WS: Irwindale: Blake Koch race notes

Koch and Golden Gate Racing team bring Godspeaks.com Chevrolet to fifth top ten finish of the year at Irwindale IRWINDALE, CA -- The San Francisco based Golden Gate Racing-Richard Childress Development team celebrated Independence Day holiday in...

Koch and Golden Gate Racing team bring Godspeaks.com Chevrolet to fifth top ten finish of the year at Irwindale

IRWINDALE, CA -- The San Francisco based Golden Gate Racing-Richard Childress Development team celebrated Independence Day holiday in grand fashion this past weekend with its fifth top ten finish of the year in the King Taco 200 at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, California. West Palm Beach native Blake Koch muscled the GodSpeaks.com #21 Chevrolet to eighth place in the event.

"I had a great time at Irwindale," said Koch. "I would have liked to have had a better finish but I felt like we worked good together as a team. Once I get better at knowing what the car is doing we will be able to adjust accordingly to get that extra tenth of a second that I am missing."

Saturday's event was the eighth round of the 2009 NASCAR Camping World West series. Koch is currently in a tight battle with fellow Rookie competitor Paulie Harraka of New Jersey for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year title. Both drivers raced within the top ten once again this weekend to keep that title run alive as they remain tied for the coveted title.

Irwindale Speedway is one of the few tracks on the NASCAR Camping World Campaign in which both Koch and the Golden Racing Team have shared time on since teaming together late in 2008. Saturday's success illustrated how that track time paid off as Koch was very familiar with the facility on this round.

In qualifying, Koch turned the ninth fastest lap of the day with a 18:922 second lap, traveling around the half mile Toyota Speedway at 95.122 miles per hour. Koch's lap time was just .208 of a second off that of fast qualifier and series point leader Jason Bowles of Ontario.

Starting on the inside of the fifth row for Saturday's race, Koch used his previous knowledge of the track and great patience to remain in the top ten throughout the event, keeping Harraka, who started seventh, in his sights the entire 200 laps.

When the checkered flag waved, Koch brought the GodSpeaks.com #21 to eighth in the competitive field. Both Harraka and Koch posses 74 points each in the Sunoco Rookie of the year campaign. The duo has pulled ahead of third place runner Jonathan Gomez who has 43 points.

Points for the Rookie of the year title are awarded for a driver's success in qualifying and feature races. The campaign is tallied separate from the overall championship chase where Koch is seventh overall. This is Koch's first year in NASCAR competition after advancing from Late Models, Speedway Trucks and Motocross.

"It's going to be a tight battle all the way to the end," said Koch, in reference to the Rookie campaign. "I am confident I will have the lead at the end."

The next event for Koch and the Golden Gate Racing/RCR team will be July 19 in the Bi-Mart Salute to the Troops 125 at Portland International Raceway. All of the NASCAR Camping World events can be viewed weekly on the SPEED Network every Thursday at 12 p.m. on the West Coast.

The Golden Gate Racing Team is grateful for each of its partners for the 2009 season including GodSpeaks.com, DayStar Television Network as well as Pat O'Keefe of Bay Bio Diesel and the Richard Childress Racing Driver Development Program. Due to the strong support of all of their dedicated sponsors, GGRT is well on their way to a successful conclusion in the NASCAR Camping World West Series.

For additional information on the Golden Gate Racing Team please visit the team website at www.goldengateracingteam.com. Blake Koch's personal web page can be viewed at www.blakekoch.com. For further information on the Richard Childress Driver Development Series visit www.rcrracing.com.

-credit: ggrt

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Paulie Harraka , Jason Bowles , Blake Koch
Teams Richard Childress Racing