Koch charges to top 20 in Nationwide Daytona opener
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (2-24-12) – Starting his second full season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with a strong new team and title sponsor, Florida native Blake Koch returned to his home state in successful fashion Saturday afternoon in the season opening Drive4COPD 300 at the famed Daytona International Speedway. In his first event behind the wheel of the Rick Ware Racing #41 Rise Up and Register Ford Mustang, Koch concluded his weekend with a 17th place finish on one of the tour's most intimidating tracks.
"It's so exciting for me to come to Daytona and have a strong finish like this," said Koch. "This is a really great team and I am blessed to be part of it for 2012. This is a great way to start the season. Both of the RWR cars were fast and it's awesome to give Rise Up and Register a top 20 finish in our first NASCAR Nationwide race together."
Koch started the weekend at Daytona with a strong run during practice as both he and teammate Timmy Hill turned lap times well into the top twenty. In qualifying, Koch clocked in with the 31st position in qualifying, which poised him for a forward run in the Drive4COPD 300. By virtue of his patient driving style combined with a talented team and longtime spotter Chris Monez, Koch worked his way toward the front throughout the afternoon.
With less that two dozen laps remaining in the race, Koch followed Hill as high as the top five in the running order of a crashed filled event. The sophomore driver found himself amidst the top drivers in the sport during the final green flag laps that featured a multi-car crash at the checkered flag in which Koch sliced and diced his way through the mayhem and included a pass through the grass and a collision with Kyle Bush that still didn't slow him down and led him to the impressive 17th place finish in just his second Daytona start of his young career.
"I had no choice but to go down into the grass when the crash broke out," said Koch. "Unfortunately Kyle and I got together and it tore the back end up on the Rise Up and Register Ford pretty good. Both of the RWR cars were strong all day and I can't wait to get to Phoenix."
Following Saturday's run, Koch is currently 8th in the NASCAR Nationwide standings, just 17 points behind the leader. The second race of the season is this Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway for the Bashas' Supermarkets 300. While Koch has limited experience at many tracks on the series schedule, Phoenix is a facility in which the former late model racer has much experience during his reign in the NASCAR K&N West Series two years ago.
Blake Koch is proud to carry the sponsorship of Rise Up and Register for the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series. Rise Up and Register is a national campaign with a goal of registering over one million new voters this year. Rise Up and Register firmly believes that increased electoral participation will yield tremendous benefits to our nation at a time when our problems seem to mount daily. During this race season, Rise Up and Register will work to add voices and encourage all Americans to Rise Up for their country. Koch is proud to be one of those voices and vehicles as he brings this powerful campaign to one of the Nation's largest audiences – NASCAR.
As part of the campaign, Rise Up and Register will give one lucky fan a 2012 Chevrolet Camaro painted to match Koch's 2012 Rise Up and Register NASCAR. Fans can sign up to join this campaign and register to win this car by texting “USA” to 41600.” To learn more about this campaign and to view a copy of the contest rules, please visit the organization’s website at www.riseupandregister.com. Blake Koch wishes to thank his associate sponsors for 2012 as well, Poynt free mobile app and LILLY trucking.
Tune in to watch Blake Koch and the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Phoenix International Raceway this Saturday live on ESPN2 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time. Before race day you can join Blake Koch and Rise Up and Register today by texting "USA" to 41600.
To learn more about Blake Koch visit www.blakekoch.com. For additional information on the Rise Up and Register campaign visitwww.riseupandregister.com. For additional information on the NASCAR Nationwide Series visit www.NASCAR.com.