Showing posts with label Blake Koch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blake Koch. Show all posts

Thursday, February 7, 2013

SR2 Motorsports Re-Signs Blake Koch, Promotes Benny Gordon to General Manager

Blake Koch
Credit: Breaking Limits Marketing  
Mooresville, N.C. (February 7, 2013) – Coming off the heels of their announcement of expanding to three cars in 2013, SR² Motorsports announced today that Blake Koch will race in the NASCAR Nationwide Series as driver of one of the team’s Toyota Camrys. This will mark Koch’s second season with the organization after starting in nine races for the Georgia-based team in 2012. Benny Gordon, who was promoted to team general manager and lead crew chief, will serve as the No. 24 team’s crew chief.

SR² Motorsports is bringing back a driver with youth, talent and strong morals and ethics to represent their team and sponsors. Koch, 26, was behind the wheel for nine of the team’s races in 2012 and quickly became an integral part of helping to move the team forward. Koch also impressed his sponsors and team management with this attitude, ability and positive lifestyle.

“Everyone at SR² Motorsports is very excited to have Blake Koch return in 2013,” said Jason Sciavicco, team owner. “What he believes in as a person really fits to our team model and where we’re heading. We also believe he has the talents behind the wheel to deliver the results we are expecting.”

Koch made his Nationwide Series debut in 2009. In his first 10 races, Blake Koch earned five top-25 finishes. He completed 32 Nationwide Races in 2011 and finished 18th in points, finishing a close second in the battle for rookie of the year.

“I’m really excited to be teaming with SR² Motorsports for the 2013 season,” Koch said. “Our team chemistry is solid. In the races we competed in last season, we worked well together and developed a good understanding of how our race cars need to be set up. We have great note packages to build on from last year, which have laid a good foundation for this year. We grew leaps and bounds last season and I’m optimistic that we’ll continue that this year.”

Gordon drove 11 races for SR² Motorsports in 2011. He was a major factor in establishing the team and locking them into the top-30 of the owner point standings. Throughout his career, Gordon has competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Camping World Truck Series, K&N Pro Series East and the ARCA Series.

“No doubt about it, SR² Motorsports wouldn’t be where we are today without Benny Gordon,” Sciavicco said. “It’s great to know that he’ll still be guiding us and helping shape our organization in 2013. He brings loads of experience and leadership to the table and he will certainly be an asset to us in our second season of competition.”

The drivers for the team’s remaining two cars will be named at a later date. Gordon and Koch will team together for the first time at Daytona International Speedway for the DRIVE4COPD 300 on February 23. The event will broadcast on ESPN, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio.

Source: Breaking Limits Marketing for SR2 Motorports Press Release

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Shannon and Blake Koch welcome baby Carter

Photo Courtesy of Shannon Koch
Congratulations to Shannon and Blake Koch - baby Carter arrived on Sunday August 5th according to a Facebook post from the proud new daddy. Carter William Koch weighs 8 pounds, 6 ounces and both he and mommy are doing well.

After a trying year for Blake's career on track, the young couple has remained steadfast in their faith and the belief God has a plan for them. Blake has been driving part-time for Rick Ware Racing in a start and park ride due to a lack of funding.

Skirts and Scuffs has closely followed the Kochs through many interviews. Read more on Shannon and Blake and their romantic love story which now has a new chapter with the birth of baby Carter.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Faith on the Frontstretch: From Victory Lane to “Lawn Service”

 NASCAR folks team up with Samaritan's Purse
to clean up tornado damage in Texas.
All photos courtesy of Samaritan's Purse.
“...and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1b

When Nick Terry’s neighborhood was hit by a tornado last year, he watched people drive through to witness the damage, but not stop to help. So when he found out tornadoes hit close to Texas Motor Speedway, the Motor Racing Outreach chaplain felt God calling him to lend a hand.

“My heart broke for those people who had damage from the tornadoes,” he said. “So it was a great place to serve.”

MRO chaplain, Nick Terry
Terry gathered a few MRO staffers and a variety of racing folks including a car chief, engineer, mechanic, hauler driver, media people, pit crew members and racecar drivers. His team of 20 volunteers joined the clean-up effort organized by Samaritan’s Purse. The group spent the morning sawing up overturned trees and removing branches, fencing and other debris from several yards.

One homeowner asked where the volunteers were from and was amazed to find out it was NASCAR guys working in his yard. The man said he had watched the Friday night Nationwide race on television and told chaplain Terry, “Last night, that Ricky Stenhouse did an awesome job!”

