In his rookie NASCAR season, Blake Koch carries the title sponsorship of GodSpeaks.com, and his voice in the auto racing industry brings a great deal of response to the non-profit organization as well as his drive with God.
“I’ve always had a strong faith in God. After all, it is God that has given me the ability and the opportunity to do this,” said Koch. “I came into this campaign prepared to represent them [GodSpeaks.com] well. In these cars we are driving well over 100 miles per hour. How could you not be close to God before doing something like that? I am grateful for the year we have been having, and I look forward to the future with all of my sponsors.”
Prior to strapping into the GGRT/RCR GodSpeaks.com No.21 Chevrolet, Koch had very little experience behind the wheel of a fully equipped NASCAR stock car. But the former Motocrosser, who had fewer than two dozen races in a car of any type under his belt, proved he was born to race, while the entire GGRT crew rallied behind their new wheelman. During the entire season, the team carried a very powerful message in the form of sponsorship throughout the season as one of the first NASCAR teams operating under the sponsorship of a faith-based organization.
During the 2009 campaign, Koch started all 13 of the NASCAR Camping World West series events.
During those races, he scored six top-10 finishes and one top-five. Koch finished eighth out of the 73 different drivers who earned points in the Chase.
Throughout the year, Koch was in a closely watched contest for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award with New Jersey’s Paulie Harraka. Koch and Harraka swapped the Sunoco Rookie point lead back and forth throughout the season with, Harraka edging Koch for the honor entering the final race of the year.
“I gave it a good run, and it was close for most of the year,” said Koch. “I’d like to congratulate Harraka on the Rookie title. He certainly earned it and had a great year. Now it’s time to set my sights on winning races and a championship.”
Earlier this year, I had a chance to go one-on-one with the NASCAR driver, Blake Koch, of the No.21 Godspeaks.com car about his first-year challenges:
CF – Typically, Blake, NASCAR drivers get their start racing go-karts. Is this how you started?
BK – Actually, I started racing Motocross when I was 9, and I did that for about 10 years. After some major injuries I set that aside and went to college. My step dad bought a race car and asked me if I wanted to drive it. I said sure, as I missed racing. And from the first time I drove the car it seemed natural to me, so I set out to achieve my goals.
CF – What is the big difference and adjustments moving from Motocross to four wheels, and how do you like it?
BK – I really enjoyed the Motocross sport growing up, as was a good family activity and required a lot of discipline. It was tough dealing with all the injuries, though, and ever since I’ve been racing four wheels my body sure does enjoy it more as I haven’t had any major accidents, thank God.
CF – What life lessons did you take away from all the Motocross injuries, and how did faith play a role in that decision to stop?
BK – Faith plays a big role in my life, as I’ve been a Christian since I was saved at a summer camp in Tampa at age 12. I always reach for my faith, as I’ve never been scared or feared getting hurt. I’ve never really been scared of anything, and I think that lends to my true faith in God. NASCAR is a much safer sport, but Motocross was really my training with those skills that has me where I’m at today.
CF – Talk about this first year for you on the Nascar Camping World Series. It’s like the minor leagues, correct?
BK – Yes, it’s part of the Nationwide Nascar series, and I’m blessed to be racing with one of the greats, the Richard Childress racing team out of the Bay Area in San Francisco. It’s a standard Nascar, and we have about seven or eight of them that used to be the ones that Kevin Harvick won with, so they are really good cars. It’s exactly like the minor leagues of the sport, where I’ll race for a year and hope to move up to the next level in 2010. This is the development league, and I get a chance to still race against some big names like Kyle Busch and Joey Logano, who came out of this series.
CF – What’s it like to have a sponsor like Godspeaks.com, not a normal NASCAR partner?
BK – To have a sponsor like Godspeaks.com is really cool because you see all the beer sponsors and a lot of families don’t like to hang those posters in the house where the kids will see them. Now you see this car with Godspeaks.com, with a saying on the hood like, “Life is Short eternity isn’t signed God.” A lot of people would be proud to hang this up and support us. Godspeaks.com started putting all those billboards on the side of the road nationally with sayings that all come from scripture, like, “If you must curse use your own name