PORTLAND, ON (September 21, 2020)- From his first laps at the wheel of a family-owned Mini Stock to the most recent weekly battles in his No. 75J Troyer Small Block Modified, the converted school bus that serves as the team’s race hauler has been a fixture in the pits at Brockville Ontario Speedway. With the 2020 edition of the Northeast Fall Nationals – October 2nd and 3rd – on the horizon, 33-year-old Joe Banks is ready to return to the raceway that has been his home for about the last 20 seasons. Other than a small handful of road trips here and there during his career, it’s the only track he and his family have ever known.
Together with his wife Paige, the father of two from Portland, Ontario – who earns a weekly paycheck as a truck driver with Willows Agriservices – is continuing a tradition that dates back to Kingston Speedway where family members Ed and Ab Banks got the ball rolling. Like so many others, his own career started in karting, before moving to the Mini Stocks and eventually the headline Small Block Modifieds.
“Dad raced in the Modifieds for several seasons and I took over when he stepped away,” Joe Banks explained. “He used No. 75, so I added a ‘J’ when I moved into the car. Over the years, it has become part of the family. Our son Melcolm and daughter Mila are racing karts now and both use No. 75. I hope to someday accomplish most of my goals so my kids can move up and take over the family racing headlines.”
While he enjoys spending time with the many friends he’s made in the sport, Banks says it can quickly become an expensive hobby and tough to stay competitive and keep-up with the ever changing technology. He’s happy to have a crew of family members including his father Pernie Banks and son Melcolm as co-crew chiefs on the car, along with his wife Paige, his mother Cynthia, daughter Mila and brother in-law Tyler Hazelaar to lend a hand at the track and behind the scenes. With everything that has happened during the 2020 season, Joe Banks is hoping for a strong finish to the year.
“COVID-19 has kept my kids away from the racetrack and doing what they love so we’re thankful for everything Paul & Cheryl Kirkland at Brockville Speedway have done to put together another strong edition of the Northeast Fall Nationals,” said the driver. “Its been a couple of years since my feature race wins in 2017, so I’m hoping for a strong showing against some very tough competition.”
Sponsorship for the No. 75J team comes from Willow’s Agriservices, D & J Transportation, Foster’s Repair, Evans Mills Raceway Park, Welch’s Drywall, Bang’s Fuels, Hewitt’s Livestock, French’s Trucking, Milk, Target Fabrications, Cylinder Head Engineering and Herrington Graphics.
Family, friends and fans can stay up-to-date with Joe Banks and the team by liking banksracing75 on Facebook or following @banksracing75.
Prepared by Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media