Professional racecar drivers quickly grow accustomed to traveling to various venues throughout the United States. Every track has its own personal characteristics, and one would suspect that in turn, each driver has their favorite venues where they seem to be more successful. One might also suspect that a driver would grow excited about returning to their home track if for no other reason than having the opportunity to race where they grew as a driver, and having the stands filled with friends and family.
Blake Koch was recently in the running for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year award.
NASCAR driver Blake Koch recently had the opportunity to return to his old stomping grounds at the Homestead- Miami Speedway, located just 1 1/2 hours from West Palm Beach where Blake grew up.
Not only was it exciting to return to race in front of familiar faces, but Koch was gearing up to compete in one of the biggest races of his career. Trailing fellow driver Ryan Truex by only three points, Koch was in the running for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year. With the award on the line, there couldn't be a venue for the season finale any better than home.
The points race was close and a great run would likely earn Koch the title but Timmy Hill was only three points behind the leader as well. With a number of variables going into the voting process, prior to the race there was no clear-cut answer as to who would end their season with the prestigious award under their belts.
Throughout the season, Koch's crew chief, John Monsam, has been diligent in keeping the drivers Daystar.com #81 car running to perfection. In fact, the goal was to ensure the car ran faster each and every week. That in mind, Koch and his crew were confident upon rolling into the Homestead- Miami Speedway.
At the waving of the green flag, Blake Koch and the MacDonald Motorsports team were geared up and ready to go. Although the driver fought hard and furious, his 23rd place finish was not enough to earn the Rookie of the Year title.
When asked about the key to success at this particular event, Koch said, "Restarts were a big deal. It was pretty hard to pass, so if you could grab a couple of spots on a restart that was big." Referring to racing at Homestead, he continued, "Well, Rookie of the Race would have been really big for us. Then I would have won Rookie of the Year. It would have been great to do it at my hometown, as I had over thirty friends and family at the race."
Blake Koch recently returned to his home track at Homestead - Miami Speedway to race in front of friends and family.
When asked if racing at his hometown track proved an advantage or disadvantage, he continued, "Neither. Once I'm in the car, I just drive as hard as I can, no matter what track I am at." When asked if the Rookie of the Year title would have had an effect on his confidence level, Koch explained, "I don't think it would have affected my confidence. It just would have been some added exposure."
Of course Koch would have savored the opportunity to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Award, and in turn, one shouldn't expect him to be satisfied with the outcome. When asked his feelings about his success during the 2011 season, he stated, "I wouldn't say satisfied- more like content. I heard in a church service to be content in the now and aggressive toward the future. I can't go back and change anything, but I should just keep trying harder."
Although Koch didn't earn the title he was shooting for at Homestead, he obviously experienced a great deal of success to be in the running. When asked what he credited his success to, Koch was quick to answer, "Jesus Christ, Daystar, my team, and family."
To experience success on a regular basis, a driver and his team must strive to ensure their engine can handle the rigors of the sport. That said, Koch depends on K&N products. He said, "They're the best of the best. I use K&N air filters on my truck and oil filters in my late model back home." The driver also suggested that K&N products played a role in his success throughout the 2011 season.
As 2011 winds down, Blake Koch will begin preparing for the upcoming 2012 season. While waiting for and anticipating the first race of 2012, the driver will dedicate time to working out. Not only will he focus on remaining physically fit, but he will also get mentally prepared as well.
In closing Blake Koch said, "I really enjoy the adrenaline rush of qualifying, and the overall competition of the sport." Laughingly, he continued, "I think I am addicted to racing. I start having withdrawals when I don't do it for a while. I just want to thank my sponsors for their support, and the fans for watching. If there weren't any fans, there would be no sponsors. This sport can't leave out even one piece of the puzzle."
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