When the 2012 racing season finished Banta Racing co-owner David Banta was confident he had almost all the parts and pieces together to make a championship run in the Limited Sportsman division at Thompson International Speedway in 2013.
Wednesday the men behind the Norwich based Banta Racing team found out they will have that sponsorship when the 2013 season kicks off in April at Thompson.
David Banta, who co-owns the team with his father Charlie, said the team agreed terms on sponsorship for 2013 with CleanerBlast, a wet abrasive-cleaning firm based out of Tyngsborough, Mass.
Banta Racing will open the season with Lowell, Mass. driver Steve Kenneway behind the wheel. After a period of struggles in finding consistency behind the wheel, the team found just that with Kenneway.
“It’s not a ton of money but for the [Limited Sportsman] world it’s a lot of money,” David Banta said of the deal with CleanerBlast. “I’m really happy. It’s funny because for the first time we did some proposals and we sent them out and it just happened that this guy walked in and was a customer [of Steve’s] and they talked and it just happened.”
Banta Racing has been fielding their Limited Sportsman at Thompson for the last 13 years. The team has recorded 35 wins during that span. They started the 2012 season with high hopes with Allen Coates behind the wheel of the car, but optimism was dashed just two races into the season when Coates was suspended from the track and he parted ways with the team.
Kenneway took over the ride and kept the team solidly racing near the front of the field week after week. Kenneway recorded his first career victory with the team and ended up fourth in the standings at Thompson and sixth nationally in the NASCAR Division III Asphalt Finalist standings.
“I haven’t been this happy with a driver relationship since we had Ed Puleo [from 2004-2009],” David Banta said. “Steve and I have a great relationship. The car wasn’t 100 percent. We’ve done a lot of things after the season with the chassis dyno and it’s going to be good.”
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