SKUSA Looks to Revitalize Their Program in the Midwest


(James McMahon) #1

Pretty interesting in that SKUSA elected to go with PKC in the midwest region, as opposed to starting with IKF. There may be an IKF plan too, I haven’t asked yet


09 DECEMEBER 2018 – SKUSA today revealed its long-awaited return to the Great Lakes region with an exciting confirmation that a new ProKart Challenge series will recommence, beginning in 2019. The 4-round regional championship will begin and end at New Castle Motorsports Park, with stops at Norway and Road America comprising the 2019 race schedule.

The championship is spearheaded by current SKUSA director of competition — Joe Janowski, but really marks the return of the series to its roots, having come of age in the Midwest in the late 2000’s. “Surely, the latest generation of racers know me from the current iteration of the SKUSA ProTour,” remarked Great Lakes director Joe Janowski, “but the SKUSA roots run deep in our family. My father helped pioneer the early days of the organization and it’s a point of pride to see SKUSA thrive in the Midwest today. I couldn’t be more excited about returning the series to the area.”

The ProKart Challenge Great Lakes region will offer an exciting class and prize structure, consistent with other regions in the SKUSA portfolio.

“It’s no secret, we’ve been pushing for uniformity across the country,” remarked SKUSA principal Tom Kutscher. “Regardless of where our customers travel, they can expect a consistent race experience in everything from event format, aesthetics, and series prizes. The Great Lakes region is no different and we’re excited to rekindle this series after a brief hiatus.”

While final race and series prizes are TBA, the ProKart Challenge Great Lakes region can confirm today the healthy relationship between the series and Evinco / MG Tires. “It’s no secret, tires are the biggest expense many teams have,” elaborated Janowski. “We’re working on some exciting prize initiatives to offer tires as race and series prizes. It’s our small way to offset the burden many teams have throughout the season.”

The 2019 ProKart Challenge Great Lakes region is as follows:

  • April 13-14, 2019 – New Castle Motorsports Park, Indiana
  • June 01-02, 2019 – Haulers Motor Speedway, Norway, Illinois
  • June 29-30, 2019 - Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
  • August 03-04, 2019 – New Castle Motorsports Park, Indiana

Full details, including confirmed class structure and finalized prize packages will be forthcoming. For now, all racers are directed to visit for more information.

(TJ Koyen) #2

Getting crowded with series here… Reminds me of when we had Great Lakes Sprint Series, Route 66 Sprint Series, and Midwest Sprint Series, not to mention WKA, was hard to pick what places to run.

I can’t help but think this is a saturated market at the moment. I mean, lots of series in the area are cutting back on their races because the customers already say there’s too many races. Now you want to add a whole other series?

They did a PKC Midwest deal a few years ago. I recall there being maybe 10 entries max in the biggest class.

(Jim Maier) #3

I can’t even begin to wonder what another series might be thinking trying to compete with Rt 66. Let’s see, run a whole SKUSA season and get a plastic trophy and maybe a free entry for winning. Run a Rt 66 season and everybody in the top 10 leaves the banquet with 2K worth of stuff. I wish Rt 66 would come out east.

(Sean Kennedy) #4

Way too many programs in the Midwest fighting over the same 80 two-cycle drivers…

You can’t grow karting from the top-down.

(Charles Skowron) #5

SKUSA has to have some place to run their new SSE engine. If the existing venues/series won’t offer a place for it, they’ve got to build their own series themselves.

You asked on facebook, what would this new series would have to offer that would distinguish it from the other Midwest programs. What other series offers a class for shifters? Rt 66 doesn’t have a place for them, nor does the WKA Manufacturers Cup. CES is a Road Racing series, IMS/Elkhart GP/Rock Island/Quincy in the Park are stand-alone races.

Yes things are already way too crowded with the number of different races in the region. And the timing of this may not be ideal since shifterkart classes are in such a state of flux, or in a downswing in SKUSA. But they have their reasons why they went ahead with this. It’s amusing to speculate what they might be.

(TJ Koyen) #6

I think you’re exactly right @C.Skowron, I think this benefits SKUSA, but hard to see how it benefits the karter. Yes, if you have a shifter and you live in the Midwest, it will benefit you, but those guys are few and far between from what I’ve seen.

(Charles Skowron) #7

First thought that came across my mind when I saw headline on EKN was this was really adding fuel to the fire, or throwing the cat amongst the pigeons, or whatever analogy you prefer. Things are strained enough in terms of races offered and limited number karters available, like everyone else has already said. This obviously won’t help the situation.

I’m nowhere close to being an insider in the inner workings of all the clubs and organizations, but I still think this has a lot to do with the politics in karting right now. That makes it fun at times like this to put the tinfoil hat on and think of all of the conspiracy theories for the decisions they make.

I do think the IAME SSE motor is a big factor in this. A lot of teams that run the Pro Series are from the Midwest, some have expressed interest in the 175 engine, and other than the handful of Pro Series races, the Florida Winter series, and the distant TX and CA regionals, there’s nowhere else to run them. Clearest way to offer more places to race them was establish a series themselves.

Then there’s the ongoing Turf War with the other single-engine makes out there. And this is where the conspiracy theories really start popping up. Could this be a preemptive strike to keep other competitors (Vortex) from gaining a foothold in the region first? I looked at the Rok Cup USA site, and their two Rok Festival races still have the location “TBD”. The first Festival race happens to be the same weekend as the second Great Lakes race at Concept Haulers (which also happens to be the same weekend CES is racing at Blackhawk Farms). It would be a lot tougher to schedule a race in the Midwest now with that event happening the same weekend.