Terry motioned toward Stenhouse Jr. a short distance away and told the man, “He’s standing right there. He’s right there in your yard cleaning up!”

From victory lane to lawn care - Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was
lending a hand in the clean up efforts.
Can you imagine watching a champion celebrate in Victory Lane one night, and then find him doing “lawn service” for you the next morning? That’s the kind of thing you never forget. And it happened to one race fan because a group of guys shared the love of Jesus by helping tornado victims.

Who were those young men? Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Trevor Bayne, Blake Koch, Michael McDowell, Josh Wise and a host of others; all with hearts dedicated to serving.

What motivates busy, famous guys to do lawn service, selflessly donating their time to clean up a storm-ravaged neighborhood?

“It is just the love of God. That’s what they’re all about,” Terry said, and he knows them well. He leads the group of young drivers in a Bible study on the morning of the Nationwide race each week. “The Bible says Jesus came to serve, not to be served. It models the life of Christ when we can serve like that.”
Michael McDowell

Terry said one older gentleman was deeply touched and just couldn’t believe NASCAR drivers took time to help him.

“We told him, ‘We just want to share the same love that God has shared with us, with you.'"

Before the day was over, volunteers prayed with this homeowner and he accepted Jesus into his heart. It’s a poignant reminder to us all that nothing we do for another person is in vain. An act of service can end up affecting someone’s life for eternity.

Like Terry and his driver buddies, you and I can share the love of Jesus by reaching out to others, using whatever talents or simple skills we already possess. Because where the rubber meets the road, serving and loving is what life is truly about.
Trevor Bayne
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. ~ 1 Peter 4:10

Many thanks to Samaritan’s Purse for sharing Karina Petersen’s photos with Skirts and Scuffs. For driver comments and more photos, check out the article on the Samaritan’s Purse website.

Want more racing devotions? When you donate $25 or more to Skirts and Scuffs, we’ll send you a complimentary copy of Beth’s book, Race Fans’Devotions to Go. See you on the frontstretch!

Beth Bence Reinke is the author of Race Fans’ Devotions to Go, a month-long, pocket-sized devotional book for female racing fans. “Faith on the Frontstretch” appears every 1st & 3rd Wednesday and explores the role of faith in motorsports. Beth also writes “Gibbs Garage,” Sprint Cup race recaps for Joe Gibbs Racing teams. Comments or twitter follows welcome: @bbreinke.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Blake Koch stands up for his beliefs as ESPN bans ad

Rise Up and Register's ad has been banned by ESPN and is creating a buzz.
Credit: Rick Ware Racing 
Faith is deeply rooted in NASCAR as teams bow their head in prayer before every race. No one has ever protested that or called afoul that practice. Yet today the story came to light that ESPN banned a commercial featuring NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Blake Koch and his new sponsor Rise Up and Register, a campaign trying to get fans to register to vote during the crucial election year.

ESPN rejected the sponsor's ad air time due to "political and religious overtones." In a voicemail left for Koch, ESPN cited that they looked at his personal website, which is where they found the religious overtones.

Koch appeared on "FOX and Friends" on Thursday morning to discuss the matter.

“I didn't think that my faith in Christ would have an impact on whether or not a sponsor could air a commercial or not,” he said. To view the segment, where Koch plays the voicemail from ESPN, click here.

But a statement from ESPN defended their stance, stating that their decision to deny the ad had nothing to do with Koch’s beliefs. “The spot did not meet our guidelines in regard to advocacy messaging. Blake Koch’s personal religious beliefs played no role in our evaluation.”

I spoke with Koch for his comments on the whole situation. First and foremost he said, "The reason for any of this is nothing negative on ESPN. That is something the fans have done on their own to write and call in, I am not encouraging that whatsoever."

As for Koch, he has been left out of the details since Daytona when this story developed. 

"The first time I heard of this was at Daytona, that they would not air my commercial and then we were trying to figure out what to do because that was the activation part of the sponsorship. They would not air it, upfront they (Rise Up and Register) sponsored three races and after Bristol we could not get around this commercial thing so they did not sign on for any other races. I was left without a sponsor for California and that is when FOX News heard about the whole story."

"The main and weird thing is, the ad has nothing to do with religion or particular politics," said Koch.

Now without a sponsor, Koch and Rick Ware Racing intend on racing the entire season but face an uphill challenge.

"Rick Ware Racing is going to do their best to race me all year long, regardless but it's tough," Koch said. "Like in California, we had one set of new tires, that was it. It was a struggle and we do not want to race all year long like that. We had a good start to the year, while we were sponsored we were 10th in points."

