WS: Portland: Blake Koch preview

GGRTand Kochready for strong road course run in Portland SAN FRANCISCO, CA h7-14-10) -- A year ago the Golden Gate Racing Team and Blake Koch didn't know what to expect when they faced a Pacific Northwest road course event in their maiden season...

GGRTand Kochready for strong road course run in Portland

SAN FRANCISCO, CA h7-14-10) -- A year ago the Golden Gate Racing Team and Blake Koch didn't know what to expect when they faced a Pacific Northwest road course event in their maiden season together. One year later, the young driver from West Palm Beach Florida and this competitive Richard Childress Racing Development NASCAR West team have one common thing in mind; putting the Daystar Television Network c21 Chevrolet in victory lane in the Bi-Mart Salute to the Troops 125 at Portland International Speedway Sunday.

"This team has shown they are ready to win and if everything falls into place just right I know they can do just that, that's what I love about everyone I have on this team," said Jim Offenbach, owner of the Golden Gate Racing Team. "Blake and this team have come together so well in the last three events and we are getting closer and closer to that overdue win. It's coming and maybe Portland is where it's going to happen."

Sunday's event marks the seventh of 12 races in the 2010 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West campaign and is the second road course venue for the tour. For Koch and the Golden Gate Racing Team, it's an opportunity to continue their recent rebound in the series point standings as they return to a familiar facility carrying the momentum of Koch's career-best second place two weeks ago in Irwindale. Koch is confident with his recent success and that a strong road course program assembled by Steve Portenga, Director of Competition for GGRT/RCR, will lead them to a top finish on the 1.98 mile road course.

"We have a competitive road course program and we learned some things in Sonoma that are just going to make us even better in Portland," said Koch. "Steve is putting together a different brake package that we think will work better for me. We were very fast in Portland last year; we just had a mechanical issue that held us up. I really think we have a good chance to get our first win at Portland."

During the recent event in Irwindale, Koch was in contention for the win for nearly the entire King Taco 200. The former motocross racer that is only in his second full season of NASCAR competition led ten laps of the event and remained within inches of eventual winner Auggie Vidovich all the way to the finish line. It was a career best finish for 24-year-old Koch, who plans to transition into the NASCAR Nationwide Series in the near future.

Following his successful run in Irwindale, Koch has moved to 7th place in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series Championship point standings. During the 2010 season, Koch has been named the NASCAR Featherlite Most Improved Driver two different times during the campaign.

Last year in his first Portland start, Koch finished 12th after a sway bar forced him to make several pit stops early in the race and forced him to the rear of the field. Despite the mechanical set-backs in the event, Koch and the team rallied back to within one spot of their starting position. Koch hopes the added experience and the team's new-found momentum will carry him to the finish line first aboard the Daystar Television Network #21.

-source: ggrt

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Steve Portenga , Auggie Vidovich , Blake Koch
Teams Richard Childress Racing