure Karting,Tony Kart,SwedeTech,AZ,USA
100t,Garrett Boone,3G Kart Racing,Intrepid,SwedeTech,TX,USA
327j,Andrew Bujdoso,Checkered Motorsports,PCR,BBS Racing Engines,OH,USA
18t,Vincent Cossard,3G Kart Racing,Intrepid,SwedeTech,TX,FRA
412a,Collin Daley,DRT Racing,DR,,,JAM
42m,Salvador de Alba,GP VCI Mexico,GP,Fisher Racing Engines,,MEX
142j,Derek Dignan,Kartsport North America,Praga,Musgrave Racing Company (MRC),MI,USA
777x,Josh Early,Musgrave Racing Company (MRC),Praga,Musgrave Racing Company (MRC),CA,USA
21j,Cody Elliott,Champion Racing,Intrepid,Fisher Racing Engines,WI,USA
97t,Sky Finley,Dallas Karting Complex (DKC) / SodiKart USA,SodiKart,Fisher Racing Engines,TX,USA
69t,Harry Gottsacker,Champion Racing,Intrepid,SwedeTech,TX,USA
725q,Tyler Guilbeault,DRT Racing,DR,SRS Racing Engines,NH,USA
012m,Arturo Hernandez,GP VCI Mexico,GP,Fisher Racing Engines,,MEX
219j,Kyle Kalish,Franklin Motorsports,Merlin,SwedeTech,IL,USA
435y,Hunter Kelly,Leading Edge Motorsports (LEM),Praga,Pinzini Racing Engines,CA,USA
19e,Kyle Kennedy,Crockett Motorsports,CRG,BS Racing Engines,MO,USA
65t,Ryan P. Lewis,VemmeKart / Extreme Karting,Vemme,SRS Racing Engines,TX,USA
07j,Tony Malito,Frontier Autosport,BirelART,Musgrave Racing Company (MRC),IN,USA
6j,Darin Marcus,Franklin Motorsports,Merlin,SwedeTech,IL,USA
96t,Lawson Nagel,Dallas Karting Complex (DKC) / SodiKart USA,SodiKart,Fisher Racing Engines,TX,USA
146y,Jason Pettit,Aluminos,Aluminos,Aluminos,CA,USA
36y,Hunter Pickett,Muscle Milk / Pickett Racing,Aluminos,SwedeTech,CA,USA
127f,Jesus Rios Jr.,Team iKart,iKart,,FL,USA
53j,Joe Ruch,Frontier Autosport,BirelART,Musgrave Racing Company (MRC),IN,USA
11d,Ryan Rudolph,GP USA,GP,SRS Racing Engines,CO,USA
94c,Aaron Schmitt,Champion Racing,Intrepid,SwedeTech,CA,DEU
63j,Robby Seward,BBS Racing Engines,PCR,BBS Racing Engines,IN,USA
1,Callum Smith,Musgrave Racing Company (MRC),Praga,Musgrave Racing Company (MRC),CA,AUS
29n,Rory van der Steur,Musgrave Racing Company (MRC),FA Kart,Musgrave Racing Company (MRC),MD,USA
109z,Kyle Wick,Rolison Performance Group (RPG),FA Kart,Collins Racing Engines,WA,USA
22t,Austin Wilkins,Dallas Karting Complex (DKC) / SodiKart USA,SodiKart,SwedeTech,TX,USA

Phil Giebler Racing / Ricciardo Kart S4 Master Stock Moto

Following success at his home track, Alan Michel looks to continue running at the front this weekend in S4 (Photo: EKN)

Following success at his home track, Alan Michel looks to continue running at the front this weekend in S4 (Photo: EKN)

All of the top contenders from Phoenix will be in Indiana for the S4 battle, except for one. SKUSA #2 plate holder Darren Elliott is remaining in California and is not competing at the SummerNationals following two third-place results in Phoenix. The rest of the top finishers are set to battle on the 1-mile circuit, including championship leader Alan Michel. The S4 rookie nearly swept the weekend at his home track in Phoenix, missing out on the win in Round One after the rain moved in, following it up by leading the entire day in Round Two for his first SKUSA Pro Tour victory. Last year, Michel was fighting hard in the S2 field, and will make the transition to remain out front of the S4 field.

Notching the win in the wet Round One main event was 2013 SKUSA Pro Tour champion Jordon Musser. It was his first victory aboard the Intrepid chassis as the 3G Kart Racing / Champion Racing pilot drove to fourth in Sunday’s main. Musser sits 70 points back of Michel entering the weekend. His Intrepid teammate Ryan Kinnear is among the top Master drivers in the country, having won the US Open title last year and the Challenge of the Americas crown this winter. The Champion Racing pilot was absent for last year’s SummerNationals, although he is very familiar with the circuit. 2014 SKUSA Pro Tour title winner Gian Cavaciuti is next in line behind Kinnear in the title chase. Two fifth-place results put him nearly 200 points out of first, as the GP driver needs podium finishes each day to help his cause at a second title.

