David Banta is not quite sure yet who will be piloting the Limited Sportsman owned by he and his father Charlie for the 2015 season at Thompson Speedway, but he does know where that driver will be getting the support to make the ride happen.
Banta confirmed this week that John Volpe will partner with the team for 2015 in a sponsorship role through his businesses, Honest John’s Used Cars in North Branford and Big A Auto Parts in North Branford.
Volpe is part owner of the SK Modified team Rob Janovic Jr. runs for at the Waterford Speedbowl and he also supports Mark Panaroni on the Northeast Mini Stock Tour and Al Stone III in the Street Stock division at Waterford.
“Whether it be Rob’s SK [Modified] or Mark Panaroni in the Mini Stock or Al Stone III in the Street Stock, John is used to success and good looking cars and hopefully we’ll be able to uphold that,” Banta said.
Banta said the team has parted ways, amicably, with driver Steve Kenneway, who started racing for the organization in 2012 and brought the Banta’s their first Thompson Speedway Limited Sportsman championship in 2013. The team has competed at Thompson in the division for the last 15 years.
Banta said Kenneway would like to run full-time with the Northeast Street Stock Tour in 2015, a series still trying to put together a schedule for next year.
“Steve was great,” Banta said. “He’s a great friend. He did as well as he could for us [in 2014] and we ended up second in the points. There was a problem with the car that we still truly haven’t found. Steve did as well as he could, but there’s some gremlins there that we have to try to fix.”
Banta said Dave Miller from Auto Machine, Shawn Monahan and Diego Monahan from Critical Signs and Critical Screenprinting, Weldingprocedures.com and Shea’s Auto will all return as support sponsors for 2015.
Banta said there’s no rush to name a driver yet.
“We’ll get there,” Banta said. “It’s nothing pressing right now. We’ve got some people in mind and we’ll go from there. We started working on the car the week after the season ended. Corey [Hutchings] set the bar pretty high last year. We’ve got to get back there.”