The use of the “national” moniker baffles me sometimes.
What do you think makes a “National” event. Aside from the org merely calling it one.
I can think of a number of national events that have single digit class entries, and in the other end of the scale, regionals that have 20-30 or more. I bet you can too.
What makes USPKS events “national” and The F-Series, for example not. I feel like the competition level is high in both.
What are your personal criteria for a “National” event.
Quality of fields is my defining factor. And some form of traveling. Obviously USPKS and Pro Tour both cover fair chunks of the USA and both generally have very high levels of competition. However, I would also consider FWT in it’s prime as a national series just from the quality of the fields they had a few years ago, even if all the races were in Florida. F-Series has grown significantly in the past couple years as well and in my opinion could be considered a national-level series too.
The issue with the traveling aspect, is that the country is so big that it’s really hard to have a true national touring series that encompasses the whole country. So you tend to end up with series that are more like “super regionals” in the traveling aspect. Pro Tour is really the only one that crosses the Mississippi with their event in New Castle.
Didn’t there used to be a series that had an east and west and a grand final style thing, Stars of Karting maybe?
I could envision a future with SKUSA Protour as the West Division and USPKS as the East Division with Supernats at the Grand Finals but maybe that’s pie in the sky thinking. Especially with SKUSA investigating a faster class (Super X30) and USPKS going with a slower class (KA).
But you answer your question, i think its just the organisers (as you said). Its not like Europe where the ASN tells everyone what the national championships are.
A National should be a “must attend” event. It shouldn’t be just another race. It needs to something that when you here of it, it makes you want to be there to test your skills against the best.
This goes back to getting people involved topic. What I envision as a true National starts locally with same rule sets expanded to as many tracks across the country. These local clubs tally points to qualify for the Super Regional, top “X amount” qualify for the National. Much like Moto and Loretta Lynn’s. When you go, you are not only representing yourself but the honor of you club. It’s bragging rights to have the best club in the country.
Currently the only true nationals I think of in the States are the USPKS and SKUSA throw in WKA Daytona. The level of competition is top notch and the fields are full
Yes. Stars of Karting was THE defining series for national karting in the US for ~2003-2007. There were several other series that were very large too, but Stars was a big deal. My favorite thing to come out of that era was the use of ‘w’ and ‘e’ for regions racers came from.
What defines a series as a ‘national’ series is subjective. TJ is right that travel, the competitive environment, and just in general the way it is conducted as being determining factors for the ‘national’ moniker. If you walk into the pits and see mostly ez ups in front of a pickup truck or SUV, you are probably not at a national event (not that there is anything wrong with that, racing out of the pickup truck ftw!).
For me it’s competition first, size of field second, and travel distance third. For this, I’d consider F-Series an extremely strong regional. In an ideal regional series, you have the top 2-4 drivers in the class known as national-level drivers, and the rest of the field just a touch above or right at club-level ability. USPKS, WKA, and FWT are still a good ways above F-Series in terms of competition, even though F-Series sometimes does pull slightly larger numbers. The main reason for this is the club scene for TaG and Shifter in New York is practically nonexistant, so for those with the money to start karting in either of those classes, they usually have the money to also travel. F-Series fills that niche, which is good for the sport, but it’s not yet at the second-tier of top races that has the likes of USPKS, WKA, and FWT.
Personally, I’d split our three traditional ranks (state/club, regional, national) into four mainly due to the size of our country making it nearly impossible for a series to successfully touch every region in a season or two.
Top-Tier National or SuperNational: SKUSA Pro Tour, SKUSA SuperNats
Second-Tier National or National: USPKS, WKA, FWT
Regional: F-Series, CoTA, California PKC, Can-Am, Route 66
I truly believe to create a tier system without a legitimate governing body hurts the sport. It is all a matter of opinion and holds no credibility and does give many racers new or veteran a false sense of what is really going on in the sport! The comparison from one series to another ? To judge racers by the series they race is very unjust as the dedication and true skill level is really never known with so many variables in play. I believe if anything should determine a status of a series it should be average number of competitor per class and the ladder system used. Have a great day!
IKF, Memphis TN, 1974 Grand Nationals. Putt Putt. Ramada Inn. Lunati, Seay, Haddock. I wish I had gone that year. Heck of a party. I understand they had fun at the track, too.