Koch has never been quiet about his faith, nor should he have to be. Many NASCAR drivers are very outspoken about their beliefs including Trevor Bayne, Justin Allgaier, Michael McDowell and even team owner Joe Gibbs, who has penned books on the subject. Should they not talk on the subject? Furthermore, if they do speak of this in their personal time, should they be penalized?

The message in the advertisement has no religious overtones, as ESPN and Koch stated. As for the political nature of it, sure voting is political, but it is not an ad that is pro-Republican or pro-Democrat, so I personally do not see the problem. Go vote - you have the power to choose and have your voice heard, it is that simple.

Fans are taking to Koch's Facebook page with messages of support and outrage at the same time.

If anything good can come out of Koch's story, the exposure could draw potential sponsors to Rick Ware Racing.

This story has fans (and media) on fire. Share your thoughts and opinions below. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Blake Koch goes pink – In honor of his mom

Blake and Angie Koch

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Many professional sports teams are donning their pink gear in support of the effort, but the personal stories are what make this cause even more honorable to support.

Blake Koch, contender for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year, holds breast cancer awareness near and dear to his heart. His mother Angie has battled the horrible disease twice now and thankfully can say she is a survivor.

For the second time this year, Koch’s No. 81 car for MacDonald Motorsports will be a pink tribute car in honor of all women battling breast cancer, fueled by Blake’s desire to support his mother.

I had the extreme privilege to speak with Blake, his mother Angie and wife Shannon before this exciting weekend for them. As you may remember, Blake is not the only Koch racing this weekend, Shannon is competing in the Better Half Dash on Saturday.

Angie and Blake Koch sit down to share “The Journey”
Amanda Ebersole (AE): Is it hard for you to be coming forward and telling such a personal side to your life?

Blake Koch (BK): No, not so much. I do not have a problem to share my stories or talk about things that are personal because you never know how things can effect someone else’s life, so I try not to be too personal about anything.

AE: You are strong in your faith, I know for you and your family to deal with the diagnosis and treatments of cancer had to be difficult. How did you find the inner strength, through your faith, to deal with so much?

BK: Faith is probably 100 percent of how I have gotten through all of this. Knowing that God has a plan and he slowly reveals it to us, to which my mom, dealing with her breast cancer issues and is now a survivor, can talk to people about her struggles now that it happened. She is able to help others who are currently going through it. I am racing in NASCAR because of God’s opportunities for me. We are able to put breast cancer awareness in front of millions of people and probably would not have if my mom did not have breast cancer. There are so many ways to look at it, just the fact that I put my life in God’s hands and completely trust in the decisions and plans he wants to make. His will be done is always my prayer, so no matter what that looks like I have to have faith that it will be for a certain reason.
Blake's No.81 breast cancer awareness car. (With mom Angie)

AE: In May of this year, you also ran a pink car and your mom was by your side for that race. What does it mean to you to have her there to support you as you head to the track this weekend?

BK: It was great the first time and it will be great this time also. It’s a repeat of the first time at Charlotte in May when we had our pink breast cancer car. Daystar was releasing the CD "Set Free" and it is based on people going through life-changing illnesses. It really fit the picture, with my mom being there, having breast cancer and her story and the song. The car this time is perfect timing because it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and my mom just had her last reconstructive surgery last month, so right now she is fully recovered. It is cool to have the car again as she is fully recovered to compare to last time when she was still coming off her double mastectomy.  

AE: I guess that makes you reflect and see how far she has come?  

BK: Yes absolutely! Just the timing of everything and how that looks is something I try not to miss. The first breast cancer race, she just had major surgery, and this race she is 100 percent recovered. It is pretty cool how God works!

AE: I know this is a big weekend for you, not just because of the breast cancer tribute car but because your wife Shannon is driving in the Better Half Dash on Saturday. What kind of nerves do you have watching her strap into a car, since the shoe is on the other foot?

BK: I did get a little nervous watching her! We went and practiced, we had practice days and I got pretty nervous just seeing her take off in that car that she could get hurt in and is going fast enough to get hurt. She is smart and has been watching me race for a long time and listens to the radios, I just hope she makes the right decisions but I just hope she has fun. This is for charity and it is to support some great causes. If Shannon wins, her support is going to Motor Racing Outreach (MRO), which is our traveling church and is very important to us.

A mother and a survivor

The woman behind the cause so near and dear to Blake’s heart, Angie, also answered a few questions about her ordeal.

