EKN Trackside: 2017 SKUSA Pro Tour SummerNationals – Preview Part 1

Full fields for youth categories at season championship finale

(Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)

For the first time in Superkarts! USA Pro Tour history, the championship chase will end in August. The eighth running of the SKUSA Pro Tour SummerNationals is set for August 11-13 at the New Castle Motorsports Park. This is the third straight year the 1-mile course outside New Castle, Indiana is playing host to the SummerNationals. And for the first time, the event will mark the end of the six-round SKUSA Pro Tour championship chase with the addition of the WinterNationals. Tensions will be high for the five IAME divisions and four Honda categories competing on the weekend.

The New Castle Motorsport Park opened in 2004 and is a landmark facility for the sport of karting. Owner Mark Dismore, former IndyCar driver and second generation karter, forged the 1-mile circuit with his own vision and creativity to provide the sport with the ultimate playground. Since its opening, New Castle has hosted major events and the 2017 SKUSA SummerNationals will be no different with another record turnout, eclipsing the 250 pre-entry mark.

eKartingNews is bringing all the action live to anyone and everyone with a laptop or mobile device. Bookmark www.ekartingnews.com/live and listen in to the live play-by-play provided by the official voice of SKUSA – EKN’s own Rob Howden. Updates, photos and videos will be available throughout the weekend on the EKN social media outlets – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

X30 Junior

Defending SummerNationals champ Dylan Tavella leads the X30 Junior title chase (Photo: EKN)

The Junior division has been a fun category to watch, as we now see many of the former Cadet stars reaching their stride as a Junior driver. The large fields make no room for error, and that has the championship fairly tight between the top-three. Dylan Tavella is no stranger to the New Castle circuit, sweeping the main events at the 2016 SummerNationals weekend and most recently winning another at the USPKS event. Tavella (IRM / Tony Kart) has two victories on the 2017 SKUSA Pro Tour, winning one feature at the two events. Tavella, the current SKUSA #2 plateholder, leads the standings over Junior rookie Jak Crawford, who has yet to win on the Pro Tour. The three straight podium finishes by the Nash / FA Kart driver puts him in the lead challenger position to Tavella, 65 points back when factoring in the drop. Twenty points back of him is Andersen Racing / Birel ART driver Aidan Keel. The Floridian has been quick all season, including two fast times in qualifying, racking up three top-five finishes and his first Pro Tour podium at Round Four.

Tyler Gonzalez and Trey Brown are the other race winners on the season. Gonzalez (SRC / Tony Kart) – the 2016 SuperNationals winner – won Round Two in NOLA, and has won three of the last four races he competed in at New Castle including the WKA and UPSKS events. Brown (Nash / FA Kart) is among the more experienced Junior drivers in the field, coming off a victory in Round Three at Sonoma. The Californian will need to improve on his last trip to New Castle, placing outside the top-15 in both days at the 2016 SummerNationals.

The remainder of the top-10 in the championship standings will be on hand at the SummerNationals. Arias Deukmedjian (Kosmic) has shown the speed to contend for victory, earning a runner-up in Round Three. Argentina driver Franco Colapinto is lurking for his first podium finish with the CRG Nordam pilot taking part in the USPKS event to prepare for this weekend. Jeremy Fairbairn (Tony Kart) is the third led of the SRC operation, showing well two weeks ago. Pedro Lopes (Kosmic) and OGP’s Dylan Gennaro (Tony Kart) complete the top-10 in the standings. Watch for other drivers looking to make an impact on the SummerNationals – Texas ProKart Challenge point leader Ethan Arndt (TKS / CompKart), Spike Kohlbecker representing the ‘Made in the USA’ Margay brand racing – competing with a broken arm this weekend, USPKS point leader Maks Kowalski (Franklin / Merlin), and Team USA Rotax Grand Finals driver Hannah Greenemeier (RPG / Kosmic).

X30 Junior Championship Standings Top-10

Pos. Total No. Driver Drop Diff R1 R2 R3 R4
1 837 N2 Dylan Tavella 730 0 250 230 107 250
2 761 525t Jak Crawford 665 65 96 215 225 225
3 788 255f Aidan Keel 645 85 215 215 143 215
4 592 157f Tyler Gonzalez 532 198 220 240 60 72
5 589 28b Trey Brown 531 199 144 167 220 58
6 610 199f Arias Deukmedjian 520 210 195 125 200 90
7 534 79a Franco Colapinto 438 292 157 96 150 131
8 466 287f Jeremy Fairbairn 424 306 42 134 126 164
9 460 318a Pedro Lopes 394 336 104 180 110 66
10 443 259f Dylan Gennaro 359 371 115 84 102 142

