- (Photo: Screenshot/'I Am Second')
- (Photo: Reuters/Christinne Muschi)
Blake Koch, a competitor in the NASCAR nationwide series, recently announced that he will be sponsored by the "I Am Second" campaign in his upcoming DRIVE4COPD 300 race at Daytona International Speedway in Florida on Saturday.
The "I Am Second" campaign is a Dallas-Fort Worth based Christian movement that uses events, films, books, and advertising to "to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others," according to its website.
"This sponsorship is a dream come true," Koch, who races car No. 24 for SR2 Motorsports, said in a statement.
"Not only do I get to try and win the NASCAR Nationwide series race at Daytona, but I get to do it driving a car that leads people to hope. The first reaction when someone sees it will be, 'What kind of race car driver wants to be second?' That's a huge open door to explain why. I am really excited about this opportunity and blessed to be a part of the I am Second movement," Koch added.
Koch has recently joined six other NASCAR racers, including Trevor Bayne, Michael McDowell, David Starr, Justin Allegaier, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Darrell Waltrip, to star in a short "I Am Second" film, during which Koch discusses the dangers of racecar driving and his connection to God.
Along with the physical dangers of racing an automobile at over 200 miles per hour, Koch and his fellow racers discuss the dangers of becoming arrogant and overly self-involved after receiving a large amount of fame.
In the short video, each racer ultimately discusses their decision to make themselves second, with God and others being first.
"God has my back, I'm never going to get away from that," Koch tells the camera.
Koch, who has maintained an outspoken stance on his Christian faith during his NASCAR career, has even lost previous sponsors due to his religious beliefs.
In 2012, Koch lost his sponsor, The Rise Up and Register Campaign, because ESPN alleged that he conveyed religious and political overtones in an advertisement, produced by the campaign, which encouraged Americans to vote in the upcoming election.
At the time when he lost the sponsorship, Koch said: "The one thing I will not do is deny my faith just because a particular sponsor might not like the way I express my faith, which I do on my own time."
As John Humphrey, project manager for "I Am Second," said in a recent statement, Koch's Christian values serve as the perfect fit for the "I Am Second" sponsorship. "As someone who puts God and others above himself, Blake embodies what it means to be second," Humphrey said.
"We are honored that he invited us to support him as a Daytona 500 primary sponsor and are excited to share the message of being second at NASCAR's biggest race," Humphrey added.
Celebrities, politicians, and ordinary people have all contributed to the "I Am Second" campaign to show that they put God before themselves in life.
Previously, Christian rapper LeCrae, television host Myrka Dellanos, and actor Stephen Baldwin have all told their story as a part of the "I Am Second" campaign.
NASCAR's DRIVE4COPD 300 race is considered by many to be one of the most prestigious events on the racing season's calendar, as it marks the first race in the NASCAR Nationwide series season, and takes place on Feb. 23, one day before the Daytona 500 race.