SuperNats XXII

298DAYS

SKUSA Winter Series

18DAYS

2018 Pro Tour

39DAYS

PKC California

11DAYS

PKC Texas

60DAYS

Can-Am PKC

117DAYS

Supernationals

SuperNationals IV - 2000
Heading into the final event on the 2000 season, shifterkart racing was riding a massive wave of momentum. Empowered by a successful sophomore season of the SKUSA ProMoto Tour and the past three wildly-supported editions of the SuperNationals, all eyes were back on the Las Vegas Karting Center that November for the fourth edition of this great race. The weather was much more harsh than it year’s past as a cold streak hit the region, bringing wind and cold. Through it all, the competition was more than enough to keep things heated.



A total of 49 drivers attempted to qualify for the SuperPro class, using the ultra-cool five-lap time trial approach. KGB North America and current Toro Rosso F1 driver Scott Speed destroyed the track record during his run with a 43.172 to take the pole for the heat races, followed closely by Jonathan Bomarito (Trackmagic) and SuperNats stalwart Michael Valiante (Italkart). ‘98 winner Darren Elliott was fourth in the order ahead of current Champ Car stud AJ Allmendinger (PTK), who was just beginning his new association with mentor Paul Tracy.



In the heat races, Speed was a perfect 3-for-3 to maintain the pole, while Elliott bagged a pair of wins and a second to join Speed on the front row. The game was certainly on.

With just 24 drivers transferring to the A Main from the heats, it was easy to see how the level of competition in shifter kart racing was rising at the time. In the B Main, future SuperNats winner Ron White (Trackmagic) would need to win the LCQ to get in, as did ’97 winner Alex Barron. Coming back to run against the big dogs of gearbox racing was no longer an easy task for the sport’s open-wheel pros.

At the green flag, Elliott laid down one of his trademark starts to take the lead, but Speed was not to be denied as he passed his challenger during the first run down the long LVKC backshute. He would go unchallenged from there to score his first headline SKUSA victory. Elliott powered on to second ahead of Bomarito while Canadian Ward Imrie (Birel) capped an excellent weekend in fourth ahead of a charging Allmendinger, who DNF’d the final heat to drop to 13th for the start.



For Speed, this was the start of something huge, leading into the 2001 SKUSA ProMoto Tour season in which he would dominate aboard his JM Racing / SwedeTech-powered Tony Kart, for all intents and purposes, changing the face of shifterkart racing in this country.

A bunch of new names filled the ranks in the semi-pro Formula S1 class, drivers who would eventually find their way to the front lines of 125cc competition. With over 80 drivers making a run at the main, Las Vegas, NV’s own Michael Abbate scored the big win on an MTC Birel, followed closely by quick Canadian Juliana Chiovitti and Manning PCR pilot Phil Carlson, who would eventually rise to the heights of SKUSA’s Moto World Champion in 2002. Other names in the field who have risen to the top include current SKI #1 ranked ICC driver David Jurca, eventual SuperNats winner Jason Bowles, Matt Jaskol and Champ Car Atlantic driver Colin Fleming. It was a stacked field, indeed.

The 80cc Senior class was still rocking in ‘00, with Cory Fancy standing atop the podium in a CRG, chased all the way by current Euro Formula 3 standout Charlie Kimball (Topkart). In the Junior category, Alex Speed was beginning his time on top, taking the SuperNats win on a KGB ahead of Garrett Zine (Topkart) and Europe’s Nick DeBruijn (Gillard). Current World Series by Renault and Team Canada A1GP driver Sean McIntosh was fourth.



The Formula G1 class for drivers 38 years of age and older made its SuperNationals debut in 2000 with a field of 20 drivers. KLS Racing’s Kirk Jeffrey (MBA) was the driver to beat come SuperSunday, taking the lead just after the halfway mark. SKUSA president Tom Kutscher made his SuperNats debut in ’00 with a fourth place finish on his Extreme Karting MBA.



The 60cc Novice and 250cc Moto classes were again on the docket, the 250s making what would be their final appearance in Las Vegas. Colorado’s Greg Welch (Topkart) scored the 60cc win over Andy Gillespie and JJ McTernan. Current Star Mazda Championship leader Adrian Carrio (Invader) was fourth in the order, over six years away from what is developing into an emerging pro racing career. Local shoe Richard Luchette (Trackmagic) won the Dog Boy 250 Classic after holding off a charging Riley Will, who had to come from the tail of the field after missing the second heat while prepping his 125cc kart during a double-duty weekend.

Words and photos kindly provided by Rob Howden of eKartingNews.com. Be sure to check out future installments recounting the events leading up to this year’s 10th annual SKUSA SuperNationals, coming soon.