Provisional X30 Junior Entry List

No. Driver Team Chassis Hometown
94t Ethan Arndt Trackside Karting Services CompKart Leander TX
233j Bryce Aron Kosmic Winnetka IL
418s Caleb Bacon CB Motorsports Tony Kart Mooresville NC
41f Fernando Barrichello Ocala Gran Prix Tony Kart Ocala FL
093a Luka Berazategui SLA Tony Kart Chili
05d Joey Brienza Nash Motorsportz FA Kart Golden CO
28b Trey Brown Nash Motorsportz FA Kart Lemon Grove CA
79a Franco Colapinto CRG Nordam CRG Argentina
525t Jak Crawford Nash Motorsportz Tony Kart Conroe TX
22m Pablo Perez De Lara RPL Racing Tony Kart Mexico
108c Jace Denmark-Gessel Ryan Perry Motorsport Tony Kart Glendale AZ
199f Arias Deukmedjian Deuk Spine Racing Kosmic Ocala FL
48 Vinicius Dias NF Piquet Sports Kosmic Orlando FL
287f Jeremy Fairbairn Team Koene USA Tony Kart Wellington FL
222n Connor Ferris Team Ferris Racing Top Kart Hackettstown NJ
201y Bijoy Garg SpeedSense Motorsports Exprit Atherton CA
259f Dylan Gennaro Ocala Gran Prix Tony Kart Ocala FL
157f Tyler Gonzalez Speed Concepts Racing Tony Kart Saint Cloud FL
217t Kaden Gray CRG Nordam CRG Fort Worth TX
208d Hannah Greenemeier Rolison Performance Group Kosmic Parker CO
21j Aidan Harrington Comet Kart Sales Kosmic Des Plaines IL
056f Zachary Hollingshead Ocala Gran Prix Tony Kart Ocala FL
213f Jade Hubert Ocala Gran Prix Tony Kart Ocala FL
18t Alejandro Jaramillo Team Koene USA Tony Kart Dallas TX
255f Aidan Keel Andersen Racing Birel ART Plant City FL
5e Spike Kohlbecker Margay Racing Margay Saint Louis MO
02j Maks Kowalski Franklin Motorsports Merlin Barrington IL
128s Gray Leadbetter Verde Speed Resources Tony Kart Morganton NC
318a Pedro Lopes Rolison Performance Group Kosmic Brazil
204c Carson Mallett Ryan Perry Motorsport Tony Kart Blythe CA
00y Christopher Martin Infinity Karting Sodi Kart Daly City CA
74s Tyler Maxson Speed Concepts Racing Tony Kart Lawrenceville GA
70j Colin Neal Motorsports Driver Development Kosmic Peebles OH
124r Thomas Nepveu PSL Karting Birel ART Oka QC
202f Kai Palomino Andersen Racing Team Birel ART Miami FL
211z Edward Portz Exprit Corvallis OR
68m Emiliano Richards RPL Racing Tony Kart Mexico DF
N2 Dylan Tavella Iron Rock Motorsports Tony Kart Massapequa NY
361j Kyle Thome Franklin Motorsports Merlin Dousman WI
07h Arie Venberg Franklin Motorsports Merlin Lakeville MN
141j Kaden Wharff TopKart USA Top Kart Brownsburg IN
121t Travis Wiley CompKart Austin TX
88a Matias Zagazeta BBR Karting OTK Peru

Mini Swift

Double SpringNationals winner Carson Morgan holds the advantage in the Mini Swift title chase (Photo: EKN)

An oversold field is set to take on the SummerNationals in the Mini Swift division. SKUSA has opened up the field to 48 drivers, with still a handful on the waiting list to get into the weekend. This category has continued to draw some of the best talent in North America and beyond, and the numbers show it. The competition span is so narrow, that you could pull a name out of a hat, and there could be an argument as to why that driver can compete for the victory or the podium. The championship has an added bonus, with a ticket to this year’s IAME International Final in Le Mans, France as part of the limited Mini category.

The first two events were dominated by two different drivers – Luca Mars and Carson Morgan. Mars (Energy) swept the main events at the WinterNationals while Morgan (Benik) was the double winner at the SpringNationals. Morgan holds the championship lead over Mars by 45 points, however, the lead will double when karts hit the track in New Castle. Mars is electing to sit out the event and the SuperNationals with a focus on preparing for the Junior ranks in 2018. Morgan now enters the SummerNationals with a 90-point lead in the standings when factoring in the drop.