AE: Opening up and telling such a personal story to NASCAR fans especially, is the hope that you can maybe touch that one person also battling with the same situation?

Angie Koch (AK): I do not mind telling my story because I hope I can touch somebody’s life or answer a question they have when you are dealing with breast cancer, chemotherapy and losing your hair. I do not mind talking about it at all.

AE: In what way did your faith help you through your battle with breast cancer?

AK: A lot of prayer definitely did help, being with my family and my son Blake and he prayed for me and we prayed together. That just really helped.

AE: After watching your video, I understand that Blake shaved his head in a show of support after you lost your hair from chemotherapy. How important was a token of support like that for you at such a hard time?

AK: That was very sweet that he did that for me, to show me that I am not alone. It was very touching and cute that he did that for me.

AE: This weekend, for the second time, Blake is honoring you with a pink race car. As the mother of a NASCAR driver, how do you feel with such a large show of support?

AK: I love it that Daystar, Blake and MacDonald Motorsports have done this not only for me but for all the other women out there that are battling breast cancer, have battled or for those who did not survive. It is just a huge, huge honor that they are doing this.  

AE: I guess as a mother, it has to be a very proud moment?  

AK: Oh my gosh, I am so proud. It’s a little overwhelming, having all this going on and knowing that it is for me. So it is overwhelming and it just warms my heart.

AE: My most important question for you: Many people have someone they know who has breast cancer. Often the case is that someone does not know what to do or say to someone battling such an illness. In your opinion, what is the best thing to do/say to someone with cancer?

AK: I know that the most common thing is that people do not know what to do or say and sometimes you do not get those phone calls you are waiting to receive. In my personal opinion, send a really nice card to the person or just talk to them. Say hi, they just want someone to talk to and know they are praying for and care about you and what you are going through. Just don’t be quiet and not call – just call, it does not matter what you say! Send a card, I loved receiving cards.

'Better half' takes to the track

Rounding out my Koch family interviews, I once again got to speak to Shannon. I spoke to Shannon just weeks ago, after being announced that she was participating in the Better Half Dash. (Read the interview here: Shannon and Blake Koch: A Love Story) Now just two days away, I spoke to Shannon as the nerves fire up.

All ready for the Better Half  Dash!
Courtesy of Shannon Koch

AE: Are you ready?

Shannon Koch (SK): I am as ready as I will ever be I guess! I am super nervous!!!

AE: How has everything gone with practice, will you be ready when the green flag drops on Saturday afternoon?

SK: Yeah, we know what to do, its just hard to do – we were practicing by ourselves on the track forever and it has been drilled in our head the line we have to run, when to get off the gas, when to lift and all that. Its hard when there are 14 other girls running the same line, so we will see what happens during the race.

AE: I guess now you understand what Blake goes through each week?

SK: Yes! (laughs) I give him tons more credit now that I know how it works.

AE: Has Blake helped you prepare?

SK: Yeah, he walked me through the track and showed me where to lift. These cars only have rear brakes so if we use the brakes, we will spin out, it is kind of hard to process that if I cannot the brakes as I go into the corner. It works though, you lift and get back on and he has been a huge help.

AE: Scoop out your competition – who is the ladies to watch for?

SK: Wendy Venturini will definitely be a hard one to beat. Jami McDowell is really fast, all the girls are really surprisingly good! (As the male better halves will sit grinning ear to ear saying that is my woman!) It will be tough and really exciting, we do not qualify, we just draw numbers for our starting positions.

AE: Now to tie the whole weekend together; You are driving a car identical to Blake?

SK: Yes, it is just really exciting!

Tune into the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday, October 14 at 7:30 to see Blake’s No. 81 car hit the track in the Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage.

A special thank you to Blake, Angie and Shannon Koch for speaking to me on such a personal topic – I am honored to share your story.

NASCAR By the Numbers and In the Rearview Mirror (looking back at NASCAR's history) are Amanda's two weekly columns with Skirts and Scuffs, but as an Associate Editor her duties are limitless.Amanda also expanded her area of coverage to include exclusive interviews, brought straight to the readers of Skirts and Scuffs. To read her past columns and interviews click here.. Feel free to follow and contact Amanda via Twitter.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Shannon and Blake Koch: A Love Story

Shannon and Blake Koch
Competing for the Rookie-of-the-Year title in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Blake Koch is looking to make his mark on NASCAR. By his side through it all is his loving wife Shannon.

Shannon, who was born and raised in Florida, is learning the ropes of NASCAR and is eager to see Blake succeed in his dreams.

