Blake Koch Is Looking For Another Solid Finish At Richmond

Blake Koch

Blake Koch at Richmond Raceway… Blake Koch has 12 previous starts in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) at Richmond Raceway. He earned a track-best finish of eighth in April 2016 after starting 16th. His track-best start (fifth) came in this race last year as he went on to finish 15th. Earlier this season, Koch qualified 14th and went on to finish 11th, avoiding a carnage-filled ending to the event.

Sounding Off – Blake Koch… “Richmond has typically been a good track for us. I love short tracks and Richmond has some unique characteristics that makes it really fun. We have the opportunity to continue to solidify our spot in the playoffs this weekend as long as we are smart. The ending of the April race was kind of chaotic so we will do our best to stay out of harm’s way and leave with a solid finish.”

Close to Home… Kaulig Racing crew chief and general manager, Chris Rice, calls RIR his home track. Rice grew up in South Boston, Va., just over 100 miles from Richmond. His mom, Cathy, runs South Boston Speedway, a racetrack in Rice’s hometown, and also sits on the NASCAR Appeals Board. When Rice was five years old, his dad, Allan, and uncle started their own race team. Rice immediately started working on the pit crew for his family’s team and worked his way up through the NASCAR ranks.

2017 Season… Koch is currently eighth in the NXS Championship driver standings after 24 races. He has recorded one pole position, six top-10 starts, three top-10 finishes and 11 top-15 finishes. The Kaulig Racing driver has led 32 laps so far in 2017. Last week at Darlington Raceway, Koch started 18th and fought a loose-handling No. 11 machine before earning a track-best finish of 11th. He is currently 44 points above the cut line in the NXS playoff standings.

Meet Blake…Koch will meet with fans and sign autographs at the LeafFilter Gutter Protection display at Richmond Raceway on Friday, September 8th at 5:30 p.m ET.

He will answer fan questions at the Chevy display at Richmond Raceway on Friday, September 8th at 5:45 p.m ET

Blake Koch NXS Career… Koch makes his 205th NXS start this weekend at Richmond Raceway. To date, Koch has a career-best NXS starting position of first at Talladega Superspeedway (May 2017), and a career-best NXS finish of seventh at Road America (August 2017).

Tune-In… The 250-lap Virginia529 College Savings 250 from Richmond Raceway will be televised live Friday, September 8th , 2017 at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and will be broadcasted live on the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90.

Keeping up with Kaulig Racing… To receive up-to-date information on the No. 11 NXS team, follow @KauligRacing on Twitter as well as on the Kaulig Racing™ Facebook page, www.facebook.com/kauligracing, and the team’s website, www.kauligracing.com.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Blake Koch Produces A Track Best Finish At Darlington

Blake Koch

Sporting a throwback paint scheme reminiscent of Darrell Waltrip’s 1985 red and white championship-winning car, Kaulig Racing driver Blake Koch finished 11th at Darlington Raceway on Saturday, a track-best finish for the West Palm Beach, Fla. native.

“What an awesome weekend at Darlington Raceway for our No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection team,” said Koch. “I think we had the best-looking throwback paint scheme out there and can’t thank Darrell Waltrip enough for coming out to support us. We made some huge gains in the points today and just had an overall satisfying weekend. We will carry this momentum into Richmond next week and through to the cutoffs for the playoffs in Chicago!”

The team finished 18th and 15th, respectively, in Friday’s two practice sessions. Koch focused on race runs and felt confident about the long-run speed of the No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevy. Koch settled into an 18th-place starting position after Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session with the focus on the 147-lap Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200.

With Darrell Waltrip watching on, Koch took the green flag on Saturday afternoon from the 18th position before the field was slowed by caution before a lap was completed. Koch had moved up to 16th by the end of that first lap and would restart there on Lap 5. He continued to gain momentum and was scored 13th by the next caution on Lap 9. He restarted 13th on Lap 12 and settled into a long-run until Lap 31 when the caution was again displayed. At that time, Koch ran 15th and reported to the team that the rear tires were starting to slip, signaling they were becoming worn. He restarted 15th with 10 laps remaining in Stage 1, eventually taking the stage flag from the 16th position.

Crew chief Chris Rice brought Koch down pit road under the caution period at the end of Stage 1 for four fresh tires, fuel, wedge and air pressure adjustments. After the adjustments, Koch restarted 20th on Lap 51 to begin Stage 2.