Consistency has kept two drivers in the hunt for the championship. Benik teammates Santiago Trisni and Reece Gold have the opportunity to finish the SummerNationals as the SKUSA Pro Tour champion. Trisni – the current USPKS point leader – has three top-five finishes, including a podium at NOLA, with strong results in the Prefinals to be just 90 points back of Morgan. Five points back of him is Gold with three podium finishes over the first four rounds and comes in as the defending two-time SummerNationals winner in 2016.

Notable drivers to watch in the large field include Comet Kart Sales’ drivers Garrett (FA Kart) and Logan Adams (FA Kart), 2017 US Rotax Micro Max champion Brent Crews (Nitro Kart), and recent USPKS winner Nicholas Terlecki (Merlin). Last year’s runner-up in the SKUSA Pro Tour – Diego LaRoque (PDB) – currently sits seventh in the championship chase with a runner-up finish in Sonoma as his best result this season.

Mini Swift Championship Standings Top-10

Pos. Total No. Driver Drop Diff R1 R2 R3 R4
1 875 88x Carson Morgan 725 0 150 215 250 260
2 795 888n Luca Mars 680 45 260 210 210 115
3 777 123f Santiago Trisini 635 90 225 220 190 142
4 801 455f Reece Gold 630 95 210 195 171 225
5 548 066x Cole Morgan 513 212 35 118 175 220
6 485 272s Connor Zilisch 485 240 170 120 0 195
7 477 N2 Diego LaRoque 456 269 41 21 235 180
8 470 131r Dale Curran 444 281 167 159 26 118
9 420 611s Brent Crews 420 305 164 170 0 86
10 439 122f Jeremy Fletcher 409 316 30 166 102 141

Provisional Mini Swift Entry List

No. Driver Team Chassis Hometown
04j Garrett Adams Comet Kart Sales FA Kart Greenfield IN
002j Logan Adams Comet Kart Sales Benik Greenfield IN
136r Justin Arseneau PSL Karting Birel ART Morin-Heights QC
49t Noah Baker Positive Motorsports Energy Pinehurst TX
71f Paul Bocuse Speed Concepts Racing Tony Kart Orlando FL
44t John Burke Iron Rock Motorsports Energy Carrollton TX
199n Chloe Chambers Mike Doty Racing Benik Monroe NY
165f Ashton Chilton Team Nitro Kart Nitro Kart Key Largo FL
020a Diego Contecha Tony Kart Aventura FL
27s Paige Crawford Benik Kart Mooresville NC
116t McKenzy Cresswell Trackside Karting Services CompKart Cedar Park TX
611s Brent Crews Team Nitro Kart Nitro Kart Denver NC
02m Andres Perez De Lara RPL Racing Tony Kart Mexico
122f Jeremy Fletcher Ocala Gran Prix Tony Kart Saint Cloud FL
73q Aidan Fox J3 Competition CompKart Redding CT
133t Chase Gardner Gardner Motorsports Energy Prosper TX
09m Jose Garfias Tony Kart Mexico
911c Kasey Gillis PKS Kart Supplies Top Kart Rialto CA
112f Elio Giovane Team Benik Benik Miami FL
455f Reece Gold Team Benik Benik Fort Lauderdale FL
144t Jack Jeffers Nash Motorsportz Benik San Antonio TX
107f Nikita Johnson Team Benik Benik Gulfport FL
N2 Diego LaRoque BBR Karting PDB Laveen AZ
881f Anderson Leonard Team Benik Benik Saint Petersburg FL
100f Jimmie Lockhart Team Benik Benik Fort Lauderdale FL
071a Ryan Lue Anderson Racing Birel ART Jamaica
727y Kailey Meris Team Benik Benik Elk Grove CA
88x Carson Morgan JO Motorsports Benik Anaheim CA
066x Cole Morgan Team Benik Benik Anahaim CA
013g Bryson Morris Comet Kart Sales FA Kart Old Hickory TN
66j Nathan Nicholson Energy Unionville IN
21d Maximilian Opalski Benik Conifer CO
156o Jace Park Russell Karting Specialties Parolin Overland Park KS
10z Jonathon Portz Energy Corvallis OR
180f Alex Powell Speed Concept Racing Tony Kart Doral FL
007n Annie Rhule Checkered Motorsports Energy Pittsburgh PA
15t Santiago Robles Orsolon Racing Benik San Antonio TX
86t Ryan Shehan Trackside Karting Services CompKart Cedar Park TX
121a Kyffin Simpson Speed Concepts Racing Energy Middletown NY
001j Lucas Smalec Franklin Motorsports Merlin Glenview IL
1 Kai Sorensen Energy Corse / Positive Motorsports Energy Lodi CA
46t Alex Stanfield Energy Kart USA Energy Argyle TX
014d Enzo Swan Team Benik Benik Centennial CO
08j Nicholas Terlecki Frankin Motorsports Merlin Elgin IL
69t Branyon Tiner Brash Racing Tony Kart Angleton TX
123f Santiago Trisini Team Benik Benik Miami FL
272s Connor Zilisch Team Felon Energy Matthews NC

