EKN Exclusive: Superkarts! USA SuperNationals 23 – Preview Series – Mini Swift

Full field of Cadet drivers vying to be 10th different winner in Las Vegas

eKartingNews.com, the Official Media Partner of Superkarts! USA, is proud to present our Preview Series for the SKUSA SuperNationals 23. Leading up to the on-track action of the 23rd edition of the marquee SKUSA event, EKN will preview each of the 12 categories in the 10 race groups that will compete on the temporary circuit located just outside the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino from November 20-24.

Complete coverage of the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals 23 can be found at the EKN EVENT PAGE. EKN Live will provide play-by-play and live timing from qualifying through to the final checkered flag on SuperSunday at ekartingnews.com/live

For more preview coverage, be sure to check the EKN Radio Network for the airing of two shows that will be broadcast leading up to the SKUSA SuperNationals 23. These two shows will provide EKN’s Rob Howden and David Cole with the opportunity for a more in-depth look at each of the entry lists and top-five predictions for all 12 classes.

SKUSA Pro Tour champion Kai Sorensen aims to add a SuperNats win to his already solid 2019 season (Photo: EKN)

It was nine years ago that a young Patricio O’Ward crossed the finish line to claim the first-ever TaG Cadet victory at the SKUSA SuperNationals, held that year outside the Rio as it is again in 2019. Fast forward to today, and the two-time SuperNats winner has become the face of the Arrow McLaren SP team on the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series. In 2011, Florida native Logan Sargeant drove to his first of two SuperNationals victories, and then later became the first USA driver to win the Junior world karting championship in 2015. All the previous nine winners have propelled their careers in karting into the many levels of motorsports, spring-boarding off victory at the SuperNationals. This year’s Mini Swift field is no different, with a herd of young drivers hungry and eager to climb the ranks in racing.

Leading the way with unparalleled experience and a resume that makes him the top contender is 2019 SKUSA Pro Tour champion Kai Sorensen (Supertune / Tony Kart). The Californian is completing his third season in the Mini category, and is eyeing the SuperNats title. Sorensen was the inaugural Micro Swift Pro Tour champion in 2016, and has since been battling in the Mini ranks. 2019 has been a tremendous season for Kai, winning the Florida Winter Tour title, SKUSA Pro Tour crown, and most recently, the ROK the RIO main event last weekend.

USPKS champion Christian Miles is coming off a P4 at the IAME International Final (Photo: EKN)

Among his top rivals all year is United States Pro Kart Series champion Christian Miles (KSNA / Kart Republic). The USPKS title is the one crown that Sorensen missed out on in 2019, as Miles outlasted him over the six-round program. Miles ran second to Sorensen in the SKUSA Pro Tour standings, giving the Illinois driver the SKUSA #2 plate for the weekend. Miles represented the USPKS and Team USA well at the IAME International Final, placing fourth in his overseas debut.

Racing alongside Sorensen with Supertune / Tony Kart, Florida driver Anderson Leonard emerged as a rising star in 2019. Leonard recorded four podium results on the SKUSA Pro Tour, including victory at the finale, to finish third in the championship standings. Last year, the top three from the SKUSA Pro Tour standings all finished inside the top-10 in Las Vegas, including Sorensen with a P5 on the podium as the top returning driver. Miles was 28th last year, while Leonard will be making his SuperNats debut.

All five drivers to win during the 2019 SKUSA Pro Tour are in the field, including two-time winner Sebastian Ng (Photo: EKN)

Many of the same drivers these competitors lined up against during the SKUSA Pro Tour will be on the grid in Vegas. Two-time SKUSA Pro Tour winner Sebastian Ng will be part of the Nitro Kart contingent, looking to defend Brent Crews’ victory from one year ago. Completing the five drivers who won on 2019 SKUSA Pro Tour is Enzo Deligny (Supertune / Tony Kart). The Challenge of the Americas champion won in Utah, and finished fifth in the Pro Tour standings.

All three of the former Micro Swift champions are in the field this year. Including Sorensen (2016), 2017 title winner Elliot Cox (CRG Nordam) and 2018 champ Max Garcia (KSNA / Kart Republic) will be doing battle. Cox has not yet had the success he did in the Micro category, and is now completing his second season in Mini. Elliot placed 26th in last year’s main event. Garcia is coming off an up-and-down trip to the IAME International Final, having won his ticket at the Sunshine State Karting Championship. The Florida driver was top qualifier, however, he did not come away with a strong finish in tricky weather conditions.

Caleb Gafrarar is among the top Micro graduates in the field for 2019 (Photo: EKN)

Garcia was on the podium in Micro last year, with three of his fellow podium finishers moving up to Mini this year. Ben Maier (Nitro Kart), Cameron Brinkman (Franklin / Merlin) and Caleb Gafrarar (PSL / Birel ART) finished 1st, 2nd, and 5th in 2018 while Garcia placed third. Gafrarar finished the highest of the rookies on the SKUSA Pro Tour, placing ninth in the standings and he is coming off a runner-up to Sorensen at the ROK the RIO event. Maier was vice-champion at the WKA Manufacturers Cup Series while Brinkman scored the title at the Route 66 Sprint Series. Another regional champion to watch is Jesus Vasquez Jr., who is the 2019 California ProKart Challenge and LAKC champion, winning a total of 10 races between the two programs.

