Superkarts! USA Announces 2015 Pro Tour Prize Package
Over $150,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs this season as SKUSA resets the bar
If you were to look at the recent history of karting in North America, you would see that the Superkarts! USA Pro Tour is the sport’s biggest success story in terms of national competition. A focus on steady growth and consistent improvement has resulted in the largest fields in recent memory, as over 230 racers took part in last year’s SpringNationals and SummerNationals. The season-ending SuperNationals has grown to monumental proportions with well over 500 drivers traveling to Las Vegas each November. In keeping with its dedication to constant evolution and improvement, Superkarts! USA is thrilled to announce that the assembled prize package for the 2015 Pro Tour season will exceed $150,000 in cash and awards.
“From the day that we launched the Pro Tour, our focus has always been on growing and improving the series so that we may one day have that professional series that karting has been looking for, something that we can market to mainstream motorsports fans to come out to see,” commented Tom Kutscher, Superkarts! USA CEO. “To that end, we’ve made some technical moves to level the playing field and lower overall costs, and we continue to cultivate partnerships with the industry to grow the prize package that we can offer to our racers. We’ve surpassed the $150,000 mark, but I’m aiming for $200,000 before we open the gates at the SpringNationals in May.”
The 2015 season will be the sixth edition of the popular Superkarts! USA Pro Tour, which will once again host three major events for shifterkart and IAME competitors. Hardcore racing was on display as SKUSA visited the Dallas Karting Complex for the first time in 2014 for the SpringNationals, and they then took the series to the streets of Modesto for the SummerNationals. This year, the road to the SuperNationals will run through Phoenix, Arizona and New Castle, Indiana. The organization will return to the home of the first-ever Superkarts! USA ProMoto Tour event, which was held back in 1999, running on the challenging layout of the Phoenix Kart Racing Association on May 1-3. In late July, the SummerNationals will be hosted at New Castle Motorsports Park, setting up what is expected to be the biggest event that the facility has ever seen.
“The new season marks a milestone for our Pro Tour program as we blaze new territory for our TaG drivers with an all-IAME line-up, and they will not have to hope that they have the right engine for each track,” Kutscher continued, hitting on a key point of SKUSA evolution. “We’re visiting a cornerstone track in SKUSA’s history and its present – Phoenix – and we’re also heading east of the Mississippi for the first time since the inaugural Pro Tour series visited Shawano, Wisconsin in 2010. I can’t tell you how thrilled we are to bring our program to New Castle Motorsports Park.”
The cash purse for the SKUSA Pro Tour championship continues to grow year after year, and the potential payout for the two headline categories – S1 and TaG Senior – is now over $50,000 for the year. At the SpringNationals in May and again at the SummerNationals in July, SKUSA has increased the weekend payout to $5,000, split between the two categories, with the overall point winner in each category for each weekend earning a cool $1,000 check. This year, the purse will be paid out to the top-five. The purse for this year’s SuperNationals will again boast a staggering $15,000 for each Pro category, offering up an astonishing $10,000 to an eligible Pro Tour competitor who wins in Las Vegas and who has raced in both the SpringNats and SummerNats. To close out the year, SKUSA Pro Tour champions in the Pro classes will race for $6,000 in the championships points fund, with both drivers atop the point standings taking home $3,000. In total, should a Pro driver sweep the SpringNationals and SummerNationals, and score the victory at the prestigious SuperNationals, he or she would earn $18,000 for the season with the addition of the Circle of Champions benefits.
The cash purse is not restricted to the Pro categories. SKUSA will once again offer potential cash purses for the six remaining classes in the Pro Tour line-up. For any class other than S1 and TaG Senior, a $1000 purse will be put on the line should the field hit a minimum of 30 drivers. The overall weekend point winner will be awarded a check for $500, while second and third will receive $300 and $200, respectively.
SKUSA will add more weight to race wins on the Pro Tour, awarding a new set of MG-SK tires to each and every class winner, for a total of 16 sets each at the SpringNationals and SummerNationals. Mothers Polish will return as a big part of the podium celebrations as well, as one lucky driver in each class will walk away with a bucket full of their top-of-the-line car care products each race day. At the SpringNationals, SKUSA’s Tom Kutscher will also raffle off an entry to the SummerNationals to a driver who is in attendance at the podium presentation.
Honda Performance Development is back again with its lucrative HPD SKUSA Pro Tour Championship contingency, and additional prizes are in the works that will demonstrate HPD’s increasing partnership with Superkarts! USA. The exciting ‘Honda Holeshot’ for shifter classes – which debuted last year at the SKUSA SuperNationals – will return in 2015. IAME USA has also come to the table and will provide the top-three drivers in the overall weekend standings in all TaG classes with new ‘IAME Bucks’, which they will be able to use through their local IAME dealer. Each class will compete for $500 in certificates at the SKUSA SpringNationals and SummerNationals, for a total of $4000 in value for the year. IAME is also stepping up for the year-end champions, and will award a new IAME engine for each title winner.
The champions in the Pro divisions, along with the other six SKUSA Pro Tour title winners, will be included as part of the 2016 SKUSA ‘Circle of Champions.’ The 2015 program includes Jordon Lennox (S1), Austin Garrison (S2), Gian Cavaciuti (S4), Trenton Estep (S5), Jake Craig (TaG Senior), Ethan Wilson (TaG Master), David Malukas (TaG Junior), Jagger Jones (TaG Cadet). Should they elect to compete in this year’s Pro Tour, they will be provided a sponsored entry into all Pro Tour events, covering their entry, race tires, fuel and oil – roughly a $3,000 prize to each – funded by Superkarts! USA. Racers this year will be competing for the same prize, and a chance to join this prestigious group.
The benefits for drivers participating in the SpringNationals, and the entire Pro Tour, are extremely valuable. As an added bonus for competitors who compete in both SKUSA Pro Tour events, they will be included in the ‘Priority Pre-Entry Registration’ program for SuperNationals XIX. This program is being put in place to ensure that SKUSA racers have a first shot at participation in the largest karting event in the world. Also, the top three drivers in the SKUSA Pro Tour point standings for all eight categories are ensured a chance to compete for the championship in the final session, as they will be added to the Guaranteed Starting Position list for SuperSunday at the SuperNationals. The champions from the California, Texas, and Can-Am ProKart Challenge series are also awarded this benefit. Regardless of their performance through SuperNats qualifying, the heat races or even the Last Chance Qualifiers, these competitors will at minimum have a spot at the tail of their respective fields for the main events in Las Vegas.
For the sixth straight year, Superkarts! USA will partner with eKartingNews.com to provide their ‘EKN Trackside Live’ broadcasts for the entire Pro Tour. Those unable to attend the event in Phoenix can listen to live play-by-play action called by veteran announcer Rob Howden, view live timing provided by Race-Monitor.com, and take part in a forum discussion on the event, all at ekartingnews.com/live or through a mobile app at mobile.livestream.com/ekartingnewslive.
Registration for the 2015 SKUSA Pro Tour SpringNationals will open soon, so stay tuned. To follow updates on Superkarts! USA, be sure to visit www.superkartsusa.com and follow us on Twitter at @SuperKartsUSA and through Facebook.com/SKUSA.