EKN Trackside: 2019 Superkarts! USA Pro Tour SpringNationals Preview – Part 1

Championship battles carry on as program heads to Utah Motorsports Campus

This weekend marks the 10th edition of the Superkarts! USA Pro Tour SpringNationals. The event is set for May 3-5 at the Utah Motorsports Campus as SKUSA returns to the Erda, Utah facility for the second time in series history. Formerly known as Miller Motorsports Park, SKUSA first visited the facility outside Salt Lake City back in July 2012 for the SummerNationals that year. The 9/10-mile Alan Wilson-designed karting circuit is named ‘Star Trek’, which will be contested in the clockwise direction – the opposite of the 2012 visit.

eKartingNews.com remains the official online partner for the SKUSA Pro Tour, having broadcast every race since its inception. Those karting enthusiasts not in attendance can listen from home or on the road to the EKN Live broadcast page at www.ekartingnews.com/live with EKN’s own Rob Howden providing the play-by-play call. This weekend’s broadcast is brought to you by Mad Old Nut Racing, Rolison Performance Group and Courtney Concepts. Daily reports and updates on the EKN Social Media network will fill up your timeline throughout the weekend.

The opening event of the 2019 Superkarts! USA Pro Tour took place at the beginning of March with the WinterNationals contested at the CalSpeed Karting facility in Fontana, California. Competitors battled wet weather all weekend to decide the winners in the opening two rounds of the series. Now, drivers hope for perfect racing conditions at over 4,300 feet above sea level.

The first of two previews looks at all the shifterkart divisions along with the Master categories.


Pro Shifter

WinterNationals winner Andrew Bujdoso leads the Pro Shifter standings (Photo: EKN)

The IAME SSE 175cc powerplant made its debut at the SKUSA Pro Tour WinterNationals with two different drivers claiming victory. Andrew Bujdoso mastered the rain on Saturday to claim his first SKUSA Pro Tour victory while defending champion AJ Myers triumphed on Sunday. It was a Croc Promotion sweep of the victories thanks to Bujdoso and Myers, however, the roster has changed for Mad Old Nut Racing operation. Bujdoso remains, entering the SpringNationals as the championship leader by 10 points over Myers, who becomes a former teammate. Myers was released from his spot at MONR and has joined CRG Nordam, making his debut with the team this weekend. Myers brings with him the SKUSA #1 plate, joining SKUSA #2 plate holder Kyle Wick under the CRG Nordam banner, who sits third in the championship chase heading into Utah. Completing the silly season between races, Myers spot at Croc Promotion USA was filled by 2017 SKUSA Pro Tour champion Jake French. The Texan has spent the last month testing and racing with the team, and makes his return to the SKUSA Pro Tour this weekend.

Only four drivers stood on the podium in Fontana, including Bujdoso, Myers and Wick. Rory van der Steur (MRC / Tony Kart) placed third in the wet, and sits fourth in the standings. A major story at the WinterNats was the lack of main event performance by three-time SuperNationals winner Billy Musgrave (MRC / Aluminos). Following a P4 effort Saturday, Musgrave was a DNF on Sunday, and trails Bujdoso by 110 points going into the weekend. Throw in the always-quick Mathias Ramirez (PSL / Birel ART), returning champion Joey Wimsett (DRT / DR Kart), and emerging star Prescott Campbell (MRC / Aluminos), Utah is shaping up to be an exciting weekend.

No. Driver Team Chassis Hometown Nat.
177 Andrew Bujdoso Croc Promotion USA/MONR Croc Promotion Girard OH US
160 Prescott Campbell Musgrave Racing Company Aluminos Newport Beach CA US
116 Jake French Croc Promotion USA/MONR Croc Promotions Garland TX US
N3 Billy Musgrave Musgrave Racing Company Aluminos Riverside CA US
N1 AJ Myers CRG Nordam CRG Palm Harbor FL US
141 Mathias Ramirez PSL Karting Birel ART BRADENTON FL US
129 Rory van der Steur Musgrave Racing Company Tony Kart Chesapeake City MD US
N2 Kyle Wick CRG Nordam CRG Auburn WA US
169 Joey Wimsett DRT Racing DR Kart Beavercreek OR US

Pro Shifter 2

Max Hewitt is the driver to beat in the Pro Shifter 2 division (Photo: EKN)

Two drivers stood out in the Pro Shifter 2 category at the WinterNationals. Race Liberante (J3 / CompKart) scored his first SKUSA Pro Tour victory with a stellar performance in the wet on Saturday. He was on his way to another victory in the dry on Sunday until contact took him out of contention. That promoted Max Hewitt (CRG Nordam) to the top of the podium, with the Texan leading the championship as they head into the SpringNats. Liberante trails by just 13 points despite the DNF in Round Two. Calvin Ming (MRC / Aluminos) sits third in the standings thanks to a third-place finish in Round One in his Pro Shifter 2 debut, needing to better both Hewitt and Liberante on the weekend in order to put himself into the championship chase.