Micro Swift

Brit Brandon Carr is looking to move up one spot in the SKUSA plate in the Micro Swift championship chase (Photo: EKN)

The two drivers holding the SKUSA plates from the 2016 Micro Swift Pro Tour championship are in the top two positions for the #1. Brandon Carr (Benik) and Elliot Cox (Energy) finished second and third in the 2016 standings, carrying the SKUSA plates for the 2017 season. The two now hold the top two positions in the chase to become the 2017 SKUSA Pro Tour champion. Each won at the opening event at NOLA, and are separated by 20 points when factoring in the drop race. The advantage is in the hands of Elliot Cox. The Indiana driver is competing at his home track, and site of his first SKUSA Pro Tour victory last year at the SummerNationals. Carr is making his second trip to New Castle, with the Brit looking to improve on a best finish of fourth at last year’s event.

Frankie Iadevaia (Nitro Kart) and Logan Toke (Top Kart) remain in contention for the championship chase. Iadevaia has four top-six finishes in the four main events, including a runner-up in NOLA. He will need to gain 88 points over Cox and Carr throughout the weekend for a chance at claiming the #1 plate. Toke has one podium finish on the year, runner-up at Sonoma on Saturday, as the top west coast driver in the championship chase. The California driver took part in the USPKS event at the end of July, getting valuable seat time at New Castle, nearly pulling off a victory in the Sunday main event.

The other winner on the SKUSA Pro Tour season is Sebastian Ng. The Nitro Kart driver won both main events in Sonoma in his 2017 Pro Tour debut after missing the WinterNationals. While not out of the title chase mathematically, the driver from Panama could put himself onto the championship podium with a solid weekend in New Castle.

Micro Swift Championship Standings Top-10

Pos. Total No. Driver Drop Diff R1 R2 R3 R4
1 840 N3 Elliot Cox 680 0 240 245 160 195
2 781 N2 Brandon Carr 660 20 230 230 121 200
3 754 76n Frankie Iadevaia 592 88 177 220 195 162
4 645 57c Logan Toke 522 158 123 154 210 158
5 490 09a Sebastian Ng 490 190 0 0 245 245
6 546 44s Caleb Gafrarar 469 211 150 180 139 77
7 569 17c Enzo Deligny 457 223 174 112 157 126
8 529 8s Danny Dyszelski 433 247 190 141 102 96
9 420 80f Alex Powell 420 260 215 205 0 0
10 420 606a Mateo Rubio-Luengo 420 260 0 0 220 200

Provisional Micro Swift Entry List

No. Driver Team Chassis Hometown
77m Ian Aguilera Ryan Perry Motorsport Benik Mexico
101a Seven Aleman Top Kart USA Top Kart Philippines
78e Ethan Ayars Ocala Gran Prix Tony Kart Weatherby Lake MO
N2 Brandon Carr Team Benik Benik Great Britian
5f Miguel Costa MR Racing Benik Miami Beach FL
151j Elliot Cox Energy Corse North America Energy Indianapolis IN
32f Julian DaCosta iKart Indiana iKart Bradenton FL
3s Sofia D'Arrigo Team Nitro Kart Nitro Kart Clover SC
83t Santiago Duran Alpha Kart League City TX
8s Danny Dyszelski Kaos Kart Shop Benik York SC
44s Caleb Gafrarar Russell Karting Specialties Parolin Midland NC
40f Max Garcia Andersen Racing Team Birel ART Homestead FL
021j Aryton Grim CRP Racing LLC Nitro Kart Grove City OH
717t Miles Hewitt MPH Racing Team Energy Houston TX
76n Frankie Iadevaia Team Nitro Kart Nitro Kart Seaford NY
67n Ben Maier Team Nitro Kart Nitro Kart Stevensville MD
722j Christian Miles Kartsport North America Formula K Paloma IL
09a Sebastian Ng Team Nitro Kart Nitro Kart Kannapolis NC
606a Mateo Rubio-Luengo BENIK Benik Atlanta GA
30a Vinicius Tessaro NF Piquet Sports Kosmic Brazil
57c Logan Toke PKS Kart Supplies Top Kart San Luis Obispo CA

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