Industry veterans lay out track for new location outside Westgate Hotel & Las Vegas Convention Center.
The Superkarts! USA SuperNationals has 20 years of history surrounding the bright lights of Las Vegas – from the ‘X-Plex’ to the Rio to Sam Boyd Stadium to the lots outside the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. The LVCC ‘Gold’ lot was home to the SuperNationals in 2015 and 2016. 2017 brings new racing turf as the event moves to the LVCC ‘Diamond’ lot, directly adjacent to the Westgate. The shift to the 1.25 million square foot space offers the opportunity for SKUSA to create a new track layout for the 21st running of the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals, set for November 15-19. One of the main features is that portions of the track are now directly next to the famous Las Vegas Strip.
This year, Superkarts! USA expanded the group of experienced karters tasked with designing the new layout outside the LVCC/Westgate to three. Last year’s track designers Howie Idelson and Bonnier Moulton were joined by 2003 SuperNationals winner Wesley Boswell. The 33-year-old from California first raced the SuperNats in 2001, and has been either a driver or mechanic in the years since. Boswell has become one of the most respected driver coaches within the industry, helping drivers throughout North America and at some of the largest international events in the world. Idelson and Moulton are the lone two drivers in SuperNationals history to compete at all 20 events. Idelson earned numerous victories and championships over the decades of karting, including competing in 12 different countries – while playing integral roles in multiple brands within the business. Moulton is a three-time SuperNationals winner in addition to being a key figure in the industry, having penned the initial layout of the now gone Black Rock Raceway in Utah.
“I can tell you these three are phenomenal,” offered Tom Kutscher, Superkarts! USA CEO. “With a year to strategize, knowing what has worked and what hasn’t, they provided a lot of different ideas and ways to improve with the new space we have. I really dig their passion and hard work to make this new layout the best yet. This year, our location is unique. After 20 years, we are now on the famous Las Vegas Strip. Millions of people from around the world come to walk this famous street and take in the sights and sounds. During our week in Vegas, the general public walking by will not only hear the roaring sounds of the karts, but see the many competitors from nearly 50 countries represented ripping past them at 80 mph!”
The circuit for the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals 21 measures out to roughly 8/10 of a mile in length with 14 turns. The only similar portion to last year’s track is the long front straight that leads into the fast, sweeping opening corner, followed by two 180-degree turns. The rest is all new, with a few sweeping corners, more hairpins, and a number of tight turns to challenge all the categories set to compete at SuperNationals 21.
“We had a bigger canvas to work with this year,” stated Idelson. “The surface looks like a dream, and I think it will make some serious grip. Wes, Bonnier and I threw ideas around to each other over email, then we all met up on-site to make measurements and verify the concept. We wanted to keep a few of the cool elements from last year that people seemed to like – as well as address the feedback on areas that they didn’t. Now we have some longer runs into harder braking areas to make more passing zones. We’ve added another 180 to the ‘Stadium’ section, which will be really exciting for both racers and spectators. I’m really proud of what we’ve come up with. I can’t wait to drive on it!”
Moulton added, “I’m super excited about this year’s layout. It’s hard to wrap your head around the scale just by looking at a map. Until you stand out on the lot and see how big it is, you can’t appreciate how fun this track is going to be. We kept what we felt were the best elements of last year’s track and tried to address the shortcomings that people brought up, primarily passing zones. There should be plenty of good passing opportunities. The asphalt is smooth and the track is huge. I feel bad for anyone who doesn’t get to drive this track – it’s going to be a blast! The process, like last year, was very smooth and easy. I enjoy working with Howie and I’ve got a lot of experience working with Wes at Rolison Performance Group. Joe Janowski was also a big help. We just got everyone in a room and hammered out the details, then walked out to the lot to get a feel for how the layout would translate. Once we realized how big our space was, we made a few adjustments and that was it.”
“I've been wanting to be involved with the SuperNationals track design and layout for a couple of years now,” Boswell confirmed. “I approached Tom this year starting in March with my input on the track design and the pit layout. At every ProKart race this year, I met with Tom, Stan, and Howie. Once we got everything laid out, and got the official drawings from the city, Bonnier, Howie and I started to put our designs on paper. Going back and forth between the three of us, and going over at least 20 different designs, all three of us favored one design.”
Registration via the MotorsportsReg.com SKUSA link will remain open to all competitors looking to be a part of SuperNationals 21 until 11:59pm (PDT) on Monday, October 30. Competitors and spectators need to take full advantage of the unbeatable value of the SKUSA rates at the host hotel – the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. The Westgate/SKUSA package does not charge a daily resort fee. The only entrance to the SuperNationals 21 paddock is directly across the street from the Westgate. There is no general parking inside the event, and the Westgate does not charge guests for parking, including SKUSA competitors. For more on the full advantage of booking at the Westgate, visit this PAGE – and to book today, head to the SKUSA website for the online reservation link or toll-free number and group code.
New for the SKUSA SuperNationals will be the addition of the 2017 SKUSA Pro Tour Awards Ceremony. Last year, the 2016 SKUSA Pro Tour completed on SuperSunday at the 20th SuperNationals, with the final points tabulated that evening and trophies awarded inside the Westgate during a prize presentation. For 2017, the Awards are scheduled for Wednesday, November 16 following the on-track action, with a location and exact agenda to be announced shortly.