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EKN Exclusive: Superkarts! USA SuperNationals 21 – Preview Series – Mini Swift

World Cadet title winners set to collide in Vegas

(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)

eKartingNews.com, the Official Media Partner of Superkarts! USA, is proud to present the Preview Series for the SKUSA SuperNationals 21. Leading up to on-track action of the 21st edition of the marquee SKUSA event, 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 15-19.

Complete coverage of the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals 21 can be found at the EKN EVENT PAGE. EKN Live provides play-by-play and live timing from qualifying to the final checkered flag on SuperSunday at ekartingnews.com/live

The 2016 edition of the Mini Swift class battle at the SuperNationals kept parents and the fans on the edge of their seats until the final corner, with the race won at the line by Canadian Thomas Nepveu. Last year’s field was full of ‘veteran’ Cadet drivers although many of them moved up into the Junior ranks for this year or have done so prior to the SuperNationals. As a result of the mass graduation, the field this year has 40 drivers making their first start at the Las Vegas spectacular, bringing in a concern for those not familiar with the temporary circuit style of racing. The talent pool is still up there, as it is every year, with nearly half the field coming in from outside the United States.

SKUSA Pro Tour champion Carson Morgan will be among the many contenders in Mini Swift (Photo: EKN)

Leading the near 70-driver field is 2017 SKUSA Pro Tour champion Carson Morgan. Two wins at the SpringNationals helped to put the Benik driver at the top of the standings heading to the SummerNationals. Two podium finishes at the New Castle finale secured the title for the California driver, who turns 10 just days before hitting the track at the SuperNationals. Carson is the only returning driver from last year’s podium, where he placed fourth. THis further puts the odds in his favor to come away with victory in 2017.

Two others won twice on the year. Luca Mars won both main events at the WinterNationals in New Orleans, but he will move up to X30 Junior in Vegas. The other double winner was SummerNationals victor Diego LaRoque. Now a two-time SKUSA Pro Tour championship podium finisher, LaRoque (PDB) is among the top Cadet drivers in the United States. The 2016 Rotax world title winner is primed to challenge for the victory at the SuperNationals, now carrying the SKUSA #3 plate.

IAME International Final winner Brent Crews is among the world title winners in the field (Photo: EKN)

The Mini Swift field will include two other world title winners, both hailing from the United States. Brent Crews came away from the IAME International Final in October as the inaugural event champion in the Mini category. Crews has won championships at the USPKS program in back-to-back years, with the nine-year-old making his first SuperNationals start this year, leading the Nitro Kart squad. Connor Zilisch won his world title on the same weekend at Crews, but in Italy at the Rok Cup International Final. Winning the Rok Cup ticket through the WKA program, Zilisch (Energy) bested 162 drivers to become only the second USA driver to win the event, joining Logan Sargeant who was victorious in 2011. Zilisch is making his first SuperNationals start, as well.

Santiago Trisini (Benik) crossed the line at the IAME International Final as the provisional winner, however, a bumper penalty took the victory away. The Venezuelan driver who calls Florida home will take that disappointment and hope to turn it into triumph at the SuperNationals, looking to improve a 24th place finish from a year ago. Two drivers will be making the trip to the Rotax Grand Finals in Portugal prior to the SuperNationals; Crews and Josh Pierson. Pierson, an RPG / Kosmic pilot, is the Can-Am Karting Challenge champion, is tasked with a busy two weeks ahead of him. Other notables in the field to watch include Nicholas Terlecki (Merlin), who finished eighth a year ago, and WKA champion Ashton Chilton (Nitro Kart).

Josh Pierson is among the handful doing both Rotax Grand Finals and SKUSA SuperNationals for Team USA (Photo: EKN)

Nine drivers are making the graduation from Micro Swift to Mini Swift class this year. Among them is last year’s runner-up Freddie Slater (Benik). The British driver turned the quickest lap in the Micro Swift main event, and is set to make his Mini Swift debut at the SuperNationals. Last year’s SKUSA Pro Tour Micro Swift champion Kai Sorensen (Energy) is coming into Vegas with some momentum. The beginning of the rookie year was a rough start, be he improved his results by the SummerNationals and wrapped up the California ProKart Challenge championships with a dominating victory at the Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix. The third ProKart Challenge champion in the field is Texan Chase Gardner. The first-time series champ is running under the new VemmeKart USA banner in Vegas.

