Rally Clinches First Limited Sportsman Championship For Steve Kenneway And Banta Racing At Thompson

Editor’s note: Second place finisher Jason Chicolas was disqualified after post tech inspection.

THOMPSON – A decade plus of chasing a championship at Thompson International Speedway came to a euphoric peak Thursday evening in victory lane for the members of the Banta Racing team.

Car owner Charlie Banta (right) hugs driver Steve Kenneway after clinching the Limited Sportsman championship Thursday at Thompson Speedway

Car owner Charlie Banta (right) hugs driver Steve Kenneway after clinching the Limited Sportsman championship Thursday at Thompson Speedway

Steve Kenneway rallied from the rear of the 25-car field after a flat tire early to finish sixth in the 20-lap Limited Sportsman feature.

Kenneway, of Lowell, Mass., came into the event with a 12-point lead over Jason Chicolas in the standings. Chicolas, of Sutton, Mass. finished second to Scott Sundeen of Douglas, Mass. in the race and ended up four points behind Kenneway in the standings.

It was the first championship for the Norwich based Banta Racing team, co-owned by Charlie Banta and his son David Banta.

Banta Racing has been fielding their Limited Sportsman at Thompson for the last 14 years. The team has recorded 36 wins during that span. Kenneway had one victory in 2013.

“We can retire now, this is amazing,” David Banta said in victory lane.

Kenneway went to the pits on lap five and came back out on the track the rear of the field then methodically diced his way back toward the front of the field.

“It looked good in the beginning,” Kenneway said. “We were running second there, I thought we could challenge for a win. … Then we cut down a right front tire. … From there I don’t remember. I saw [my crew] that worked so hard to get us here and I just drove my butt off to get back through.”

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  1. I think Chicolas got robbed! I would like to see Thompson management explain why Kenneway did not get a penalty for intentionally bringing out the caution. Point leader or not, that was obvious he looped it on purpose and then raced across pit road and pulled up to the pit gate. Then, they were set to go green on the track, and waited an extra lap for the 55 to return. Just BS…

  2. They put the wrong tire on, on the first pit stop. That is why the car spun out. Second time is a charm. Just found out the 7 was DQ’d.

  3. The 7 was found illegal anyway PAUL and he intentionally brought out the caution last week.

  4. I agree with Paul, anyone with a brain could see that he intentionally brought out the caution. Under normal circumstances I can understand the management giving an extra lap but not when the driver intentionally brings out the caution, he should have received a one lap penalty. I know that the Banta team worked hard to get to where they were in points (they are good guys) but Jason worked just as hard and was robbed.

  5. Paul your argument is all for naught… Though I agree 100% with you, Chicolas failed post race tech.

  6. Micky, don’t kid yourself… All putting the wrong RF on is going to do is make the car tight… He slammed the brakes, jerked the wheel and spun. That was as intentional as the day is long my friend.

  7. I guess I need to retract my earlier statement about Jason.

    Had Kenneway been penalized would that have given the championship to Sundeen?

  8. Depends on what the penalty would have been.

  9. I would think a one lap penalty would have been reasonable, which I think is normal, at least at other tracks.

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