WS: Kalispell: Blake Koch preview

Golden Gate Racing team ready for inaugural event in Montana SAN FRANCISCO, CA h8-4-10) -- Throughout the 2010 season, the Golden Gate Racing Team has fared extremely well in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. Despite s series of crashes in the...

Golden Gate Racing team ready for inaugural event in Montana

SAN FRANCISCO, CA h8-4-10) -- Throughout the 2010 season, the Golden Gate Racing Team has fared extremely well in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. Despite s series of crashes in the early events of the tour, driver Blake Koch of West Palm Beach Florida has used his past year of experience at familiar tracks to work closely with this Richard Childress Racing supported team to rally back into the hunt for the 2010 championship title behind the wheel of the Daystar Television Network #21 Chevrolet.

This weekend, however, Koch will enter unfamiliar territory in the form of a track he has not yet raced on. Fortunately, he wont be alone as everyone in the field will be virtually green as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West makes it's first ever appearance at Montana Motorsports Park in Kalispell, Montana for the Toyota Napa Auto Parts Challenge.

"From the pictures I have seen of Montana it looks really fun and it's almost identical to my home track here in Florida," said Koch. "It sure would be nice to get my first win on my birthday. We have some good momentum going on right now and we plan on keeping that going. We'll look to unload really well and get a ton of practice at this track because we haven't been there before. We should be able to get the car really fast."

Montana Raceway Park is a a tight banked oval. It's .25 of a mile in length and features 12 degrees banking. The impressive facility is extremely similar to other venues on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series Tour so both Koch and the GGRT-RCR team will certainly adapt to it's characteristics quickly and focus on a strong qualifying position. On the tighter oval tracks such as this and All American Speedway in Roseville, a good qualifying position is crucial as track position can be very difficult to gain from deep in the field.

For much of the season, the success of the Golden Gate Racing Team has stemmed from a simple word..teamwork. Lead by competition director and crew chief Steve Portenga, this San Francisco based race team is best known for their ability to excel when faced with adversity. After a short stint of accidents early in the year that were no fault of their own, the team has utilized a great deal of communication and team effort to rally back into the top ten point standings in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series championship standings. Even though they are headed into unfamiliar ground, Portenga and team owner Jim Offenbach are confident they will come home with a strong performance.

"We're really looking forward to Montana," said Portenga, also a former driver with the Golden Gate Racing Team that has a great ability in communicating with his sophomore driver and entire team. "It's a new place for us but our team is really coming together this year. We have done great on the road courses and that's usually a place that can set you back. We hope our to carry our momentum through the end of the year."

The Golden Gate Racing Team and Koch are currently seventh in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. The Daystar Television Network #21 has scored three top five finishes and five top tens this season in the 8 events that have taken place. Koch currently leads the standings for the NASCAR Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award for the year.

In addition to Koch, the Golden Gate Racing Team has fielded a car for defending NASCAR West Champion Jason Bowles of Ontario two times this year. The GGRT/RCR #31 has claimed a pole position and a second place in the two events in which it has competed. Bowles will return to the team later in the season when they return to the Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.

"This team has done a great job this year," said Offenbach. "They have been faced with some real challenges early in the season and they tackled them by using great communication and working together as a team. That's what I love about all these guys, they get the job done by keeping their chin up and working together. I'm hoping we have a strong finish to the year, these guys deserve it."

-source: ggr

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Steve Portenga , Jason Bowles , Blake Koch