EKN Exclusive: Superkarts! USA SuperNationals 20 – Preview Series – S4 Super Master
Inaugural winner and champion of new Pro Tour category to be decided in Las Vegas
eKartingNews.com, the Official Media Partner of Superkarts! USA, is proud to present the Preview Series for the SKUSA SuperNationals 20. Leading up to on-track action of the 20th edition of the marquee SKUSA event and 2016 SKUSA Pro Tour finale, EKN will preview each of the 10 categories that will compete outside the Las Vegas Convention Center and Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino from November 16-20.
Complete coverage of the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals 20 can be found at the EKN Event Page. EKN Live – presented by Cooper Tires – provides play-by-play and live timing from qualifying to the final checkered flag on SuperSunday at eKartingNews.com/live.
The second new category is set to make its SKUSA SuperNationals debut at the 20th edition, that being the S4 Super Master Stock Moto division. Created for the regional programs under the Superkarts! USA organization, there was enough support from the racers to move the category to the Pro Tour level in 2016. Racing within the S4 Master Stock Moto division at the SpringNationals and SummerNationals, the class will host its own group within the SuperNationals 20 schedule. Twenty-Nine drivers are making history as the first ever S4 Super Master field at the SuperNationals, all vying to become the inaugural winner.
Championship Chase: Inaugural Champion to be Decided in Las Vegas
The seventh season of the SKUSA Pro Tour program is set to crown the inaugural S4 Super Master Stock Moto champion. Three drivers sit separated by 75 points with four days of competition remaining to decide the title winner. Nick Firestone has scored the most points over the opening four rounds, however, factoring in the drop race it is Robert Marks at the top of the standings. Each have two wins on the year as they split both events. Marks has the advantage thanks to a runner-up finish to record three podium results in four races. The PKS-Visalia / CRG driver is a former S4 champion at the California ProKart Challenge and was the highest finisher of those racing in the S4 Super Master category in 2016 at last year’s SuperNationals in the regular S4 category – placing 10th. Firestone (DRT Racing / DR Kart) is a former championship podium finisher in the S4 category back in 2011, earning the #2 SKUSA plate. His last SuperNationals was 2014, placing 28th in S4 Master. Firestone has to make up 25 points to surpass Marks for the championship. Rod Clinard sits third in the title chase, and is among those competing under the new CRG Nordam operation, set to use the 2016 SuperNationals to springboard into the 2017 season. Clinard is not looking ahead just yet, with a shot to battle for inaugural championship. Two podium finishes in the four Pro Tour main events has the Texas driver within reach heading into the SuperNationals.
Who to Watch: Super Drivers Primed to Challenge for First SuperNationals Win
The 45-and-over category is a great addition to the Pro Tour and the SuperNationals. Driver who were at their prime in the early 90s, have the ability to come back to the sport they love, or others who found the sport later in life, can enjoy racing at the largest event in the world. Of the 29 drivers, only one has seen the top step of the SuperNationals podium – John Crow. A TaG Master winner in 2005, Crow is still among the best Master drivers in North America. Crow took part in the S4 feature last year, suffering a DNF, and finished second in the California ProKart Challenge TaG Master standings for 2016. ‘The Crow Show’ is set to double-dip, racing both categories in Las Vegas – which will result is some much needed ‘Double-Double’ intake from In-N-Out, racing with MRC aboard a Praga in S4 Super Master.
The driver who has been the one to beat along the west coast is Ken Schilling. The Vemme Kart driver has won the California ProKart Challenge titles the last two years, and is a likely contender for the inaugural SuperNationals event. Jonathan Allen is the most-recent winner in the S4 Super Master division, scoring victory at the Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix. Teaming up with the successful Aluminos operation who has won on the Pro Tour and at the SuperNationals, Allen is an instant podium challenger.
