|ROCK ISLAND, IL. – The winner of this year’s King of the Streets race will take home a check for $4,000 and a free entry for the 2008 SuperNationals, Superkarts! USA and the Rock Island Grand Prix have announced.|
The free entry into the SuperNationals this November in Las Vegas, Nevada, is valued at almost $400.
The remainder of the payout for King of the Streets will be $650 for second, $500 for third, $150 fourth, $125 fifth, $100 sixth, $75 seventh, $50 eighth and $45 for ninth. Spec tires are MG FZs; spec fuel is VP and will be on sale direct to competitors on site and not included in the entry fee. SKUSA rules will be used and all King of the Streets competitors must be active SKUSA members. The Rock Island Grand Prix is always the Saturday and Sunday of the U.S. Labor Day Weekend, August 30-31, 2008.
King of the Streets was originally created as an event that would circulate among various temporary venues. The 1998 event at the Oklahoma City Grand Prix was won by Joe Janowski. In 1999, Alan Rudolph won at Quincy in the Park. From that point, the race has had a permanent home at the Rock Island Grand Prix and become one of the most coveted titles in kart racing. The reigning King is Alan Rudolph, who has won the crown five times (1999, 2000, 2001, 2006 & 2007). It has also been won by Scott Speed (2002), Bobby Wilson (2003) and Kyle Wiegand (2004 & 2005). The King of the Streets race is sponsored by the Bob Bondurant SuperKart School in Phoenix, Arizona.
Tom Kutscher, CEO of Superkarts! USA says, “Since purchasing SKUSA a few years ago, I’ve been bombarded from all karting circles with a message that stands out: ‘Please continue to support the King of the Streets program, as Roger’s tireless efforts have made the race and the RIGP the backbone of the Midwest karting scene.’ I couldn’t agree more. I’ve raced it more than once, and it’s a terrific weekend. The atmosphere is truly a slice of Americana, and that makes Roger’s event the ideal pillar for continuing to position our sport globally as well. Thanks to MG Tires for their support, too.”
Roger Ruthhart, president of the Rock Island Grand Prix, said he is happy to see the King of Streets tradition continue. “This event has proven to be the ultimate challenge for the top gearbox drivers in the sport. There’s no advance practice. Just show up, learn the course and race. At first look, the course does not appear technically difficult, but the street course challenges drivers in ways they are not used to,” he said. “There are various types of pavement. Trees and buildings shade some portions of the track while the sun bakes others. Street striping, auto oils and manhole covers can have an impact; all of this while thousands of screaming fans lining the course get the adrenaline pumping at levels few kart racers are used to.
“Ask the drivers who have won the crown and they will tell you there is no experience in American karting quite like receiving the King’s crown and robe in front of thousands of appreciative race fans. Now there is an even bigger check, and incentive, to go with it,” Ruthhart said.
Presenting Sponsors of the Rock Island Grand Prix are AT&T and Mazda Motorsports. The $35,000 RIGP purse is sponsored by Jumer’s Casino Rock Island. Other major sponsors include Kart Expo International presented by Sodi Kart, The Dispatch, Rock Island Argus, Leader newspapers and Mediacom.
The Rock Island Grand Prix, the world’s largest karting street race, draws 400 entries from throughout the United States and Canada, competing for one of karting’s largest purses. It has also hosted racers from Italy, France, Colombia, Costa Rica, England, Argentina, Bermuda and Mexico. It includes 14 feature pro races in 4-cycle, 2-cycle and shifter classes. Rock Island Grand Prix races are also broadcast live worldwide via the internet by monksmedia.com. It is always held the Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day Weekend.
Superkarts! USA’s mission is to deliver the complete racing experience, helping karters to bridge the gap between club racing and professional racing. SKUSA sanctions a number of regional series such as the ProKart Challenge in Southern California and Northern California, the Desert Kart Challenge in Arizona and the Central States Challenge in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri. SKUSA also sanctions national events such as the SuperNationals in Las Vegas and the King of the Streets race at the Rock Island Grand Prix. (www.superkartsusa.com or www.skusasupernats.com)
AT&T is the largest telecommunications company in the United States and one of the largest in the world. AT&T is the recognized world leader in providing IP-based communications services to business and the U.S. leader in providing wireless, high speed Internet access, local and long distance voice, and directory publishing and advertising services. As part of its "three screen" integration strategy, AT&T is expanding video entertainment offerings to include such next-generation television services as AT&T U-verse TV. With 55.8 million subscribers, AT&T provides international voice services to virtually every country and territory in the world. It is a global company that sets the industry standard for a new era of integrated communications and entertainment services. The AT&T Foundation has contributed more than $1.8 billion to nonprofit organizations around the country, including $60 million in 2006, putting it among the five largest corporate foundations in the United States. (www.att.com)
On any given weekend, there are more Mazdas on the road-race tracks of America than any other brand of vehicle. At the track, you’ll see MX-5 Miata, RX-8, MAZDA3, MAZDA6, RX-7 and other vintage Mazda models competing, because every Mazda has the Soul of a Sports Car. In fact, the fastest growing road-racing class in the U.S. is the SCCA’s Spec Miata class, with nearly 1,500 first- and second-generation Miatas tearing up America’s racetracks, making it the most-raced production car in the world. Mazda’s involvement in motorsports extends to its relationship with Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, one of the world’s premier road-racing circuits, and the Skip Barber Schools for driving and racing. Mazda North American Operations, headquartered in Irvine, Calif., oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Canadian operations are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., in Ontario, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico, Mexico City. (www.MazdaUSAmedia.com , www. Mazdaspeedmotorsports.com)
The Rock Island Grand Prix is hosted by The Downtown Rock Island Arts and Entertainment District which features Casino Rock Island, retail shops, excellent restaurants, live entertainment, dinner theater, art galleries and comedy clubs all within walking distance of the host hotel. It is located on the Mississippi River three hours west of Chicago in an area known as the Quad-Cities, which straddles the river and the Illinois/Iowa border. It is at the intersection of Interstate highways 74, 88 and 80 and is served by Quad City International Airport in Moline, Ill. (www.ridistrict.com)
For more information on King of the Streets race or the Rock Island Grand Prix, visit www.rockislandgrandprix.com.