The number of countries represented in the field this year is at double digits with 10 nations. A total of four drivers from outside the USA have won in the category – Italians Leonardo Marseglia (2013) and Giuseppe Fusco (2014), Brit Jonny Edgar (2015) and Canadian Thomas Nepveu (2016). British driver Vinnie Phillips (Fusion / Benik) knows what it’s like to win at the SuperNationals, scoring the victory in Micro in 2017. Fellow Brit Brandon Carr (Benik) is the top returning international driver, placing ninth a year ago. Kristian Janev (Benik) is helping to carry the flag for Australia, making his Mini debut after a P7 in Micro last year. Colombian Santiago Garzon (AM / Exprit) drove to fourth last week at the ROK the RIO, and is set for his first SuperNationals.

By the Numbers:

2 – Former SuperNationals winners in the field (both in Micro)

3 – SKUSA Pro Tour championship podium drivers in the field

3 – Former SKUSA Pro Tour champions in the field (all in Micro)

10 – Countries represented in the field

13 – Drivers who raced last year in Micro Swift

28 – Drivers who raced at SuperNationals 22

Provisional Mini Swift Entry List

No. Driver Team Chassis Hometown Country
178 Ethan Ayars KartSport North America Kart Republic Weatherby Lake MO US
180 Donovan Bonilla Orsolon Racing Benik MX
199 Cameron Brinkman Franklin Motorsports Merlin Springfield IL US
188 Cristian Cantu Manolo Karting Parolin MX
108 Brandon Carr Team Benik Benik GB
123 Michael Costello Team Benik Benik Dallas PA US
151 Elliot Cox CRG Nordam CRG Indianapolis IN US
122 Santiago Cruz AM Racing Team Exprit MX
125 Davis Cunningham Speedsportz Racing Park Birel ART Richmond TX US
116 Julian DaCosta JDMotorsports Haase Myakka City FL US
174 Enzo Deligny 2 Wild Karting / Supertune Tony Kart Los Angeles CA FR
186 Ava Dobson Franklin Motorsports Merlin Franklin WI US
144 Caleb Gafrarar PSL Karting Birel ART Midland NC US
140 Max Garcia KartSport North America Kart Republic Coconut Grove FL US
155 Santiago Garzon AM Racing Team Exprit CO
158 Salim Hanna Team Montoya Tony Kart CO
107 Miles Hewitt CRG Nordam CRG Houston TX
106 Leo Iannella KartSport North America Parolin AU
120 Dane Idelson PSL Karting Ricciardo Pacific Palisades CA US
117 Oscar Iliffe Iron Rock Motorsports Tony Kart Austin TX US
149 Kristian Janev Team Benik Benik AU
131 Austin Jurs Franklin Motorsports Merlin Union IL US
134 Keagan Kaminski Benik San Dimas CA US
127 Gabriel Koenigkan NF Piquet Sports CRG BR
N3 Anderson Leonard Supertune USA Tony Kart St. Petersburg FL US
171 Noah Lisle Fusion Motorsport Kart Republic AU
172 Cooper Lisle Fusion Motorsport Kart Republic AU
115 Fernando Luque RPL Ricciardo MX
167 Ben Maier Team Nitro Kart Nitro Kart Stevensville MD US
192 Kane Martin Doran Motorsports Group Tony Kart Rancho Santa Margarita CA CA
110 Isaac McNeill KartSport North America Kart Republic AU
N2 Christian Miles KartSport North America Kart Republic Paloma IL US
190 Sebastian Ng Team Nitro Kart Nitro Kart PA
126 Matias Orjuela Praga Praga Miami FL US
109 Ryan Persing Nash Motorsportz Benik Morgan Hill CA US
187 Vinnie Phillips Fusion Motorsport Benik GB
112 Christian Quijano Zanella Racing Tony Kart Saint Cloud FL US
133 Xander Reed Supertune USA Tony Kart Granbury TX US
137 Leo Robinson Fusion Motorsport Kart Republic GB
102 Santiago Said Team Montoya Tony Kart Culver City CA MX
103 Jack Schrady Nevada Kartsport Ricciardo Truckee CA US
N1 Kai Sorensen Supertune USA Tony Kart Lodi CA US
191 Matyas Taylor Supertune USA Tony Kart Ridgewood NY US
142 Jay Urwin Benik NZ
177 Jesus Vasquez, Jr. PKS Kart Supplies Ricciardo Rancho Cucamonga CA US
159 Wyatt Vidovich Vidovich Racing Tony Kart Lakeside CA US
168 Max Walton KartSport North America Kart Republic AU
119 Cameron Weinberg Tony Kart Carrollton GA US

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