Ron White Racing has history at the SuperNationals, and could make more with two drivers representing the team for a bid for the S4 Super Master victory. Patrick O’Neill (CRG) and Kevin Woods (CRG) are coming over from the NorCal area and hold some SuperNationals experience. O’Neill is a Streets of Lancaster winner, while Woods has the speed to be right there for SuperSunday. Just one driver east of the Mississippi River is competing in the S4 SM category – TB Kart USA’s Farshad Bagheri. The Florida driver is among the top in the state, and ready for a return back to the SuperNationals as one of the inaugural competitors in the S4 Super Master division.
This year, eKartingNews.com is offering up a SKUSA SuperNationals 20 Podium Prediction contest. Rather than the staff here at EKN making the predictions, we want you to make your best guesses for each category competing in Las Vegas. Following the release of each class preview, we are asking racers and race fans to make their predictions with the chance to win EKN Gear.
If anyone is able to predict all five podium finishers in any of the 10 categories, that person will be entered into a drawing to win $200 in EKN Gear. All you have to do is submit your predictions for any of the 10 classes, or all 10 categories by November 15 at Midnight PST in the Official Discussion Thread on the EKN Forums. If you submit, you may edit your choices up until the November 15 deadline. Those who edit their submissions will be disqualified.
The @superkartsusa #SuperNats20 is set to welcome the S4 Super Master Stock Moto division to the list of categories. A strong regional presence over the last two years has triggered the class to be part of the #SKUSAProTour in 2016, and make its SuperNationals debut this year. One driver will make history as becoming the inaugural winner, while another is set to become the inaugural SKUSA Pro Tour champion. Robert Marks leads Nick Firestone heading to Las Vegas with Rod Clinard just 75 points out to make it a three-driver fight toward #SuperSunday #EKNatSKUSA #TeamCooperTire
S4 Super Master Provisional Entry List
155f,Farshad Bagheri,TB Kart USA,TB Kart,FL,IRN
104x,Levi Bennett,PKS Kart Supplies / Team Visalia,CRG,CA,USA
109x,Luke Bianco,PKS Kart Supplies / Team Visalia,CRG,CA,USA
710t,Rod Clinard,CRG Nordam,CRG,TX,USA
10c,Phil Conte,Nash Motorsportz,CRG,CA,USA
31c,John Crow,Musgrave Racing Company (MRC),Praga,CA,USA
66c,Nick Firestone,DRT Racing,DR,AZ,USA
077a,Eriks Gasparovics,Russell Karting Specialties (RKS) / Team Parolin,Parolin,,LVA
91y,Michael Guasch,Muscle Milk / Pickett Racing,CRG,CA,USA
088a,Guilherme Jacob,,Tony Kart,,BRA
167z,Rich Jerrett,eShifter Kart Racing,CKR,ID,USA
36c,Warren Kindberg,Musgrave Racing Company (MRC),Praga,CA,USA
17z,Mitch Kirkpatrick,Shepard Performance,CRG,WA,USA
103x,Robert Marks,PKS Kart Supplies / Team Visalia,CRG,CA,USA
27c,PP Mastro,Italcorse America,Italcorse,CA,USA
017z,Wayne Mayo,eShifter Kart Racing,CKR,ID,USA
64y,Patrick O’Neill,Ron White Racing,CRG,CA,IRL
42u,Ryan Pool,MSquared Karting,Kosmic,UT,USA
68t,Venkat Reddy,Musgrave Racing Company (MRC),CRG,TX,IND
21x,Ken Schilling,Team VemmeKart / Extreme Karting,Vemme,CA,USA
106x,Todd Scholta,PKS Kart Supplies / Team Visalia,CRG,CA,USA
232z,Dave Shepard,Shepard Performance / MRC,Intrepid,OR,USA
81a,Luis Sousa,PSL Karting,BirelART,,PRT
18c,Rod Streed,Phil Giebler Racing (PGR),Ricciardo,CA,USA
102x,Darrell Tunnell,PKS Kart Supplies / Team Visalia,CRG,CA,USA
994y,Kevin Woods,Ron White Racing,CRG,CA,USA