EKN Exclusive: SKUSA SuperNationals XVII – Preview Program – TaG Junior

Stout field of young talent to decide fifth different winner in five years at SuperNats

eKartingNews.com, the official online media partner of Superkarts! USA, is proud to present the SKUSA SuperNationals XVII Preview Program. Over the coming days leading up to the November 20-24 event, EKN will preview each of the 11 categories that will close out the 2013 SKUSA Pro Tour while competing for a share of the prize package, worth well over $100,000.

For complete coverage of the SKUSA SuperNationals XVII, visit the EKN Event Page

TaG Junior

Austin Versteeg is among three RPG drivers fighting for the TaG Junior title (Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)

Austin Versteeg is among three RPG drivers fighting for the TaG Junior title (Photo: On Track Promotions – otp.ca)

Each and every year, the TaG Junior division provides excitement during each lap around the SuperNationals circuit. Over 60 drivers will battle for the victory on SuperSunday this season, and with five different winners in five  years, this year will see another first time victor, as last year’s champion Lance Stroll is no longer a Junior driver. All five winners have  been drivers from outside the United States as well.

One question will be, is this the year that an American earns the victory? The second: who will win the SKUSA Pro Tour championship, which is also up for grabs?  Going into Las Vegas, four drivers sit within 70 points of the lead when factoring in the drop race. Blaine Rocha (Kosmic) has accumulated the most total points after four rounds, but his Rolison Performance Group teammate Austin Versteeg (Kosmic) holds the advantage by five points when counting the drop. Luke Selliken (Kosmic) makes it three RPG drivers within 75 points while KartSport North America’s Davey Manthei Jr. (Arrow) has the chance to break up the party as well. Five others remain in the chase mathematically, including Yurik Carvalho (Italkart), double-duty driver Carter Williams (FA Kart), Nick Ramirez (Top Kart), Noah Grey (FA Kart) and Emerson Reed (Top Kart).

Podium Predictions: Seriously, if you look at this entry list, selecting five drivers to finish on the podium is very difficult to do. A number of the entrants have the skill and preparation to be among the contenders and top finishers come SuperSunday, but ‘lady luck’ can easily propel someone we may not see or know into the mix. Selliken and former SKUSA TaG Cadet champion Colton Herta stood on the podium last year. Herta’s time away from karts while working his way into the junior open wheel ranks may hamper his Vegas performance, but the talented second generation driver is not one to shy away from a challenge. The four driver racing for the Pro Tour title are podium contenders as well, but not always do we see championship drivers end with race day hardware in Vegas. Former SuperNats winners Anthony Gangi Jr. (Tony Kart) and Logan Sargeant (Tony Kart) are always contenders, and may add a second victory to their CV. Current US Rotax Grand Nationals champ Juan Manuel Correa (Tony Kart) is also another big name to watch throughout the event.

Wildcards: A number of non-Pro Tour competitors, including a 1/3 coming from outside North America, could be in the mix come SuperSunday. Coming from the east coast, Franklin Motorsports/Merlin driver Brandon Lemke (Merlin) and Top Kart USA’s Zach Holden are two young drivers making their TaG Junior debuts. Both are multi-time Cadet champions in Yamaha, Komet and Comer competition, and have shown to be fearless when faced with a challenge. Mike Doty Racing has two drivers that have improved throughout the season – Austin McCusker and Tazio Torregiani. Piloting the Haase chassis, both could be among the contenders.