Many wives and girlfriends come from a racing background, but for Shannon, racing is a whole new world. As she told me, “Blake started racing four years ago and has moved so fast. So it is all very, very new. I think I have been to eight races now, so again, it’s very new to me.”

Trying to “figure out her place” and adapting from her traditional schedule of working a 9 to 5 job to the hectic and fast paced life of NASCAR has been a whirlwind for Shannon.

After purchasing a fifth wheel camper, Shannon and Blake drive to many tracks within a ten hour distance. Living the life of packing, unpacking and once again repacking to leave again can be difficult, but attitude makes the difference. Shannon said this type of life can be “crazy” but would not trade it for anything else.

Blake and Shannon met at the age of 12 – that is when their romance blossomed, even before either were old enough to “date.” As children in Florida, the couple grew up together, spending most of their time talking on the phone. Years later, the love bug bit, Shannon and Blake were no longer kids in love but now adults. As Shannon recounts, “I was maybe 18 or 19 and it just kind of happened.”


Married in Florida in May of 2010, The Kochs had to adapt their wedding due to racing. May was the only time Blake had free, so thanks to family help, a wedding was planned in only four months time. (For those who do not know, most weddings can take up to a year to plan) “That was crazy, I feel like everything we do is crazy.” 

Something I found interesting about Blake is his openness to speak about his religion, knowing that can be a polarizing topic today. His sponsor Day Star Racing, is a Christian television network. I asked Shannon if this brings up conversations with fans about their sponsor and their own personal religion. “Everybody has questions about Day Star, how do I find it, what is it? Blake really gets all the questions.”

Faith in NASCAR is nothing new, which made me wonder: does having a religious belief help someone through the trials and tribulations of NASCAR? I spoke to Shannon just days after Blake crashing at Richmond, so this question hit home. “It definitely does. You have to realize that it is not Blake’s time, God is working through Blake and he has a plan for him, we just have to wait and see what it is. It is hard to think like that, but you just have to, it makes everything so much easier. It’s all in His time.”

Through Blake, Shannon has learned to be positive through the ups and downs of racing. “He is so positive. He is really good, I do not know how he got that calm.”

Junior sits and waits as Blake races.
To be newlyweds, new to NASCAR and competing for the Nationwide Series Rookie-of-the-Year all bring a level of stress that has to be daunting at times. I asked Shannon how she handles it all and her response was graceful. “We are still having fun. It’s hard to get used to being on the road, getting everything together that we will need, packing up the camper but it has been so nice to be with him. The first half of our marriage, Blake was traveling every weekend and flying so I could not afford to go with him, plus I had a job. It’s awesome to be able to travel with him.” Along with the ride when the Kochs pack up and hit the road: their 90 pound yellow lab named Junior.

Preparing for the Better Half Dash
Another thing that is important to the Kochs is working with MRO. Tying together their worship and racing. MRO (Motor Racing Outreach) provides chapel services on weekends and outreach events for the garage families. “It is really nice, short and sweet and they hit you with such a strong message”, said Shannon as she told me about MRO’s work. “It is really nice to take out that time during the busy day to worship.” Interestingly, Shannon told me about a Bible study that she attends for the women of NASCAR, usually on a Saturday morning, amidst all the hustle and bustle of the weekend. This Bible study has also been a great introduction into the NASCAR community for Shannon, getting to meet the other wives, girlfriends and workers in NASCAR, creating some great friendships.

MRO is hosting a great event in October during the Charlotte Chase weekend, the women of NASCAR will be competing in the Better Half Dash. The BHD is a 25 lap charity race, benefitting MRO and Speedway Children’s Charities, is drawing the names of women across NASCAR. Shannon will be competing against Ashley Allgaier, Katie Kenseth, Wendy Venturini and good friend Jami McDowell just to name a few. “I am really nervous,” said Shannon speaking of the butterflies as she prepares to strap behind the wheel herself. “I am really excited and I am sure it will be a lot of fun.” The BDH is a full out event for the ladies, painting their cars, decals, sponsors, firesuits, helmets..the list goes on. The race will not be live on TV but SPEED will be showing highlights on it on RaceDay, be sure to tune in. To help MRO, text “MOTOR” to 20222 to donate $10.

NASCAR fans are very loyal to their drivers, making it somewhat difficult for new drivers like Blake to pick up a large fan following. I asked Shannon, what is one thing fans should know about Blake, stumping her a bit with that question. “He is such a hard worker and he works so hard for everything that he does. He never gives up. We were talking, even if he does not get a ride next year, we will not leave North Carolina, he is where he wants to be and wants to be available because something will happen. He is not going to quit until something does happen.”

