|SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin' Forums|
The finish was Koch’s second of 2014 and his first since Dover, fifteen races ago. With just two races remaining, Koch joins a six-way tie for the 2014 LASTCAR Truck Series Championship. The lead, however, now belongs to Caleb Roark, whose 30th-place run broke a bottom-five tiebreaker with Justin Jennings, who came home 23rd. Roark leads with 9 Bottom Fives over Jennings’ 8, Charles Lewandoski’s 7, Ryan Ellis’ 5, Blake Koch’s 4, and Mike Harmon’s 2. Jennings and Roark are the only drivers who can win the title with a bottom-ten tiebreaker as Jennings leads Roark in that statistic 10-9 over Lewandoski’s 7. The remaining four drivers can only claim the title by scoring more last-place finishes than Roark and Jennings.
If Koch claims the 2014 LASTCAR Truck Series title, he will become the first driver ever to claim two LASTCAR titles in the same season. Koch secured the 2014 LASTCAR Nationwide Driver’s Championship on Saturday when four-time and defending LASTCAR champ Jeff Green did not enter the race.
Friday marked Koch’s fourth Truck Series start of the season, his first since a next-to-last-place run at Bristol in August, and his third in a row driving the second #36 entry fielded by Mike Mittler. Just 32 trucks showed up to the Texas track, which in June saw a 27-truck field - the shortest starting grid since the series’ inaugural season in 1995. Koch was the third-slowest of the 25 drivers who took laps in the opening practice session and did not participate in Happy Hour. He timed in 29th-fastest for the race itself at an average speed of 164.459 mph.
At the start of Friday’s race, Koch pulled behind the wall first, followed a lap later by Ryan Ellis in the unsponsored #35 Win-Tron Racing Toyota. 30th went to Caleb Roark in Jennifer Jo Cobb’s #0 Grimes Irrigation & Construction Chevrolet, which exited the race after 5 laps with the #57 Watt’s Truck Center Chevrolet of Adam Edwards. Norm Benning, the owner of the #57, rounded out the Bottom Five when his #6 Tom Corbett for PA Governor / Pro1 Automotive Chevrolet crashed in Turn 2 on Lap 23.
*Koch is the first last-place finisher in Truck Series history to retire from the race due to a rear axle failure.
*This is the first last-place finish for both Koch and the #36 in a Truck Series race at Texas.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
32) #36-Blake Koch / 3 laps / rear axle
31) #35-Ryan Ellis / 4 laps / vibration
30) #0-Caleb Roark / 5 laps / electrical
29) #57-Adam Edwards / 5 laps / rear gear
28) #6-Norm Benning / 19 laps / crash
LASTCAR TRUCK SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Ryan Ellis, Mike Harmon, Justin Jennings, Blake Koch, Charles Lewandoski, Caleb Roark (2)
2nd) Mike Affarano, T.J. Bell, Bryan Dauzat, Alex Guenette, Ted Minor, Tommy Regan, Scott Stenzel, Jason White (1)
LASTCAR TRUCK SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) #0-Jennifer Jo Cobb (4)
2nd) #36-Mike Mittler (3)
3rd) #63-Mike Mittler / Randy Young, #74-Mike Harmon (2)
4th) #28-FDNY Racing, #35-Win-Tron Racing, #42-Randy Young, #45-Regan Motorsports, #50-MAKE Motorsports, #57-Norm Benning, #74-Mario Gosselin, #93-RSS Racing, #03-Mike Affarano Motorsports (1)
LASTCAR TRUCK SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Chevrolet (17)
2nd) RAM (2)
3rd) Toyota (1)