Last week it was announced by SKUSA that X30 Senior had sold out for the SummerNationals event in New Castle, Indiana, August 11-13. A wait list was announced and everyone went on with their days.
Fifty two hours later they announced that the class had been expanded to allow for 60 entries.
At the time, we didn’t think much of it. We’ve seen this move before by SKUSA at this very event two years ago when they opened up the limit of entries. We all assumed the class would be broken into two groups and some would not make the final. Yet, this time it’s a bit different.
The plan, as confirmed by a SKUSA representative, is that SKUSA will run the entire class in one group. We cannot confirm yet if that includes qualifying as well. We would have to think that gets two groups, but that’s entirely speculation at this point. Either way, we’re going to see 50-some-odd karts on track for the Final.
From my media perspective, that will be one hell of a view on the opening lap with karts stretched out as far as the eye can see. It will be a lot to take in, but the excitement factor will be turned all the way up. From a mechanic or parent perspective, this probably isn’t ideal.
All of that said, I would be remiss if I didn’t share some history with you. There’s precedence with this many karts on track at New Castle, and it’s not even close.
In 2006, New Castle hosted the RoboPong 200 event as they have every year since (except last year, if memory serves). It’s a 200 mile karting event late in the season that draws a lot of interest from the IndyCar world as it’s usually their offseason and some of their drivers compete in the race alongside weekend warrior karters.
That year, 2006, there were 80 karts on track at the same time. That’s a hell of a lot more karts on track than what we’ll see in two weeks. However, the situations are quite different. This is the finale on a season long points championship and the race isn’t 200 miles where you plan to settle in early for the long haul. It’s 25 laps and your entire season could be in the balance depending on where you finish. Plus there were at least six qualifying groups; not one.
We all sort of know by now that Tom Kutscher is a man who lives by the mantra “go big or go home”. At least that’s what we believe the mantra would be if he had one.
He likes to test the limits and do things slightly different than the rest of us, and perhaps that’s main reason he’s been able to get SKUSA to where it is today. His crown jewel, the SuperNationals, has ballooned into the most popular race in the world because of that method of thinking.
This is just another one of those big ideas that may only have upside for photographers though. We’ll see in two weeks.