Jimmy McNeil is the only driver in S4 with two championship over the six-year history of the SKUSA Pro Tour. The CRG driver had a weekend to forget in Phoenix, and is currently 11th in the standings. The positive, the SummerNationals are back at New Castle where he nearly swept the entire weekend, earning both main event victories to help push him toward the championship. Chris Jennings was fast at New Castle last year, placing runner-up to McNeil on Sunday. The DRT Racing / DR Kart driver is among those to watch for podium contention, along with eShifterKart / CKR pilot Terry Lawrence.

Provisional S4 Master Entry List
No.,Driver,Team,Chassis,Engine Builder,State,Country
118n,Christiaan Bouhuys,DRT Racing,DR,Fisher Racing Engines,PA,NED
333m,Jesse Carrasquedo,GP VCI Mexico,GP,SRS Racing Engines,,MEX
48c,Gianfranco Casadei,Mad Old Nut Racing,Mad – Croc,Darcy DeCoste Racing Engines (DDR),CA,BRA
N3,Gian Cavaciuti,GP VCI Mexico,GP,Fisher Racing Engines,,ITA
8s,Brian Davies,DRT Racing,DR,Fisher Racing Engines,NC,USA
16m,Jorge de la Huerta,GP VCI Mexico,GP,Fisher Racing Engines,,MEX
78m,Juan Garcia,Nash Motorsportz,CRG,SwedeTech,CA,MEX
175t,Chris Jennings,DRT Racing,DR,SRS Racing Engines,TX,USA
823m,Victor Jimenez,Rolison Performance Group (RPG),Tony Kart,SwedeTech,FL,MEX
85t,Ryan Kinnear,Champion Racing,Intrepid,SwedeTech,TX,GBR
13z,Terry Lawrence,Team eShifterKart,CKR,SwedeTech,ID,USA
N1,Jimmy McNeil,PKS Kart Supplies / Team Visalia,CRG,SwedeTech,CA,USA
110c,Alan Michel,Musgrave Racing Company (MRC),Praga,Musgrave Racing Company (MRC),AZ,MEX
16t,Jordon Musser,3G Kart Racing,Intrepid,SwedeTech,TX,USA
27j,Jeffrey Neubert,Checkered Motorsports,PCR,BBS Racing Engines,OH,USA
29a,Michael Patrizi,PSL Karting / Woodsource,Ricciardo,SwedeTech,,AUS
13s,Byron Rothenhoefer,Brian Fisher Racing,Formula K,Fisher Racing Engines,VA,USA

Mad Old Nut Racing S4 Super Master Stock Moto

Nick Firestone stands on top of the S4 Super Master standings heading into the weekend (Photo: EKN)

Nick Firestone stands on top of the S4 Super Master standings heading into the weekend (Photo: EKN)

The S4 Super Master division made its debut at the SpringNationals, competing within the S4 race group, similar to what you see at sportscar competition. Robert Marks (CRG) and Nick Firestone (DR Kart) became the inaugural winners in Phoenix, with Firestone leaving with the championship advantage. The gap is just 35 points between the two with another solid group of nine others chasing them on the weekend. Rod Clinard (CRG) was runner-up to Firestone on Sunday, making the trek from Texas to Indiana along with notables Darrell Tunnell (CRG), Phil Conte (CRG), and PP Mastro (Italcorse). Former S4 SKUSA #3 plate holder Lance Lane is making his return to Superkarts! USA competition, back with DRT Racing and DR Kart. Coy Dayton is another to watch, making his SodiKart debut with DKC.

Provisional S4 Super Master Entry List
No.,Driver,Team,Chassis,Engine Builder,State,Country
104x,Levi Bennett,PKS Kart Supplies / Team Visalia,CRG,SwedeTech,CA,USA
79g,Stephen Boyer,Trinity Karting Group,Tony Kart,,KY,USA
710t,Rod Clinard,CRG Nordam,CRG,SRS Racing Engines,TX,USA
10c,Phil Conte,Nash Motorsportz,CRG,SwedeTech,CA,USA
32t,Coy Dayton,Dallas Karting Complex (DKC) / SodiKart USA,SodiKart,Fisher Racing Engines,TX,USA
66c,Nick Firestone,DRT Racing,DR,SwedeTech,AZ,USA
65j,Lance Lane,DRT Racing,DR,Lane Racing Engines,IL,USA
103x,Robert Marks,PKS Kart Supplies / Team Visalia,CRG,SwedeTech,CA,USA
27c,PP Mastro,Italcorse America,Italcorse,Darcy DeCoste Racing Engines (DDR),CA,USA
68t,Venkat Reddy,Musgrave Racing Company (MRC),CRG,Musgrave Racing Company (MRC),TX,IND
102x,Darrell Tunnell,PKS Kart Supplies / Team Visalia,CRG,SwedeTech,CA,USA

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