The More Things Change…

So I went and paid a visit to the SKUSA SuperNats at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Wednesday afternoon. It was the first day of practice and reports pegged the number of entries at nearly 500. The paddock was huge! I was last involved in 2002, when the event was run in downtown Vegas at the Rio. Back then, the number of classes was already starting to ballon, moving away from the concept of a simple class structure to cater to people that wanted to be involved with whatever their favored machine was.

Still, my recollection is that all the classes had gearboxes. “Superkarts” as a concept had gearboxes, and changing gears was one of the main things that made them special, compared to all the other kart types out there. Torque multiplication, FTW!

Wednesday at the circuit, it seemed like the vast majority of the karts were clutch karts or direct drive, I don’t know.

I walked around for a couple of hours, amazed at the money that’s available for this somewhat unknown motorsport. Not many Americans have any idea it exists, yet several teams had full size semi trailers to support huge teams. The general atmosphere was high level professional racing, which is great. I’m stoked that it still exists.

But it’s not for me, which is why I haven’t been involved for 20 years. It was weird walking around the paddock at an event that I had once been so deeply involved with, and not knowing a single person.

Tomorrow’s main events start at 11 AM. Check it out at www.superkartsusa.com

I only took one photo at the event the other day, so here’s a gallery from 2001 at LVKC, the SuperPro Main Event.

(Click any photo for larger versions and captions.)

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