Series to open with North-South Shootout at Carolina Motorsports Park
The four-race AKRA / Vega USA American Sprint Cup Series “Northern Tour” schedule is now set with four events at four terrific sprint tracks that offer racers an intriguing mix of fast, technical circuits and tight “bullring” style courses.
The Northern Tour will open April 21-23 south of the Mason-Dixon Line at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC, in conjunction with AKRA’s Southern Tour. The “North / South Shootout” will give Northern racers an opportunity to compete against their southern-based counterparts at the challenging 0.7-mile track, which includes a pair of long straightaways, chicanes, off-camber and sweeping corners. Located about one hour south of Charlotte, CMP is one of the best karting circuits on the east coast and for years has hosted marquee national events.
Round 2 of the Northern Tour will have AKRA back at the Genesee Valley Kart Club in Avon, NY, where the first-ever American Sprint Cup Northern Tour event was held in 2016. This year’s Avon event will be held June 9-11 with a Friday practice day hosted by the GVKC.
Thompson Kart Raceway in Thompson, OH, will host Round 3, set for August 4-6. Thompson’s host club, the Championship Kart Racing Association, will host Friday practice with at least one special money race Friday night under the lights. Details to be announced.
For the second consecutive year, the series will close at Maryland’s Nicholson Speedway in Chestertown. A historic quarter-mile sprint track located a few miles from the eastern shores of the Chesapeake Bay, the event will be held September 15-17 and will include a Friday practice.
Once again the AKRA Sprint Grand Nationals at 103rd Street Sports Complex in Jacksonville, FL, will serve as the extension of the Northern Tour. This year’s Grand Nationals at Jacksonville will be October 27-29.
AKRA owner Bill McCutcheon on this year’s Northern Tour.
“I think this year’s Northern Tour schedule is outstanding with a respectable amount of weeks between each event, including the Grand Nationals at Jacksonville. Some may question our decision to open at Kershaw, and to that, please know that we want what’s best for our racers. We believe a Northern Tour points race at Kershaw will give our racers – both southern and northern-based – an opportunity to compete against a greater amount of racers and stronger competition, and compete at what’s regarded as one of the best sprint tracks on the east coast. And, if a family can’t make it to Kershaw, that event can certainly be used as your drop race. You’ll still have a real opportunity to challenge for a Northern Tour championship, as long as you attend the remaining three events.”
Northern Tour Notes
– All four Northern Tour events will include Friday practice.
– Each event will include two full days of racing on Saturday and Sunday: Two rounds of morning practice, qualifying, a heat and feature race for each class.
– Competitors may count their best six of eight races toward year-end Northern Tour championship standings.
– The Northern Tour year-end points awards ceremony will be held at the Jacksonville Grand Nationals, in conjunction with the Southern Tour ceremony.
– A competitor must compete at any three 2017 American Sprint Cup Series events before the Jacksonville Grand Nationals to qualifying for eligibility for a AKRA National Championship. For an event to count toward National Championship eligibility, the competitor must be present and take at least one qualifying lap in their class(es) at three events.
– Class structure is announced in an attached AKRA press release.
2017 AKRA / Vega USA American Sprint Cup Series Schedule
Round 1 – April 21-23 – Carolina Motorsports Park; Kershaw, SC (North / South Shootout)
Round 2 – June 9-11 – Genesee Valley Kart Club; Avon, NY
Round 3 – August 4-6 – Thompson Kart Raceway; Thompson, OH
Round 4 – September 15-17 – Nicholson Speedway; Chestertown, MD
Click here for complete 2017 AKRA American Sprint Cup Series schedule of events.