2021 eKartingNews.com Driver Rankings – Shifterkart – October 29
Myers remains target enter final few events of season
AJ Myers remains the top driver in the 2021 EKN Shifterkart Driver Rankings as of October 29, 2021 (Photo: EKN)
It’s TIME!!! The final rounds of the 2021 season are ahead of us with only the final two months of the calendar year remaining. This means that it’s time to put all the chips in for those looking to make a statement in the EKN Shifterkart Driver Rankings with the two major events in Las Vegas. First up, it’s the ROK Vegas event that will be held over the November 3-7 weekend, before the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals return for the 24th edition during the first week of December. To set the stage, EKN has the updated the standings before these to crucial races take place.
The new standings account for the events held since August 2, which was prior to the SKUSA Pro Tour SummerNationals. It also meant the removal of last year’s SKUSA Summer Festival, which featured all six rounds of the 2020 Pro Tour program.
The top two positions remain unchanged with now three-time SKUSA Pro Tour champion AJ Myers (Magik Kart USA) holding the #1 spot and former champ Jake French (PSL Karting / Birel ART) still in second. Both improved their points from August, with the difference cut slightly to just 105 points. Each driver won at the SummerNationals, and still carry their results from the ROK the RIO event in 2020.
Jumping up to third from sixth is four-time SKUSA SuperNationals winner Billy Musgrave (Factory Kart). Musgrave finished behind Myers and French in the SKUSA Pro Tour standings for 2021, marking another season without a series championship. Musgrave is rumored to be competing at ROK Vegas in the Shifter ROK division, making his first start there after racing in the Senior 100cc category in 2019. It could help to even out the score with both Myers and French holding results from the 2020 event in Vegas.
Musgrave bumped Hunter Pickett (GFC Karting) off the current podium to fourth, despite the former Challenge of the Americas champion improving his score by nearly 100 points to break into the 7000-mark. Following the progression in points, but dropping one position, is Pickett’s teammate Kyle Wick (GFC Karting). The 2019 SKUSA Pro Tour champion makes it five drivers above 7000 points, which equates to a 1000-point average for the seven counting races. Jacob Gulick makes it three GFC Karting drivers inside the top-six of the October Driver Rankings, advancing one position to sixth. Gulick did not perform as anticipated at the SKUSA SummerNationals, but still improved his score. EKN expects the entire top-six to be at the ROK Vegas event.
Breaking into the top-10 is PSL Karting / Birel ART driver Michael Stevens. The Floridian sits in the same position as he finished the SKUSA Pro Tour standings – P7. His best finish on the season was fourth at the opening round of the WinterNationals, along with two top-10 finishes at the Florida Winter Tour. Holding in eighth is 2021 Rock Island Grand Prix King of the Streets winner Andrew Bujdoso (Magik Kart USA). Two runner-up results at the SummerNationals helped to keep him there, after losing his SKUSA #3 plate results from the SummerFestival last year. Bujdoso is also coming off a Stars Championship Series title earned in October.
The final two spots of the top-10 are from the top-three in the Stars standings. P3 for 2021 was Devon Smith-Harden (Harden Motorsports Group / Race Factory), and he is now ninth. He advanced up one position to remain inside the top-10 heading into the final stretch. Earning enough results now to become a factor and into the top-10 for the first time is shifterkart rookie Brent Crews (Leading Edge Motorsports / Formula K). Crews finished vice-champion at the Stars program and made his SKUSA Pro Tour debut at the SummerNationals. The 13-year-old – advancing 47 spots from August Driver Rankings standings – drove to two third-place finishes at New Castle against the largest Pro Tour shifterkart in the 12-year history of the program, and is rumored to be among those competing at SuperNationals 24.
Those dropping out of the top-10 include Aidan O’Neill (Ron White Racing / CRG), along with four-time SKUSA SuperNationals winner Daniel Formal (Leading Edge Motorsports / Formula K). Formal lost his 2020 SKUSA Pro Tour results, and did not follow the entire series in 2021. The Costa Rican recorded a DNF at last year’s ROK the RIO, so a podium run this week at ROK Vegas by the 2019 winner could easily move him back up, not to mention a possible record-breaking fifth win on SuperSunday at the SuperNats.
EKN has confirmed there will be at least 21 drivers from the Top-50 at the ROK Vegas event, with the number at 15 and rising for the SKUSA SuperNationals 24 – making these last two events the largest of the season.
Upcoming EKN Shifterkart Driver Rankings Schedule
|11/7/21||ROK Vegas||Shifter Rok||Planet Hollywood||Las Vegas, NV||9.5|
|11/21/21||SKUSA SuperNationals 24||Pro Shifter||Rio All-Suite Casino & Hotel||Las Vegas, NV||10|
|12/18/21||Sunshine States Karting Challenge #5||Open Shifter||AMR Motorplex||Homestead, FL||8|
|12/18/21||Sunshine States Karting Challenge #5||ROK Shifter||AMR Motorplex||Homestead, FL||8|
|12/19/21||Sunshine States Karting Challenge #6||Open Shifter||AMR Motorplex||Homestead, FL||8|
|12/19/21||Sunshine States Karting Challenge #6||ROK Shifter||AMR Motorplex||Homestead, FL||8|
Shifterkart #1 – AJ Myers
One could argue that AJ Myers is the best all-around karter in the United States. The now three-time Superkarts! USA Pro Tour champion in the Pro Shifter category has a championship in TaG competition from the 2014 United States Pro Kart Series, where he finished top-five in the KA100 Senior standings. From 100cc, to 125cc single speed, all the way to the six-speed gearbox categories, Myers wheels it, and wheels it well. Two things missing from Myers resume are a win at ROK Vegas and the SKUSA SuperNationals. Myers finished second and fourth in the last two ROK events with two runner-up results his best results on SuperSunday.