Entry List

No. Driver Team Chassis State Country
00 Devlin DeFrancesco DeFrancesco Racing (DFR) Tony Kart ON CAN
01 Brandon Lemke Merlin USA / Franklin Motorsports Merlin WI USA
1 Luke Selliken Rolison Performance Group (RPG) Kosmic OR USA
2 Carter Williams Phil Giebler Racing FA Kart CA USA
06 Austin McCusker Mike Doty Racing Haase NY USA
07n Anthony Gangi Jr. GT7 Motorsports Tony Kart NY USA
7 Josh Early Top Kart USA / Grand Products Top Kart CA USA
9z Kyle Wick Rolison Performance Group (RPG) Kosmic WA USA
12c Nathan Seegrist Mack Motorsports Tony Kart CA USA
17y Zack Dante DRT Racing DR CA USA
20 Ivan Nosov Praga RUS
21 Sasha Brun-Wibaux Checkered Motorsports PCR FL USA
21t Austin Osborne Leadfoot Motorsports Tony Kart TX USA
22a Nicolas Dapero Bordogna Racing OTK FL ARG
22y Royal McKee Tony Kart CA USA
23 Gustavo Lopes Tony Kart DF BRA
24y Michael Avansino VRP Racing Energy CA USA
26c Colton Herta ART GP America ART GP CA USA
27c Zach Arthur Mack Motorsports Arrow CA USA
31y Joey Paonessa Nash Motorsportz Tony Kart NV USA
33 Juan Vieira OTK USA / Orlando Kart Center (OKC) CRG SP BRA
34c Christian Brooks Nash Motorsportz Tony Kart CA USA
40 Kurt Kostecki Tony Kart AUS
41j Braden Eves J3 Competition Tony Kart OH USA
42z Davey Manthei Jr. Kartsport North America Arrow WA USA
45 Nazareno Moscetta Vemme ARG
46 Mauro Auricchio Top Kart USA / Grand Products Top Kart PA BRA
51z Jake Preston Phil Giebler Racing FA Kart WA USA
55 Luiz Branquinho Italian Motors USA / Italkart USA Italkart GO BRA
56 Jake Kostecki Tony Kart AUS
63y Saundra Lynn Kirby 2Wild Karting Tony Kart NV USA
68 Juan Correa VMotorsport Tony Kart FL USA
70q Tazio Torregiani Mike Doty Racing Haase CT USA
77u Austin Versteeg Rolison Performance Group (RPG) Kosmic UT USA
79j David Malukas Top Kart USA / Grand Products Top Kart IL USA
81c Justice Lepe Nash Motorsportz Tony Kart CA USA
83c Nick Ramirez Top Kart USA / Grand Products Top Kart CA USA
90r Jordan Redlin PSL Karting CRG BC CAN
95a Yurik Carvalho Italian Motors USA / Italkart USA Italkart WA BRA
96a Luis Leeds Kartsport North America Arrow VIC AUS
97b Tanner Wattenbarger Top Kart USA / Grand Products Top Kart CA USA
98y Phillippe Denes ART GP America ART GP CA USA
92 Christian Munoz VMotorsport Tony Kart FL COL
97 Denis Mavlanov Top Kart USA / Grand Products Top Kart PA RUS
100 Isaac Antabi Kosmic VEN
106c Anthony Sawyer Tony Kart CA USA
110 Darryl Wenas Tony Kart IDN
111x Yufeng Luo 2Wild Karting Tony Kart CA CHN
118 Vinicius Papareli Italian Motors USA / Italkart USA Italkart SP BRA
121a Ruben Grillet Ruben Grillet Racing Tony Kart FL VEN
146 Lucas Caminos AM ARG
209y Blaine Rocha Rolison Performance Group (RPG) Kosmic CA USA
213y Blake Milton Energy CA USA
222f Sebastian Sierra Bordogna Racing OTK FL USA
222j Zach Holden Top Kart USA / Grand Products Top Kart IN USA
316z Sting Ray Robb Rolison Performance Group (RPG) Tony Kart OR USA
324x Noah Grey Phil Giebler Racing Kosmic CA USA
424m Juan Gonzales Praga MEX
442y Callum Smith Energy AUS
524 Logan Sargeant Sargeant Motorsports Tony Kart FL USA
568 Javier Gonzales Advanced Karting Tony Kart FL MEX
777 Marcelo Costa CRG BRA
888c Hannah Grisham Mack Motorsports Arrow CA USA
911 Pedro Sival Praga North America Praga BRA

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