Soon after the start of Stage 2, Koch made his way up to the 18th position. He radioed into the team on Lap 64 that the car’s handling had turned to being very loose, especially into Turn 3. He maintained the 18th position through the Lap 70 caution period, again reporting that the car was too free. Koch continued to fight loose conditions after the restart, eventually crossing the finish line for the end of Stage 2 in the 21st position.

Under the caution period, Rice brought Koch down pit road to reverse the previous adjustment. Koch left the pits with wedge and air pressure adjustments, fresh tires, and fuel to restart 16th on Lap 96.

Two laps after the final stage began, the race fell under caution as Koch had made his way up to 14th. He maintained the 14th position after the restart and ran there until the caution flew with 11 laps to go in the race. Under the caution period, the team elected to come down pit road to put fresh tires on the No. 11 machine to carry Koch to the end. He restarted 13th with six laps to go at Darlington Raceway. One final caution would be displayed with four laps to go, as Koch ran 13th. He restarted 12th with two laps remaining, but made the pass for 11th and held off his opponents to earn an 11th-place finish at Darlington Raceway. His previous track-best finish was 18th, which came in 2011.

Koch and the No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection team leave Darlington Raceway eighth in the NXS driver standings and 44 points ahead of the playoff cutoff line. The team returns to racing action Friday, September 8, 2017 at Richmond International Raceway.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Blake Koch Is Pumped To Honor Darrell Waltrip At Darlington

Blake Koch

Blake Koch at Darlington Raceway… Blake Koch has six previous starts in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) at Darlington Raceway. He earned a track-best finish of 18th in 2011 after starting 26th. In 2016, Koch earned a track-best start of 16th and fought the handling of the No. 11 machine for much of the race. He persevered to finish 19th in that event.

Sounding Off – Blake Koch… “We feel really good going into Darlington this weekend, as well as the next three races. We are working on some different strategy with the cutoffs for the playoffs coming up. I’m pumped to honor Darrell Waltrip again with our paint scheme. He supports our race team tremendously and it’s important to me that we are staying loyal to that. I hope to put together a better run for him this year, which we are confident we can do.”

On the Car…The No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevy Camaro will sport a red and white paint scheme, reminiscent of Darrell Waltrip’s 1985 championship-winning car, for this weekend’s Throwback Weekend at Darlington Raceway. Waltrip’s iconic No. 11 red and white machine captured three wins, 18 top-5 finishes, 21 top-10 finishes and four pole awards en route to the 1985 championship. The Owensboro, K.Y. native collected five wins, 18 top-five and 23 top-10 finishes in 55 starts at Darlington Raceway.

2017 Season… Koch is currently eighth in the NXS Championship driver standings after 23 races. He has recorded one pole position, six top-10 starts, three top-10 finishes and 10 top-15 finishes. The Kaulig Racing driver has led 32 laps so far in 2017. Last week at Road America, Koch started 15th after qualifying was cancelled due to rain. He fought handling issues early, but bounced back to earn a career-best finish of seventh.

Meet Blake…Koch will meet with fans and sign autographs at the LeafFilter Gutter Protection display at Darlington Raceway on Saturday, September 2nd at 1:45 p.m ET.

Blake Koch NXS Career… Koch makes his 204th NXS start this weekend at Darlington Raceway. To date, Koch has a career-best NXS starting position of first at Talladega Superspeedway (May 2017), and a career-best NXS finish of seventh at Road America (August 2017).

Tune-In… The 147-lap Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 from Darlington Raceway will be televised live Saturday, September 2, 2017 at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and will be broadcasted live on the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Blake Koch Scores Career Best Finish At Road America

Blake Koch

Kaulig Racing driver Blake Koch scored a career-best NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) finish of seventh at Road America on Sunday in the 45-lap Johnsonville 180. The West Palm Beach, Fla. native started the event 15th and scored a stage point in Stage 2 of the race.

“It was just such a fun weekend being able to drive such a fast No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevy at the last road course race of the season,” said Koch. “I’m proud of our team and happy to earn a team-best finish for Matt Kaulig and all of our hardworking team members at Kaulig Racing. We are progressing every week and need to stay consistent to secure our place in the playoffs.”

The team finished sixth and 11th, respectively, in Saturday’s two practice session. Koch and the team felt confident about the handling of the No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevy headed into Sunday morning’s qualifying session. As qualifying approached, scattered rain showers took over the track, ultimately cancelling the session and lining the field up by owner’s points, with Koch in 15th.

