WS: Iowa: Blake Koch race report

Koch and GGRT rally back into the hunt with solid run in Iowa East vs. West event displayed strong performances for all Richard Childress Development teams NEWTON, IA (5-23-10)-- After two damaging accidents in two events, Blake Koch and the ...

Koch and GGRT rally back into the hunt with solid run in Iowa
East vs. West event displayed strong performances for all Richard Childress Development teams

NEWTON, IA (5-23-10)-- After two damaging accidents in two events, Blake Koch and the Golden Gate Racing Team made good use of the break between events on the 2010 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West tour. Although the break that spanned more than month was a bit long, it appeared to pay off as this resilient team regrouped and put the Daystar Television Network #21 back in the championship hunt with a strong 13th place finish in the Goodyear Dealers of Iowa 200.

"We accomplished exactly what we set out to do at this race and the end result was a good point's day for Blake and the Golden Gate Racing Team," said Jim Offenbach, owner of the Golden Gate Racing Team that is part of the Richard Childress Racing Driver Development Program. "We are looking at taking this momentum with us in Roseburg in a couple of weeks. Blake is communicating well with our crew chief Steve Portenga and is applying Steve's vast knowledge to his driving ability. This team is all about bouncing back and they are doing just that. I'm proud of all of them."

The Goodyear Auto Dealers of Iowa 200 was the annual event that brings the K&N Pro Series East together with the West for one impressive showdown featuring the best young drivers of the nation competing against one another. While it adds a great deal of competition to the field, this event also offers an opportunity for teams like Golden Gate to work together with fellow teams from within their organization that compete in the eastern region. Joining Golden Gate Racing this weekend from the Richard Childress Racing stable was Ty Dillon, who led much of the race and finished second after starting 39th.

"It was really exciting to have our own team do well and recover in the points and watch one of our RCR Teammates have one of the best races of his career, " said Offenbach, recognizing Dillon, who is the grandson of longtime friend and business partner Richard Childress. "I have known Ty since he was born and to be able to be there and watch him battle for the lead meant a lot to me personally and to this entire team. We are all one big family in this."

For Koch and the GGRT/RCR team, the preliminary events first showed signs of a challenging event in Iowa. In the first practice Koch was the 14th car in the running order and in the second practice they were 32nd on the charts. When they took to the track for Coors Light qualifying, the Daystar #21 turned a top speed of 128.289 miles per hour which put him in the 26th starting position.

In the feature race, Koch was well aware that patience and track position would be a virtue in the event. By communicating well with Portenga throughout the event and executing flawless pit stops, the former motocross ace from West Palm Beach Florida worked his way through traffic and secured the 13th position at the checkered flag. After two straight disappointing events this year, the outcome of this race brought a great deal of confidence to the entire Golden Gate Racing team.

"Iowa was all about making up lost points and it was a good point's day for us," said Koch. "It got us back in the hunt as we made a lot of progress all weekend and really enhanced the communication throughout our entire team."

Starting all the way back in the 26th position, Koch knew visiting pit road would be a key ingredient to gaining track position throughout the race. He commended his team for their top performance throughout the day and was one of the first drivers to congratulate his RCR teammate Dillon for his success in the event.

"We didn't have as good of a qualifying run that we would have liked but we came from 26th to 13th and had a good car at the end," he said. "The guys did a great job on pit road and all in all it was a good weekend. Ty (Dillon) did an awesome job coming from the rear to finish 2nd. The #33 team should very proud of that. They took some chances with pit strategy and it really paid off."

-source: ggrt

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Steve Portenga , Ty Dillon , Blake Koch
Teams Richard Childress Racing