The Motorsports Group
|Base||Mooresville, North Carolina|
The Motorsports Group (formerly Key Motorsports) is a NASCAR team owned by Virginia businessman Curtis Key. The team currently fields the No. 40 Chevrolet Camaro in the Nationwide Series. The team also fields three start and park entries on a part time basis the No 42. No 46 and No. 47 The team is operated out of Mooresville, North Carolina.
Key Motorsports was formed after it was purchased from Tommy Ellis in 1993 and debuted at the Miller 500 as the #05 Moen Faucets Chevrolet with Roger Sawyer driving. He qualified 14th and finished 22nd. Bobby Hamilton drove three races later at Dover International Speedway, where he finished 29th after suffering handling problems. He ran two additional races for Key later in the season, finishing 17th and 32nd, respectively. Ellis drove for Key in their final race of the year at Hickory Motor Speedway, and finished fifth. Randy MacDonald drove for two consecutive races for Key at the beginning of the following season, his best finish being 21st. Tommy Ellis returned to run a part-time schedule for Key. In nine starts, he had two top-ten finishes but failed to finish the other seven. Tom Peck finished out the season for Key, failing to finish both races due to engine failure.
Key Motorsports made its first race of 1995 at the Hardee's 250 with Steve Boley. They did not run until the fall Richmond race with Chuck Bown driving. After finishing 38th due to an engine failure, Bown finished 9th at the following race at Charlotte before suffering another engine failure at North Carolina Speedway. Bown returned to Key in 1996 at Richmond, where he finished in 31st place. Later in the season, Jeff Burton drove for Key at Charlotte, finishing 42nd with Exide Batteries sponsorship. In 1997, 19-year-old Jimmy Foster was hired to drive the #11 Outdoor Channel/Speedvision car, running ten races with a best finish of 16th at New Hampshire. He was released and replaced for a pair of races by Larry Pearson. After the season, a lack of funding coupled with a family tragedy forced Key to close his team.
Key Motorsports reopened in 2008.
Car #31 History
Key Motorsports returned to the Nationwide Series in 2008. Jeff Green took the wheel of the #31 Chevy for three races with a best finish of 28th.
Car #40 History
In 2009, the team changed the number to #40 and signed Scott Wimmer as the primary driver. Wimmer ran 24 races for the team with a best finish of 7th in Memphis. During the races Wimmer spent with JR Motorsports, Green, Aric Almirola, Jeffrey Earnhardt, and Bliss drove the car.
For 2010, Bliss signed on as the driver of the car for the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. Bliss ran 31 races with a best finish of 8th at Bristol. Jeff Green drove four races for the team when Bliss drove for Kevin Harvick Incorporated with a best finish of 20th at Kentucky.
In 2011, Scott Wimmer started with the intention of running full-time for the #40 team. After 11 races and a best finish of 12th, Wimmer left since the team began starting and parking. Rookie of the year candidate Charles Lewandoski began driving the #40 after Wimmer left. Lewandoski had a best finish of 24th with the team while keeping them in the top 30 in owner's points to remain locked in.
Car #42 History
Key Motorsports began fielding the #42 at Michigan (race 15) as a third car for Tim Andrews. The team is another start and park operation like the #46 and #47. All three cars help fund the main car, the #40. Erik Darnell drove the car for the first two races until he switched with Josh Wise in order for Wise to run for Cup rookie honors and Darnell a full Nationwide season. Wise was replaced by Matt Frahm at Iowa and Tim Schendel and Road America In 2013, the 42 team returned with Wise, though JJ Yeley will drove the car until Wise returned from the #40.
Car #46 History
Key Motorsports began fielding the #46 at Iowa (race 12) as a second car for Chase Miller. The team is another start and park operation like the #42 and #47. All three cars help fund the main car, the #40. The car is driven primarily by Chase Miller. Former Joe Gibbs development driver Matt DiBenedetto drove the car at Dover. In 2013, the 46 and Chase Miller returned.
Car #47 History
Key Motorsports began fielding the #47 at Kentucky (race 18) as a fourth car for Danny Efland and Scott Wimmer. Efland attempted Kentucky, but did not qualify. The team is another start and park operation like the #42 and #46. All three cars help fund the main car, the #40. The 47 was shared between Scott Speed and Brian Keselowski for 2011. For 2012, Speed drove the car for most of the races, being replaced by Tim Schendel at Iowa and Matt DiBenedetto at Michigan and Road America. In 2013 the team returned with Scott Riggs and Jason Bowles as drivers. The team attempted Texas, Richmond and Darlington and failed to qualify for all three.
Camping World Truck Series
Key Motorsports returned to NASCAR competition in 2004 in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starting at the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway. Joey Clanton drove for the first two races of the season in the #40 Optech Chevy, wrecking out of both of them. Tony Raines attempted the fall races at Richmond and Martinsville for Key, but did not qualify. Key did not race in 2005 until the summer Bristol race when Andy Houston drove the truck to a 33rd-place finish after a wreck. Their next attempt at Richmond resulted in a DNQ.
Chad Chaffin attempted the first six races of 2006, finishing eighteenth at California Speedway, and a 26th place finish at Gateway. Beginning at the City of Mansfield 250, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. development driver Ryan Moore was named the team's new driver. He had three top-twenty finishes before resigning his position after the New Hampshire race. Tim Fedewa drove at Las Vegas followed by Derrike Cope at Talladega Superspeedway, who ran in the top-ten before becoming involved in a late crash. Shane Huffman finished out three of the final four races of 2006 for Key.
In 2007, Mike Bliss drove the first four races in the 40, posting a tenth-place finish at California. Clay Rogers and Huffman shared the ride for the rest of the half of the season, with Stacy Compton driving at Memphis. Brandon Miller drove for the next five races with Westerman Companies sponsoring, before Chaffin returned to finish out the season in the 40. Key also debuted a second truck, the #44 in 2007. Larry Foyt drove first at Daytona, finishing last after an early wreck, followed by Morgan Shepherd the next two races, who finished 34th and 33rd, respectively. Frank Kreyer raced in two short track races in the truck, bringing Culver's sponsorship. His best finish was 28th. Chaffin began the 2008 season in the #40, but was replaced by Jeff Green and Pete Poulter later in the year. Mike Bliss took over the #40 Chevy for ultimately a part-time schedule in 2009. Lance Hooper drove two races in the #44 Chevy.