The 2010 season has now grabbed sixth gear for the staff of Superkarts! USA, as they continue to promote regional and national karting events throughout the western half of the United States. The organization took a major step during the off-season in launching a new three-event ‘Pro Tour,’ and the impressive success of the inaugural SpringNationals in Sonoma back in April has fired a new wave of momentum. With that breakthrough event now in the books, much of SKUSA’s current focus is now being directed on the upcoming SummerNationals, which will take place on July 16-18 at USA International Raceway in Shawano, WI.
This will be the organization’s first official promotional effort east of the Mississippi, and long-range predictions call for a strong turnout of competitors, including a couple of big-name NASCAR stars. SKUSA is also working closely with several of its partners to ensure that this race will be a major league event, and the new programs that are in the works include a pre-race golf tourney promoted by eKartingNews.com and a special S5 motor rental program. SKUSA is also communicating with its foundation of shops and racing teams to promote affordable equipment shipping opportunities for those drivers who wish to participate in the next Pro Tour event. The key concepts are to produce an enjoyable event that is open to any and all karting enthusiasts.
One of the biggest confirmations for the SummerNationals is the attendance of Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray and Richard Petty Motorsports star and former SKUSA ProMoto Tour victor AJ Allmendinger. The inclusion of these professional pilots will certainly make this race one to remember. McMurray is a huge fan of the annual SuperNationals and is a karting fanatic, while Allmendinger has a long and storied relationship with the SKUSA family. Allmendinger was a big part of the initial SKUSA ProMoto Tour back in 1999, winning in both 80cc and 125cc competition.
The weekend events will get started a little earlier for the second stop on the Pro Tour as SKUSA’s official online media partner, eKartingNews.com, will kick off the SummerNationals with its inaugural EKN golf tournament, which will be held on Wednesday, July 14 at the Shawano Lake Golf Club. A total of 10 tee times have been booked, beginning at noon, putting a maximum entry at 40 players for this best-ball outing. More information will be made available before the end of the month.
“Tom and I were talking about how many of our fellow karting enthusiasts love to golf, and we decided that this would be a great way to kick off the SummerNationals,” offered Rob Howden, EKN Publisher. “Before we go into the heat of battle, we’ll be able to get out onto the links for some fun. We’re going to start filling up the prize table and hopefully this will become an annual event!”
Two of the big positives from the SpringNationals were the solid arrival of the TaG Cadet class and the national launch of the S5 Junior Stock Moto program. SKUSA continues to show its support for the S5 category, and will look to further grow the first step on the Stock Moto ladder by introducing an engine rental program for the SummerNationals only. This program is in the final stages of completion and a full overview will be made available soon.
“I really believe that we need to give our Juniors the opportunity to play with a shifterkart to let them see what they’re missing,” joked Tom Kutscher. “I’ve seen this story play out so many times…once a young driver gets behind the wheel of a shifter, they don’t want to drive anything else, it’s just that much fun. The thrill and enjoyment of driving a 125 is what fired the birth of SKUSA, and shifters are still our passion. This new program we’re developing is going to provide an opportunity for our Juniors to see for themselves why the S1, S2, S3 and S4 drivers wouldn’t trade their shifters for anything!”
Like the S5 category, the TaG Cadet class is expected to grow for the SummerNationals, coming off its big debut in Sonoma. The category launched with 12 drivers in California, all of whom have now purchased their own Vortex Mini Rok powerplants, making available the 10 sample engines offered up by Vortex to allow racers to come and play. The feedback on this new formula has been phenomenal, and the goal for Shawano is to top 20 entries for the class – with the winner receiving a free engine. Any Cadet families wishing to take part in the complimentary Vortex engine program for the SummerNationals are asked to contact the Superkarts! USA head office.
Registration for the SummerNationals is now open on SKUSA’s website – www.superkartsusa.com – and a pre-entry will save racers a great deal off the regular weekend rate. An influx of drivers from the SKUSA Central States Challenge and the surrounding Midwest regional series is expected to provide entry numbers that will top the 100+ competitors enjoyed at Infineon Raceway. Of course, those in the class championship battles will certainly be making the trek to Wisconsin, as they chase the #1 plate, the sponsored SuperNationals entry, and the 2011 SKUSA Pro Tour entry fee prize package – along with the $1,750 in prize money up for grabs in the S1 and TaG Senior categories.
SKUSA will soon be releasing contact information for the teams and shops from all of their regions that have trailer space available for the SummerNationals. Travel costs are prominent in this economic climate and this program is aimed at offering affordable alternatives for SKUSA racers. For more information on the SKUSA Pro Tour SummerNationals, visit the www.superkartsusa.com website.