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21st place finish garners accolades for Koch in Iowa Nationwide event
Koch finished just one spot out of the Top 20 at Iowa Speedway this weekend and earned two well respected accolades in the event, as he continues his closely contested battle for the 2011 NNS Rookie title.
With his success aboard the Daystar Television Network #81 Dodge Challenger fielded by MacDonald Motorsports on Saturday, Koch was named the Sunoco Rookie of the Race Award, earning him a $1,000 bonus. Additionally, he was named the Featherlite Trailers Most Improved Driver for the first time this season, picking up an additional $2,400 bonus in addition to his regular winnings, all of which go back into the racing operations for the Daystar team.
“My expectations for Iowa was a top 15 finish,” said Koch. “We were a little off all weekend but we left with a clean race car to head to Charlotte.”
After racing on unfamiliar tracks for the last two months, Koch was no stranger to the .875 mile Iowa Speedway. He previously competed there in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West over the last two years, earning a 13th place and a 16th place finish. As he headed into Iowa, Koch was looking for a strong qualifying run to start up front and have a shot at a top finish on the familiar turf. However, Mother Nature threw a little adversity his way following practice.
In practice, Koch appeared strong as he drove to a top speed, 129.662 miles per hour, and earned the 22nd fastest lap of the day. After the fast run he was ready to give it his all for qualifying. When rain showers moved into the area, NASCAR Nationwide announced that qualifying was canceled for the event and the race was lined up by team owned points, placing Koch 26th on the grid.
At the waving of the green flag, Koch returned to his smooth and patient driving style. He allowed the Daystar #81 to fade back as far as the 29th position at one point, keeping himself out of the way of trouble within the heavy traffic that forms in the early laps of the race. Racing before a national television audience on ABC, Koch used the combination of patience, poise and well managed aggression in the final laps of the race to improve his track position. When the checkered flag waved he brought team Daystar to a 21st place finish.
With his finish, Koch maintains the 23rd place finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Driver Point Standings. His success in Iowa moved the team up to 26th in the car owner standings. The Sunoco Rookie of the Race Award was the third such bonus that Koch earned this season so far.
With Iowa in the rear-view mirror, Koch will now travel to the track located in the heart of NASCAR country next Saturday for the Top Gear 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina. This event will be telecast live on ABC on Saturday beginning at 2:30 p.m.
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.
To learn more about Blake Koch and his Daystar Racing team, visit their official website at www.daystarracing.com. When visiting the site, be sure to enter to win a day with Blake Koch and the Daystar Racing team. You can also find up to date statistics, photos, unique video and new apparel on the site, all of which goes back to supporting the efforts of Koch and Team Daystar.
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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.