Getting an insight into the personal side of Blake, I asked Shannon what is one thing people do not know about him, perhaps a hidden talent. To my surprise, she said “He plays the drums. When we first started dating he was a drummer in a Christian band. We have a Bible study on Monday nights with a couple drivers and Blake plays the drums, Trevor Bayne and Josh Wise play the guitars and Michael McDowell sings. (Who knew, American Idol: NASCAR Edition?) Check out this youtube video (sorry it is bad quality).

Through the trials and tribulations life will throw at them, two things will get Shannon and Blake through it all, their love for each other and their love for God.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Catching Up with NASCAR Nationwide Driver Blake Koch at The Track

Blake Koch at the No. 81 hauler
Photo by Rosalie Thompson for Skirts and Scuffs
Sitting in the No. 81 hauler recently talking with Blake Koch, one realizes that the Nationwide Rookie of the Year candidate is extremely happy that he has earned the right to race long term for MacDonald Motorsports.  One also gets the feeling that life would be just as meaningful to the young Florida native if fate took it all away.

Koch was exposed to racing at an early age when he was born in Daytona Beach and spent his first couple of years living so close to the track that his parents told him “you could hear the cars from the house.” He didn’t get into a race car, however, until after he left home for college.
Five months ago, racing was not on the schedule for Koch, who was pressure cleaning roofs in Florida with his stepdad, Tim Kirkland, who had introduced him to racing cars.  Koch’s racing career started with eight years of motocross which he gave up after seeing several of his friends seriously injured.  His NASCAR career was also fading.
In February, Koch was just another fan watching the 2011 Daytona 500 on TV at a family birthday party in South Florida when he saw his good friend Trevor Bayne win the race.   
Right after Bayne’s win, Koch said he got a text message from Jonathan Lamb at Daystar Television Network asking if he saw Bayne win and give God the Glory.  Lamb then told Koch they needed to get him back on the racetrack.  “From then on out, I’ve had a Daystar sponsor.”
The partnering of Daystar Television Network, the fastest-growing Christian television network in the world, with a humble Nationwide driver who puts God first in his life, seems to be a perfect fit.
“I don’t make decisions based on what friends say or even what family says,” Koch said.  “I basically just pray about it and wait for peace in my heart on that decision and know that it is the right one.”
Much of Koch’s time during a race weekend is spent either away from the track visiting local churches and talking with kids at the YMCA or just participating in outreach programs at the track.
Koch is currently 21st in the Nationwide standings and a few weeks ago, Daystar Television Network and Blake Koch Incorporated signed a new long-term, multi-year agreement which will secure support for Koch’s racing career for multiple seasons in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
“Daystar’s commitment to Blake Koch Inc. means so much to me. We both have the same goal in mind – to impact the world with the love and word of Jesus Christ,” Koch said in a statement at the time of the signing.  “We both understand that on track performance gives us a bigger platform to reach our goal and we are going to do whatever it takes to reach that goal.”
“I was able to quit my day job which was pressure cleaning roofs,” Koch said.   Now that he is able to make a living racing, his life on the road has also become more enjoyable.  He recently purchased a fifth-wheel motorhome and he, his wife and his dog drive to the tracks instead of relying on commercial flights, rented cars and hotel rooms.
“How many 25-year olds can say they can travel the United States?” Koch asked when reflecting on his newly-acquired racing lifestyle. “It is just a true blessing.”
Although his step father introduced him to NASCAR, when his racing career began to take off, Koch asked his dad, Mark Koch, to help with the business side of his racing including negotiating contracts and securing sponsors.
Koch is running for 2011 Rookie of the Year honors where his main competition is his good friend Timmy Hill, who also runs for a small team.  “That is my race,” he said about trying to beat the No. 15 each week.
“Coming into this year, I just wanted to get into enough races—I wanted to race 17 times this year—just so I had a shot at winning the Rookie of the Year.”  Koch said. Now he will run a full season.
Although Hill currently is ahead of Koch in the total standings after Kentucky, the ROTY honors are handed out based on only the top 17 finishes so the standings can change dramatically as the year progresses.
Meanwhile, Koch is loving life on and off the track.  While chatting with Koch in the hauler, walking with him as he signs autographs or watching him at an outreach event, it is obvious that Koch is pretty happy with where his life is today and very grateful to all those who have made that possible.