With 2010 nearing an end as the Christmas holiday rapidly approaches, Key Motorsports team owner Curtis Key reflected on the past twelve months and how much his Nationwide Series program has grown since making its NASCAR debut at Martinsville in the former Busch Series 18 seasons ago.
Competing in NASCAR's second-highest series on a part-time basis for many years before taking a multi-year hiatus and returning to the sport as a truck series team in 2004, Key Motorsports has blossomed into a full-time Nationwide Series team with a stable of 12 race-ready new-model cars and a string of consistent performances under its belt.
"Key Motorsports is committed to the future growth of our Nationwide Series program," the veteran NASCAR owner said recently at his team's headquarters in Mooresville, N.C. "The 2010 season was a good year for Key Motorsports. We were able to continue to expand our operations and accomplish several of our goals.
"We want to thank all of our partners, employees, vendors and their families for a successful year and wish them a great Christmas season. We all look forward to the opportunity of working together towards an even stronger 2011 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series."
The independent organization completed its second full-time season on the Nationwide Series circuit in 2010, entering and competing in all 35 events at venues from coast-to-coast. Without the support of a full-time marketing partner, Key Motorsports overcame many setbacks to finish 21st in the owner point standings for the second year in a row, mere points out of the top-20 on both occasions.
Utilizing the services of seasoned drivers Mike Bliss and Jeff Green along with crew chief Gary Showalter in 2010, Key Motorsports assembled a run of 10 consecutive top-20 finishes from Daytona in July until Atlanta on Labor Day weekend, which included two top-15 efforts at the Watkins Glen and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve road courses, both milestones for the Key Motorsports team.
The No. 40 Chevrolet finished in the top 10 twice, at Bristol in March and California in October, nine times in the top 15, 20 times in the top 20 and 24 times in the top 25 during the 2010 season. Bliss piloted the Key Motorsports Chevrolet in 31 events while Green, the 2000 series champion, buckled in for Talladega, Nashville, Kentucky and Gateway.
"We had a few things happen in 2010 that we wish hadn't happened and that would have made for a better year," Showalter said. "Mike and Jeff did a great job driving the Key Motorsports Chevrolet this year and our crew came a long way with their performance on pit road. All in all it was a good year for our team and we feel 2011 will be better with the strides we have been able to make in our preparations at the shop. I want to thank everybody at Key Motorsports and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year."