|ROK the RIO 2020||9.5||2||1093|
|Florida Winter Tour 2021 #1||9||1||1026|
|Florida Winter Tour 2021 #2||9||1||1020|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2021 #1||9.5||1||1029|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2021 #2||9.5||1||1029|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2021 #3||9.5||1||1015|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2021 #6||9.5||1||1098|
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 1.14
Average Points: 1044.3
Total Points: 7310
Shifterkart #2 – Jake French
Much like Myers, French is among the top karters in North America over the last decade. The 2017 SKUSA Pro Tour champion dabbled in 100cc competition this year as well, in addition to racing in both the Florida Winter Tour and SKUSA Pro Tour in shifterkart action. French finally got to the top step of the podium at the SummerNationals, helping to remove that zero from the win column for 2021. The PSL Karting / Birel ART driver has not stood on the podium at ROK Vegas in two starts, and he’s also missing a SuperNationals victory as well after placing runner-up in his last two SuperNationals start in Pro Shifter.
|ROK the RIO 2020||9.5||6||1049|
|Florida Winter Tour 2021 #1||9||3||1005|
|Florida Winter Tour 2021 #2||9||2||1010|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2021 #1||9.5||2||1019|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2021 #2||9.5||2||1019|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2021 #3||9.5||2||1005|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2021 #5||9.5||1||1098|
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 3.14
Average Points: 1029.3
Total Points: 7205
Shifterkart #3 – Billy Musgrave
Back into the top-three is four-time Superkarts! USA SuperNationals winner Billy Musgrave. The Factory Kart driver finished in the same position behind Myers and French in the 2021 SKUSA Pro Tour championship. While they each have championships at the national level, Musgrave has four victories at the SuperNationals, including the last three in the Pro Shifter division (2019, 2018, 2017) to go along with his S2 Semi-Pro victory in 2012. He is tied with Daniel Formal (defending KZ SuperNationals winner) and BMW factory driver Connor DePhillippi as the only four-time winners at the SuperNationals. A fifth win, which will include four in a row, would position Musgrave as ‘king of the hill’ in Vegas.
|Challenge of the Americas 2021 #3||9||1||1007|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2021 #1||9.5||3||1009|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2021 #2||9.5||4||998|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2021 #3||9.5||3||995|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2021 #4||9.5||6||965|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2021 #5||9.5||4||1065|
|SKUSA Pro Tour 2021 #6||9.5||4||1065|
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 3.57
Average Points: 1014.9
Total Points: 7104
EKN Driver Rankings Calculation Process
The EKN Driver Rankings are calculated using a driver’s best finishes in major North American races. Assembled using events from the previous 12 months from the current date, we use a driver’s best seven finishes in the TaG and Shifterkart categories to determine their overall current point total. With each new release, results posted from more than one year ago are discarded. To deliver our ranking list, we tabulate the results of all the national programs and selected regional programs. We have also included the results for the major one-off events such as the SKUSA SuperNationals, the Rock Island Grand Prix, and other special races.
Each race is initially weighted based on the prestige and history of the event or series with a score of ten (10) being the highest attainable base ranking. For 2021, the SKUSA SuperNationals will receive a score of 10 in its initial weighting in the TaG and Shifterkart categories. A base ranking of 9.5 is set for the SKUSA Pro Tour, while a base ranking of 9 goes to the SKUSA Winter Series, United States Pro Kart Series, Florida Winter Tour, Challenge of the Americas, ROK the RIO, Rotax Grand Nationals, Rock Island Grand Prix, and California ProKart Challenge. Other national and regional program races were given a base ranking of either 8.5 or 8.0.
The EKN staff reserves the right to adjust the rankings of each event throughout the year. A minimum entry total for any event to be considered for the Driver Rankings program is five (5). If an event does not have at least five (5) drivers starting the race, those results will not be tabulated toward the Driver Rankings.
Added to these initial rankings are two variables that help confirm the true importance of an event to the ranking process – field size and field strength. A percentage of one weighting point is added for the size of the field, while the number of existing top-50 drivers entered offers another full point or fraction of a point. The sum of these numbers becomes the overall ranking for any race.
Following a race, drivers receive points based on their finishing positions with 100 points earned for a win. Each subsequent position drops by one point with 99 points given to the second-place driver and so on throughout the field. These points are then multiplied by the overall ranking to produce a driver’s final point total from each event. Using a driver’s best seven races, we calculate each driver’s overall score and subsequent ranking.
eKartingNews.com Shifterkart Driver Rankings – as of October 29, 2021
|66.||68||2||Robert Heck Jr.||4||3382|
|183.||-||-||Samuel Barrera Garcia||1||781|