SKUSA SuperNationals 2013

Sebastien Bourdais moves from testing the No. 11 KVSH Racing car and then a sports car last week at Sebring International Raceway to something even closer to the ground this weekend in Las Vegas.

The four-time Champ Car champion is among the drivers representing the IZOD IndyCar Series and Mazda Road to Indy ladder in the 17th Superkarts USA Super Nationals.

Bourdais, who was introduced last month as the KVSH Racing driver, will compete in the Rotax DD2 shifter class. Eleven of his competitors on a circuit in the parking lot of the Rio Casino & Resort will be coming straight from the Rotax Grand Finals at the NOLA Motorsports Park.

Team Penske’s Will Power, who won the final two races and three of the final five on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule, will make his SuperNats debut and compete in the TaG Masters class. Newly-named Andretti Autosport driver Carlos Munoz, who tested Nov. 18 at Sebring in his IndyCar, will compete in the KZ2 Super Pro class along with Pro Mazda Championship driver Zach Meyer.

Gabby Chaves, the Firestone Indy Lights championship runner-up, will seek to successfully defend the TaG Senior class win.  USF 2000 champion Scott Hargrove will join Firestone Indy Lights competitor Matthew Di Leo in the S1 Pro Stock Moto class.

In the TaG Junior division is 13-year-old Colton Herta, the son of IndyCar Series team owner Bryan Herta and the 2013 Pacific F1600 champion. The youngster is a two-time CKUSA Pro Tour champion in the TaG Cadet class.

Barnes receives Spirit of Hope award at Pentagon ceremony

U.S. Navy Admiral James Winnefeld, Vice Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, presented Panther Racing owner John Barnes with the Spirit of Hope award during a ceremony Nov. 19 at the Pentagon in Washington.

John BarnesThe award is presented annually to individuals whose "commitment and dedication to service in support of the Armed Forces and their families embodies the ideals and values exemplified by the late Mr. Bob Hope." Past recipients include President George H.W. Bush, broadcaster Walter Cronkite and New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

"This was an unbelievably humbling experience," Barnes said. "I can't thank Admiral Winnefeld and everybody with the Department of Defense enough for this honor. When you work as closely as we do with National Guard soldiers and their families you can't help but do everything in your power to support them however possible.

“I feel like Panther can always do more, and we're always looking for ways to improve all of our programs and to represent all those men and women in the best way possible. But we don't do it for awards like this; we do it because it's right."

Panther and Charter Media agree on partnership

Panther Racing announced it has reached a multi-year partnership agreement with Charter Media for the 2014 IndyCar Series season. Charter Media specializes in cable television advertising, marketing, production and research.

Charter Media will be visible on Panther’s entries at all IndyCar Series events, which will include at least one primary sponsorship placement during the season.

Karting event to benefit Montoya charity organization

Team Penske's Juan Pablo Montoya and Helio Castroneves are among the competitors entered in the Carerra de Estrellas karting race Nov. 30 on the streets of Medellin, Colombia.

The event benefits the Formula Smiles Foundation, which was founded in 2003 by Montoya and his wife Connie and seeks to improve the quality of life of Colombian children who are burdened by poverty and violence.

Carlos Munoz, Gabby Chaves and Sebastian Saavedra, NASCAR drivers Kurt Busch, Joey Logano and Firestone Indy Lights race winner Gustavo Yacaman are also scheduled to compete.

Of note

The IndyCars driven by reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, 2012 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and race winners Will Power and Graham Rahal are part of the new Forza Motorsport 5 game developed by Turn 10 Studios. The game features realistic graphics and humanlike AI capable of leveraging the Xbox One cloud to analyze driving style and habits to challenge the player. It will be published by Microsoft Nov. 22 exclusively for Xbox One.