WS: Sonoma: Blake Koch preview

Koch looks to put Golden Gate Racing Team up front at Infineon SONOMA, CA -- 6-13-10) -- Blake Koch and the Golden Gate Racing Team are headed for the California wine country this week as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will take to the 1.99 mile...

Koch looks to put Golden Gate Racing Team up front at Infineon

SONOMA, CA -- 6-13-10) -- Blake Koch and the Golden Gate Racing Team are headed for the California wine country this week as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will take to the 1.99 mile road course known as Infineon Raceway for the Thunder Valley Casino Resort 200. The event marks the fifth segment of the 12-race championship series in which this Richard Childress Development team continues to rapidly advance in the point standings.

After a strong showing last year with virtually no road course racing experience, Koch is prepared to muscle the Daystar Television Network #21 Chevrolet to the front of the field in the 64-lap trek through the hills of California's wine county. This annual race is always special for the entire Golden Gate Racing Team as it takes place closest to home for team owner Jim Offenbach and many members of this talented organization.

In 2009, Koch made his road racing debut at Infineon Raceway during his first full season in NASCAR competition with the Golden Gate Racing Team. Not knowing what to expect, the West Palm Beach resident used great patience and the guidance of Steve Portenga, Director of Competition for GGRT, to advance from 23rd into 11th when the checkered flag waved. This year the results are expected to be even more impressive with a competitive road racing package and a lot more experience behind the wheel.

"I'm really looking forward to Infineon and putting the #21 to up front for the Daystar Television Network, Big O Tires and I am Second, three of my biggest supporters," said Koch. "Last year we were pretty good and it was my first time and that track and on a road course period. Now I have more road course experience and know the track pretty well and we should be able to run up front."

In recent weeks, Koch and the Golden Gate Racing Team have made a tremendous comeback in the chase for the 2010 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Championship. After a series of damaging accidents, that were little fault of their own, the team has come together to advance back into seventh place in the point standings. This has been accomplished by a great deal of teamwork and communication between Koch and Portenga to capitalize on every opportunity to gain track position in recent events at both Iowa and Roseburg.

"This whole team has really pulled together this season, I am so proud of them and the way we have come back in this series," said Offenbach. "Sometimes when you have a series of bad luck the moral can drop and things get even worse. Not this team, they kept their heads up and got us back in the hunt. I'm confident we will have a strong run on the road course."

Koch and GGRT have two top five finishes and three top tens in the 2010 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. Following their recent rally to the front, Koch is now 7th in the series point standings and will eye moving towards the top five this weekend. Portenga has been hard at work at the team's shop in Bakersfield to prepare top performing cars for both Koch and Jason Bowles, who will join the team in the Patti Offenbach-RCR #31.

Earlier this year, Koch competed in a high profile ARCA road race at Palm Beach International Raceway with Eddie Sharp Racing. In that event he turned heads when he drove from the rear of the field to third place on rain tires. With that recent experience, combined with his knowledge of the road course from last year Koch is ready for the wine country with the support of Portenga and his entire crew.

"Steve has a really good road racing package and I'm really excited to get back out there to California," said Koch. "With great equipment and more experience I'm confident we're going to get up to the front."

-source: ggrt

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Steve Portenga , Jason Bowles , Blake Koch