SuperNats XXII

209DAYS

2019 Winter Series

TBA

2018 Pro Tour

13DAYS

PKC California

41DAYS

PKC Texas

47DAYS

Can-Am PKC

28DAYS

Supernationals

SuperNationals IX - 2005
Held for a second time in the expansive parking lot of Las Vegas, Nevada’s Sam Boyd Stadium, the home of the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels, the ninth edition of the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals was put in the books, highlighted as always by amazing racing. Even with all the troubles that plagued SKUSA in the years that preceded the event, the siren song of a SuperNats win remains stronger than politics and most of the major players were on hand come Thursday morning for the opening rounds of practice. Regardless of the sanctioning body conflicts that highlighted the 2004 and 2005 seasons, the SuperNats was still the single biggest shifterkart race in the country.

This year’s event boasted a very respectable 267 entries, spread over an event-high 10 classes. The 2004 edition also saw the return of the heat race format that was used in the early days of the race. Before making it to the Finals on SuperSunday, the drivers would have to survive through three grueling rounds of heat races. Also returning to the package was racing action under the lights. For many years, back when the event was held at the Las Vegas Karting Center, the event schedule ran late into the cold Vegas nights under the dim lights of the Primm facility. Heading into this year’s edition, SKUSA’s Joe Janowski wanted to get back to what made the event so great in its early years. One new innovation was the ‘SuperPro Hour of Power’ practice session, held on Friday morning. During the run, the SuperPro drivers were given a full hour of uninterrupted track time to try several different set-ups and the scramble to post fast time was exciting with each move detailed by event announcer Rob Howden.



In the headline SuperPro class, it looked to be Ron White’s year as the Top Kart driver secured the lead spot in Qualifying with a 53.519-second lap time. Coming in just behind was Trackmagic’s Gary Carlton, while Team Speed’s star rookie Ryan Phinny (Birel) was third in the order. Putting in the fourth best time was Canadian Lorenzo Mandarino (CRG) while Jon Allen (Kosmic) rounded out the top five. Heading to the main, White was able to sweep all three of his heats by more then a second while Mandarino, Jonathan Branam (Birel), and Carlton all had one heat victory each. White would start the final from P1 with Carlton launching from the outside of row one.

As the lights turned green for the main event on SuperSunday, a balky clutch off the line caused White to all but stall his ride, barely keeping the engine running as the field streamed mercilessly by into turn one. With the opening, Mandarino charged into the lead from the second row with Carlton close behind. Crippled off the line, White fell back to 12th on the opening lap but began to work his way up immediately. Up front, Mandarino would cruise in for a well-deserved triumph, the biggest win of his career. Carlton’s second was a major accomplishment for the young pilot and a taste of what was to come in 2006. Phinny come home third ahead of White - who fought for the spot in the final corner on the final lap - while Jan Velez (CRG) capped the podium.



In other action, young Connor DePhillippi had a breakout event with two victories on the weekend. The California pilot’s first came in the Junior Intercontinental A (JICA) class, the category which was added just weeks prior to the event after requests by many competitors. The KRT driver swept the weekend in all on-track session. He then went on to complete the double by dominating 80cc Junior, leading Qualifying, winning both heat races and the Final by over seven seconds. DePhillippi’s double victory was the first in SuperNationals history.

It was all First Kart in the 125 Semi-Pro (S1) division as five of the top six drivers were aboard the chassis. Indiana’s Logan Gomez earned his first-ever SuperNats victory, coming home in front of former FK pilot Michael Vincec, now a Cameron Motorsports CRG driver. First Kart USA’s Daniel Morad, Matt Pritiko, Zach Schiff and Rene Silva completed the top six.

The 125cc Masters (G1) final came down to the last corner in a three-man battle with Jaime Zuleta (First Kart) stealing the victory after defending Shane Shipley (Arrow) and Bonnier Moulton (Tony Kart) for the entire 20-lap duration. Zuleta was leading the race on the final lap, running a defensive line, when Moulton attempted the pass for the win. The two drivers made contact, sending Moulton, the defending race winner, into the TechPros and out of the race.



The TaG division continued its growth in 2005, with 52 entries arriving in Las Vegas, a list that included some of the top sprint drivers across North America. Italian Motors’ David Jurca represented the Parilla importer to take the big win over Jess Peterson (Alpha) and Cory Pollock (Monza).

As the final race of the weekend, with the sun setting on the Las Vegas horizon, the TaG Masters class put on a great show for those who stayed through to the end. John Crow (KRT) earned his first SuperNats victory ahead of Italkart drivers Mel Snow and Wayne Enright, both of whom won their trip to the Las Vegas event through the Western Canadian Parilla Leopard Challenge.



The Stock Honda package gained more numbers after a disappointing debut at the 2004 event. SuperPro driver Nick Halen (MS Kart) did double duty and cruised to the victory over Jonathan Wright (Tony Kart) and Greg Smith (GP). In the Novice categories, Dylan Kwasniewski (CRG) took victory in the shifter class ahead of Branden Underwood (CRG) and Colby Yardley (Top Kart) while Kyle Shriver (Birel) grabbed the Cadet win with Kwasniewski and Dylan Nobile (Nevoso) completing the top three.



When the curtain fell, Janowski and his crew had pulled off what many in the sport thought would never happen - they hosted the event and did it with style. While some went away unhappy, most in the paddock came for good competition and a good time in Las Vegas, and that’s exactly what they got. The future of both the event and the organization was still up in the air as everyone made their journey home, but that would come to a close in the following months with the announcement of new ownership, all leading to the tenth edition of the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals in 2006.