Gary Keller, Kevin Conway Unite For 2005 NASCAR Busch Series Season
"New Alliance in The NASCAR Busch Series Formed To Compete at a High Level"
Dayton, Ohio -- December 8, 2004 -- Gary Keller Motorsports, NASCAR driver Kevin Conway and championship engine builder Mark Smith have formed a new team and will be competing in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2005. The partnership was consummated in Charlotte, North Carolina and will be unveiled with a new look and attitude in Daytona for the Hershey TAKE 5 300 on February 19th, 2005. The new partnership brings a more focused direction and energy to an already successful team.
Gary Keller, the team's primary owner said, "We are excited about the new direction we are taking. Last year we were spread a little thin trying to run both Busch as well as Nextel Cup races. We are an independent team running without a sponsor and will be solely focused on being the best we can be in the Busch series. Our goal is compete at a high level and attract a major sponsor for 2005 and beyond. Our ultimate goal is to eventually compete in the Nextel Cup Series, but we need to be successful in the Busch Series before we move up."
The relationship that has been formed is with "young gun", 25 year-old Kevin Conway. Kevin, a resident of Cornelius, North Carolina has been racing since he was six years old. Kevin has an impressive resume, which includes competition in the AMA Motocross, WKA (World Karting Association) USAC (United States Auto Club), ASA (American Speed Association) and the ARCA RE/MAX Series. His resume includes over 48 triumphs and multiple championships.
"I think this is the opportunity I have patiently been waiting for," said the team's new driver Kevin Conway. "We're heading into the season with a series of goals. There's no reason with the abilities and determination that this team has we can't achieve them sooner than we think. We have the equipment, the horsepower will be there, and the driver is ready, now we just need a sponsor to give us that extra boost."
The team will also showcase the engine building abilities of co-owner Mark Smith and the guidance of Crew Chief Ted Kennedy.
Co-Owner Mark Smith has been building engines for over 30 years and has been named a two-time engine builder of the year in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Smith also powered the motors for drivers Mike Bliss and Travis Kvapil to claim back-to-back NCTS (NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series) championships in 2002 and 2003 for IWX Racing.
Smith's reputation as a world-class engine builder can only be rivaled by the most notable in the business. "We are extremely excited about the opportunity we have to compete at a high level. With the team we've assembled, we are out to prove our success on the track," explained Mark Smith co-owner and engine builder.
Crew Chief Ted Kennedy has been involved in Motorsports since he was 13. After several years of driving, Ted hung up the helmet and steered towards a new talent of developing race-winning cars.
Kennedy, 49 has worked with such notable drivers as Ernie Irvan, Michael Waltrip, Derrick Cope, and 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Champion Kurt Busch. "We won't be satisfied until we're number one. That's what keeps all of us motivated. We hope it's a season we won't soon forget," stated Crew Chief Ted Kennedy.
Gary Keller Motorsports hopes to announce a new car number in the near future. In 2004, the team had success in the NASCAR Busch Series using car number 35. After starting 24th in the Meijer 300 at Kentucky Speedway in June, driver Kenny Hendrick raced hard to a solid 18th place finish, a career best for the rookie team. "We had a top-ten car and were running up front all day, but a mishap in the pits took us back a few spots, still finishing a strong 18th.
Now, with the talented Conway onboard and a strict focus on NASCAR Busch Series success, Gary Keller Motorsports is poised to have a breakthrough season.