SKUSA SummerNationals: Photo Review


22 photos that helped define the weekend in New Castle, Indiana.

Wheel caps
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Braden Eves had a very clever aerodynamic advantage on Saturday morning during qualifying. Braden and his father worked with Derek Fitzgerald of Zero Error Racing to fit these wheel caps to their OTK wheels. After dozens of hours of research and development, it looked to be perfected. Although not against the rules, SKUSA eventually called for the removal of the wheel caps, but with no penalty to Eves.
Kyle Kalish
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Kyle Kalish has an extensive karting resume full of accomplishments. The one line that was missing was a victory in a shifter category. On Saturday, Kalish wasn't the fastest but he drove a superb race to keep his Merlin at the point and take the win in S2. A fourth place on Sunday has the kid from Wisconsin as one of the favorites for the Pro Tour championship heading into Vegas.
Oliver Askew
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On Thursday we wrote how surprised we would be if Oliver Askew couldn't rebound from a so-so showing in Phoenix with a win at the SummerNationals. In every practical sense, it was another so-so weekend for the ace at PSL with third and sixth place finishes.
Ryan Kinnear and Jordon Musser
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Ryan Kinnear and Jordon Musser were clearly the class of the field in S4 in Indiana. Kinnear has strung together a 2-2-1-1 record in his four finals this year on the Pro Tour and will be the favorite to win in Vegas. Musser has a 1-4-2-2 record and has every opportunity to leap the fellow Texan for the points championship at the SuperNationals.
Ryan Norberg leading
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Whether it was pressure from Austin Garrison, Kyle Kirkwood, or Brandon Jarsocrak, Ryan Norberg ultimately beat out the most talented field in North America outside of the SuperNationals. With two finals wins in New Castle, including one earlier in Phoenix, Norberg has one last hurdle left in the Pro Tour Championship in mid November in the desert.
AJ Myers
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We'll be the first to admit how wrong we were. We failed to mention AJ Myers in our SummerNationals race preview for S1. Out of the seat for some time and on a relatively new ride, we weren't fully sure AJ would be ready for such a big stage. It took one qualifying session and one heat race before AJ Myers was essentially untouchable. He won every session thereafter, only being passed a handful of times in the process.
Kyle Kirkwood
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Kyle Kirkwood had won the race on Sunday ahead of Norberg in X30 Senior. A penalty would be handed down in post race, however, for blocking. Most seem to disagree with the call, but it knocked the Floridian down to third. He finished fourth on Saturday.
Zach Holden standing in front of the grid
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An opening qualifying run of second put the Indiana kid, Zach Holden, right on schedule for a great weekend. Heat 1 came, though, and the Koene USA driver had been found to have too long of airbox tubes. With progressive heats, Holden had to start 44th for heat 2 and could only get to 15th by the time it was all over for the day. A few big engine issues were discovered overnight in to Sunday, but he still couldn't match the pace of the lead group.
X30 Senior heat race start
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The starts in X30 Senior were relatively tame to what we've seen lately. The start finish line being at the end of the straightaway allowed for much slower speeds into the opening corners which probably helped. However, when that start line turned to a finish line, in all classes, it allowed karts to use the draft to gain the advantage and put the leader at an extreme disadvantage.
Brandon Jarsocrak
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KartSport North America driver, Brandon Jarsocrak, silently had a solid weekend in X30 Senior. He was almost always in the top five, but didn't quite have the pace for a win.
Top Kart USA girl
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For years, Top Kart USA has brought out all the stops when the show comes to it's home track in New Castle. Each of their drivers had an umbrella girl with them on the hot pre grid.
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Although we did consider Dylan Tavella to be in the mix now that he was comfortable back with Iron Rock Motorsports, we did not see this much domination coming. The New Yorker earned one pole, two heat race wins, and both finals victories.
Austin Garrison
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This particular photo was captured with two corners to go in the X30 Senior final on Saturday. Austin Garrison and Ryan Norberg ran first and second all day long and it culminated to this final lap situation. Garrison held the advantage over Norberg heading onto the shorter of the two straightaways. Norberg would pass Garrison in the next corner and somehow hold off Garrison who was in the draft to the finish line.
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We broke the news late Saturday night that Nash Motorsportz and CRG supported driver, Christian Brooks, was making the switch to an OTK frame. We're unsure at the moment if this is a bigger deal than just one driver, but it certainly opened our eyes a little.
Kart wrecked
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One of the most significant accidents of the weekend came in a Sunday heat race in X30 Senior. Abby McLaughlin took a ride in the opening lap in turn four and was briefly shaken up, but walked away under her own ability.
Jake French
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Jake French is one of those drivers that is a few bad luck moments away from becoming an even bigger name in our sport. On Saturday, while in podium contention, a carburetor issue put him on the sidelines with two to go in S1. A third place on Sunday helped a little, but French is consistently one of the quickest and is very close to breaking out. Perhaps Vegas is his time.
Sodi Karts
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Dallas Karting Complex and their Sodi Karts really showed well in the shifter divisions, particularly S2. Austin Wilkins, Sky Finley, and Nathan Adds make up the core of that group, covering much of the top 6 the entire weekend.
Thomas Nepveu
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One of the few that you won't find on a Benik Kart, Canadian Thomas Nepveu showed the way for the non-blue karts on Sunday with a mind boggling 30 karts passed in the 18 lap final.
Reece Gold
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The only way to one-up Nepveu's achievement is to win the Mini Swift final and pass 28 karts. That's what Benik Kart driver, Reece Gold, did on Sunday. He also won on Saturday and is the hottest cadet driver in North America at the moment.
Dante Yu
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Although only a heat race winner this weekend, Dante Yu continues to make a name for himself on the Compkart. It's our best guess that Yu has taken over the X30 Junior championship lead heading into Vegas and could give Compkart a huge championship in only their second year.
Zoey Edenholm
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Koene USA's Zoey Edenholm pulled out of New Castle with the second best performance in X30 Junior. Edenholm was up front all weekend, scrapping with the lead group much like in this photo with Tyler Gonzalez and Dylan Tavella.
Brianna Kutscher
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The heat was almost unbearable in New Castle. With temps in the 90's and humidity at 80%, many wore wet towels around their necks like Brianna Kutscher who ran the grid all weekend with minimal shade.

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