"It's been an up and down season for us for sure," said Koch. "I'd really like to make a few strong runs in a row for Daystar and all of the guys at the shop that work so hard on this team. This weekend we're in a good position to do that."
Last weekend became a landmark performance for Koch in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Although he has finished higher in previous events, Koch's 22nd place finishing position took a significant bite out of his point deficit to fellow competitor Timmy Hill in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings.
The Rookie of the Year standings are separate from the overall NASCAR Nationwide point standings. Eligible candidates earn points based on their best 17 finishes of the season. Those points are earned through entry points and competition points based on finishing position. Top 10 bonus points are also awarded along with bonus points based on three segments of the season which are voted upon by a panel of voters at the completion of the season.
As he heads into the final 16 races of the season starting this Saturday in the New England 200, Koch is a mere nine points behind Hill in the Rookie of the Year standings. The coveted title is now down to just Hill and Koch as the only two drivers that can mathematically capture it. Trailing the two leaders are Jennifer Jo Cobb, Ryan Truex and Charles Lewandoski.
Koch's sudden surge into single digit status came last weekend in Kentucky when he finished three laps ahead of Hill. The strong performance by the Daystar #81 and the MacDonald Motorsports team cut Koch's point gap to nearly half from 17 points down to just nine points.
As he heads to the Granite State this weekend, Koch will set his sights on another strong run. Should he finish ahead of Hill on the 1.058 mile track that seats over 53,000 spectators, Koch will earn the Sunoco Rookie of the Race award for the sixth time this season.
While his threat to Hill for the Rookie of the Year point lead is by far Koch's number one focus in the events to come, he will also look to continue his advancement in the overall NASCAR Nationwide standings. After last week, Koch is 20th in the standings as he makes his 16th start of the year this Saturday and the 20th start of the Nationwide Series career that includes a handful of starts previous to 2011.
"It's crazy to think that this will be my 20th start in the Nationwide series," said Koch, who started his racing career in motocross before advancing to late models and then the NASCAR K&N West Series. "I am so pumped to be going into it in the top 20 in points."
Koch proudly carries the primary sponsorship of the Daystar Television Network. This Emmy award winning faith based network is dedicated to spreading the gospel 24 hours a day, seven days a week all around the globe through all media formats possible. Daystar is the fastest growing and one of two of the largest faith-based networks in the world today and can be viewed on all major and secondary satellites and cable systems. Daystar programming reaches over 200 countries into more than 91 million homes in the United States and 680 million homes globally.
Saturday's race will be broadcast live on ESPN at 3:30 p.m. eastern time. To learn more about Blake Koch and his Daystar Racing Team, visit their official website at http://www.daystarracing.com. When visiting the site be sure to enter to win a day with Blake Koch at Texas Motor Speedway in the fall. You can also find up to date statistics, photos, unique videos, and new apparel, including brand new Daystar Racing hats just like the ones worn by the team. You can find Blake Koch and his Daystar Racing Team on Twitter (@BlakeKochRacing)
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Daystar Television Network is the fastest growing faith based network in the world, reaching over 91 mil homes in the US and 680 mil homes worldwide. The network features popular original programming, live events, and sponsors NASCAR driver Blake Koch.