Barnes: No room for errors in Vegas
Scott Barnes is eyeing a podium finish at the Skusa SuperNationals — the “Super Bowl of karting” — at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas this weekend.
Barnes, who will compete in the G1 Masters Shifter class, admits he would have liked more seat time to prepare, having raced only twice in Bermuda since May, but does have plenty of experience at the SuperNationals under his belt.
The island's No 1 driver, one of only three Bermudians to have raced at the SuperNationals along with Brandon Franks and David Barbosa, has claimed one podium in his previous six outings in Las Vegas.
“It's the biggest karting race in the US and features racers from all around the world,” Barnes said.
“It's like the ‘Super Bowl' of karting; it's the best of the best. My goal is to try to run up the front. I definitely want to shoot for a podium finish.”
Although Barnes has not raced much in recent months, he did win the Shifter Masters at the Rock Island Grand Prix in Illinois in September, which formed part of a trio of overseas competitions he plans to race in this year, along with the SuperNationals and the Daytona International Speedway next month.
“I definitely don't have the amount of seat time I would like going into a race of this calibre,” said Barnes, who will be racing under Harden Motorsports Group. “All of these top guys have way more seat time than me going into this race, which kind of sucks, but it is what it is.
“The Bermuda track [Southside Rubis Raceway] is different from this type of track in terms of the grip level and the physical stress on your body, plus the amount of laps is higher in these races.
“I just need to make sure my endurance is up to par and I'm mentally ready to go. There will be a lot of fast guys in my class, so there is no room for mistakes.”
Barnes, who is sponsored by Butterfield & Vallis, hopes to compete in at least two more SuperNationals to extend his race appearances to nine and match the number on his kart.
He will take to the track today for practice before tomorrow's qualifiers. There will be two heats on Friday, one heat on Saturday, with the combined points determining the starting grid for the main event on Sunday.