Provisional Mini Swift Entry List
[table]No.,Driver,Team,Chassis,State,Country
136r,Justin Arseneau,PSL Karting,Birel ART,QC,CAN
49t,Noah Baker,Positive Motorsports,Energy,TX,USA
135a,Nicolas Baptiste,Team Montoya,Birel ART,,COL
111a,Taylor Barnard,Team Benik,Benik,,GBR
224f,Felipe Barrichello Bartz,,Tony Kart,FL,BRA
042f,Robert Bears,Andersen Racing,Birel ART,FL,USA
079a,Santiago Biagi,AM Racing Team,Parolin,,ARG
71f,Paul Bocuse,Speed Concepts Racing,Energy,FL,USA
44t,John Burke,Iron Rock Motorsports,Energy,TX,USA
33a,Vittorio Catino,Team Benik,Benik,,ITA
165f,Ashton Chilton,Team Nitro Kart,Nitro Kart,FL,USA
145f,Matthew Christensen,AKT,Benik,FL,USA
22c,Mathias Coito,Mad Croc Karting USA,Mad Croc,CA,USA
020a,Diego Contecha,,Tony Kart,FL,COL
555c,Cole Cotham,Baldozier Racing,Benik,CA,USA
611s,Brent Crews,Team Nitro Kart,Nitro Kart,NC,USA
02m,Andres Perez De Lara,RPL Racing,Tony Kart,,MEX
9nz,Jacob Douglas,Aluminos,Aluminos,,NZL
48f,James Egozi,Team Koene USA,Tony Kart,FL,USA
128a,Thomas Escamilla,Team Montoya,Birel ART,,COL
818a,Guilherme Figueiredo,D.Racing USA,Kart Mini,,BRA
140a,Marcos Flack,Gamot / CRG Nordam,CRG,,AUS
122f,Jeremy Fletcher,Ocala Gran Prix,Tony Kart,FL,USA
023t,Arti Flores,,Birel ART,TX,MEX
133t,Chase Gardner,VemmeKart,Vemme,TX,USA
09m,Jose Garfias,RPL Racing,Tony Kart,,MEX
777x,Chance Gibson,Gibson Performance,Benik,CA,USA
911c,Kasey Gillis,PKS Kart Supplies,Top Kart,CA,USA
13c,Steven Grafton,Sanner Racing,Haase,CA,USA
16a,Will Harper,Team Benik,Benik,,AUS
58a,Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak,,,,THA
107f,Nikita Johnson,Team Benik,Benik,FL,USA
N3,Diego LaRoque,BBR Karting,PDB,AZ,USA
044a,Calem Maloney,Speed Concepts Racing,Tony Kart,,BRB
79c,Rylee Martinez,,Benik,CA,USA
141j,Adam Maxwell,iKart,iKart,IN,USA
147a,Lucas Mendes,,Kosmic,,BRA
727y,Kailey Meris,PKS Kart Supplies,Benik,CA,USA
227m,Alex Milan,,Tony Kart,,MEX
017m,Paolo Milan,,Tony Kart,,MEX
N1,Carson Morgan,Team Benik,Benik,CA,USA
066x,Cole Morgan,Team Benik,Benik,CA,USA
42c,Frankie Mossman,Nash Motorsportz,Benik,CA,USA
21d,Maximilian Opalski,,Benik,CO,USA
101f,Jorge Ortiz,AKT,Benik,FL,USA
91f,Herman Andersen Ovenstad,Andersen Racing,Birel ART,FL,NQR
156o,Jace Park,Russell Karting Specialties,Parolin,KS,USA
41z,Josh Pierson,Rolison Performance Group,Tony Kart,OR,USA
80f,Alex Powell,Speed Concepts Racing,Energy,FL,USA
68m,Santiago Ramos,Team Benik,Benik,,MEX
15t,Santiago Robles,Orsolon Racing,Benik,TX,MEX
495a,Alexander Rose,Team Benik,Benik,,GBR
99t,Aden Rudolph,PSL Karting,Birel ART,TX,USA
83y,Dustin Salaverria,Nash Motorsportz,Benik,CA,USA
117m,Tagosam Salazar,,Tony Kart,,MEX
109a,Rodrigo Sanchez,,,,PER
121a,Kyffin Simpson,Speed Concepts Racing,Energy,NY,BRB
027a,Freddie Slater,Team Benik,Benik,,GBR
015y,Kai Sorensen,Energy Corse / Positive Motorsports,Energy,CA,USA
146a,Alfio Spina,Gamot / CRG Nordam,CRG,,ITA
014d,Enzo Swan,Team Benik,Benik,CO,USA
08j,Nicholas Terlecki,Franklin Motorsports,Merlin,IL,USA
69t,Branyon Tiner,Brash Racing,Tony Kart,TX,USA
123f,Santiago Trisini,Team Benik,Benik,FL,VEN
38d,Trayc Walker-Scott,,Benik,CO,USA
113a,James Wharton,KartSport North America,FA Kart,,AUS
124s,Hunter Yeany,KartSport North America,Benik,VA,USA
272s,Connor Zilisch,Team Felon,Energy,NC,USA
23m,Erick Zuniga,Team Benik,Benik,,MEX
[/table]

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