|SOURCE: Twitter @nitrorubi|
The finish was Koch’s first of the season and his first in the series since the 2012 season finale at Homestead, 27 races ago.
Koch, who last week finished 30th in his only other Truck Series start this season, was set to pull triple duty at the Dover track. On Saturday, he would drive the #10 TriStar Motorsports entry which had earned six of the season’s first nine last-place finishes. And on Sunday, he would return for his third start in Go FAS Racing’s #32 Ford.
For the Truck race, Koch was set to run a black #36 truck. Although official results list the truck as owned by Mike Mittler (just like Scott Stenzel’s ride at Kansas), unconfirmed reports indicate the truck may have been entered by Mike Allgaier’s team, which has not run a Truck Series race since 2011. Mittler usually campaigns Chevrolets while the standings list this truck as a RAM.
For the third-consecutive Truck Series race, fewer than 36 trucks showed up to qualify, so Koch locked himself into the 33rd spot in the 35-truck field after qualifying was canceled by rain. He had completed just one lap in the weekend’s two practice sessions, running just 115.737 mph in Happy Hour. Eventual race winner Kyle Busch ran more than eight seconds faster in the session.
On Lap 3 of Friday’s race, Koch followed Ryan Ellis’ #0 Grimes Irrigation & Construction Chevrolet into the garage area by way of the backstretch entrance. It seemed a risky maneuver as both were nearly stopped on the apron as the leaders passed by. The next lap, Charles Lewandoski, the Charlotte last-place finisher, entered pit road from Turn 4. He was edged for the 33rd spot by Todd Peck, who made his first Truck Series start of the year in his family-owned #40 Arthritis.org Chevrolet. The Bottom Five was filled just eleven laps later by Raymond Terczak, Jr., making his first series start since Martinsville in his #56 RM Motorsports Chevrolet.
*A Dodge (now RAM) had not finished last in a Truck Series race at Dover since June 4, 2005, when Steve Park’s #62 Orleans Hotel & Casino Dodge was involved in a multi-truck crash after the opening lap.
*This is the first last-place finish for both Koch and the #36 in a Truck Series race at Dover.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
35) #36-Blake Koch / 2 laps / vibration
34) #0-Ryan Ellis / 2 laps / vibration
33) #40-Todd Peck / 3 laps / overheating
32) #42-Charles Lewandoski / 3 laps / electrical
31) #56-Raymond Terczak, Jr. / 14 laps / rear gear
LASTCAR TRUCK SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Alex Guenette, Blake Koch, Charles Lewandoski, Scott Stenzel, Jason White (1)
LASTCAR TRUCK SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) #36-Mike Mittler (2)
2nd) #42-Randy Young, #74-Mario Gosselin, #93-RSS Racing (1)
LASTCAR TRUCK SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Chevrolet (4)
2nd) RAM (1)