No. Driver Team Chassis Hometown Nat.
224 Graig Alvarez Jr. CRG Nordam CRG Bellaire TX US
269 Anthony Freese Cambrian Go-Karts Birel ART Salinas CA US
222 Max Hewitt CRG Nordam CRG Houston TX US
234 Race Liberante J3 Competition CompKart Pittsburgh PA US
204 Calvin Ming Musgrave Racing Company Aluminos Miramar FL GY
299 Connor Robles Musgrave Racing Company Aluminos Temecula CA US
228 Liam Snyder Snyder Brothers Racing Formula K Southlake TX US
210 Mark Snyder Snyder Brothers Racing Formula K Southlake TX US

G1

Jordon Musser takes his near perfect score in G1 to Utah (Photo: EKN)

The 2019 season has been perfect for three-time SKUSA champion Jordon Musser in the new G1 Gladiator division. Musser (3G / Birel ART) has not been beaten in all track sessions with the new IAME SSE 175cc powerplant, including the four rounds of the SKUSA Winter Series and two days at the SKUSA WinterNationals. Musser brings his perfect score in Utah, with the same challengers from Fontana. John Crow (MRC / Aluminos) was the best challenger, taking the lead from Musser in the Round Two Final, unable to close the deal. He along with Round One runner-up Dan Monteiro (RPG / Kosmic) and Justin Peck (RPG / Kosmic) return. Utah driver Ryan Pool (MSquared / Kosmic) won the S4 division at the 2012 SummerNationals at his home track, and vying for the same in his G1 debut.

No. Driver Team Chassis Hometown Nat.
731 John Crow Musgrave Racing Company Aluminos Corona CA US
738 Dan Monteiro Rolison Performance Group Kosmic Vancouver BC CA
716 Jordon Musser 3G Kart Racing Birel ART Dallas TX US
749 Justin Peck Rolison Performance Group Kosmic Sandy UT US
720 Ryan Pool Msquared Racing Kosmic South Jordan UT US

X30 Master

Derek Wang continues his bid for a third title in X30 Master heading into Utah as point leader (Photo: EKN)

Two-time X30 Master champion Derek Wang missed out on a third straight X30 Master title last year, finishing outside the top-three. Wang (Crosslink / Tony Kart) is vying to rekindle that streak as the multi-time Team USA driver left Fontana with the championship lead in the category. The advantage is 45 points over Round One victor Vatche Tatikian, who finally grabbed that elusive win. His Phil Giebler Racing / Ricciardo teammate Jess Peterson finished third in both races and sits in the same position in the title chase. The Round Two victory was provisionally Matt Johnson’s, but a pushback bumper penalty took that win away. Johnson (Nash / FA Kart) won the TaG Senior division back in the 2012 SKUSA visit to Utah, looking to add to his win total and put himself back into championship contention.

No. Driver Team Chassis Hometown Nat.
511 Carlos Calderon Aluminos Aluminos San Jose CA US
517 Matt Johnson Nash Motorsportz FA Kart Corona CA US
533 Tim Meyer Rolison Performance Group Kosmic Trabuco Canyon CA US
513 Reynaldo Nieves Kart Republic Colorado Springs CO PR
N3 Jess Peterson Phil Giebler Racing Birel ART Sparks NV US
500 Jonathan Silva JS500 motorsports CompKart Corona CA US
577 Vatche Tatikian Phil Giebler Racing Ricciardo Altadena CA US
588 Derek Wang BBR Karting FA Kart Seattle WA US

X30 Super Master

Steve Martin leads the X30 Super Master standings (Photo: EKN)

The X30 Super Master made its debut on the SKUSA Pro Tour at the WinterNationals. Steve Martin (2Wild / Tony Kart) was the first victor with Jon Persing (Nash / FA Kart) earning the second victory. Martin and DJ Ortiz (KRS / Tony Kart) are locked up for the top spot in the standings with Persing 10 points back in third. Local driver John Ruess (Kosmic) completes the roster on the weekend.

No. Driver Team Chassis Hometown Nat.
674 Steve Martin 2 Wild Karting Tony Kart Rancho Santa Margarita CA GB
617 DJ Ortiz KRS/Iron Rock Motorsports Tony Kart Plano TX US
609 Jon Persing Nash Motorsportz FA Kart Morgan Hill CA US
613 John Ruess Ruess Racing Kosmic Farmington UT US

S4 Master Stock Moto

Brett Harrelson leads the S4 Master championship chase (Photo: EKN)

All three drivers that contested the S4 Master Stock Moto division at the WinterNationals return for the SpringNationals. Brett Harrelson (Nash / CRG) won both races in Fontana, and leads the championship chase over Ken Schilling (Aluminos) and Miguel Garcia (SodiKart).

No. Driver Team Chassis Hometown Nat.
479 Miguel Garcia Sodi Kart Conroe TX ES
404 Brett Harrelson Nash Motorsportz CRG Marina Del Ray CA US
421 Ken Schilling Aluminos Aluminos Stanton CA US
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