Koch took the green flag for Stage 1 from the 15th position under sunny skies at the 4.048-mile road course. He settled into the 16th position before the caution was displayed for the first time on Lap 4. He reported to the team that the car was really tight through the corners. Crew chief Chris Rice brought Koch down pit road under the caution for four fresh tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. As one of only a handful of cars who visited pit road, Koch restarted 25th when the field returned to green on Lap 7 with three laps remaining in Stage 1.

Koch continued to fight the handling of the No. 11 machine through the end of Stage 1, reporting to the team that the car would not turn. He finished Stage 1 in the 29th position before making a visit to pit road for a wedge adjustment, fuel and a windshield tear off. He restarted 23rd on Lap 12 to begin Stage 2.

The caution flag was displayed on Lap 13 as Koch had raced his way up to 18th. He reported to the team that the wedge adjustment seemed to have helped the car’s turn. He restarted 16th on Lap 16. Shortly after the restart, he reported that he was still having trouble getting into and out of the corners. He managed to persevere to finish Stage 2 in the 10th position, earning one bonus point.

Under the caution, Koch visited pit road for fresh tires, fuel and a spring rubber adjustment. He started the final stage of the race in the 22nd position on Lap 23.

As the laps clicked by in the final stage, many drivers were forced to pit for fuel before Koch, cycling him up to the third position with 13 laps remaining in the event. Finally with eight laps remaining, Koch visited pit road for the final time for fresh tires and fuel.

In the closing laps, Koch raced his way through the field to score a seventh-place finish at Road America, a career-best in his 203rd NXS start. Koch’s previous career-best finish was eighth.

Koch and the No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection team leave Road America 10th in the NXS championship standings. The team returns to racing action SaturdaySeptember, 2nd, 2017 at Darlington Raceway for throwback weekend.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Blake Koch Finishes 14th In The Food City 300

DSC_2992

Kaulig Racing driver Blake Koch finished 14th on Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) in the Food City 300. The West Palm Beach, Fla. native earned a track-best start of 13th and advanced to ninth in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) championship points standings.

“We had a great points day at Bristol after fighting the handling of the car throughout the race,” said Koch. “We were really happy with the car in practice on Thursday, but the track conditions on Friday night were much different and didn’t do us any favors. I’m proud that we earned a track-best start and we will just keep digging to the playoffs.”

The team finished third and 11th, respectively, in Thursday’s two practice session. Koch focused on race runs and felt confident about the handling of the No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevy. As qualifying approached on Friday afternoon, rain showers took over the track, delaying the session and ultimately shortening it to one 20-minute round. With little opportunity to make a clean lap as all drivers fought for minimal track time, Koch made two runs in the session, slotting in 13th, a track-best.

The green flag dropped for the 300-lap race with sunny skies surrounding the speedway. The first half of Stage 1 was mired by cautions on Lap 12, 24 and 39. Koch was quiet on the radio and maintained the 13th position by the final restart on Lap 43. Stage 1 remained green until its completion on Lap 85. Koch finished the stage 18th and reported to the team that he was having trouble carrying speed through the corners. Crew chief Chris Rice brought him down pit road under the caution period for four fresh tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Koch restarted 28th on Lap 94 to begin Stage 2.

The race remained green until Lap 123. At that time, Koch had raced his way up to 13thand reported to the team that the car was alternating between being too tight and then being too free. With the handling noted, the team stayed out under caution and restarted 13th on Lap 129. Koch was able to maintain the 13th position to the end of the stage, which completed on Lap 170. Under the caution, Koch visited pit road for fresh tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. He restarted 14th on Lap 177 to begin the final stage of the event.

Stage 3 remained green until Lap 215, which gave the team a chance to bring Koch back down pit road from the 14th position. The call was for fresh tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment, which allowed Koch to restart 14th on Lap 223.

Koch gained two positions on the restart before settling into the 15th position with 50 laps remaining in the race. The final caution of the day came with 14 laps to go as Koch ran 14th. The team did not pit and restarted 14th with eight laps remaining at Bristol.

As the closing laps neared, Koch raced side-by-side with Dale Earnhardt Jr., crossing the finish line 14th at BMS.

Koch and the No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection team leave BMS ninth in the NXS championship standings. The team returns to racing action Sunday, August 27, 2017 at Road America.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Blake Koch And Kaulig Racing Prepares For Bristol

Blake Koch

Blake Koch at Bristol Motor Speedway… Blake Koch has 12 previous starts in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS). He earned a track-best start of 16th in April of 2016 and tied that earlier this season when the NXS visited BMS in April. He earned a track-best finish of eighth in this race last year (August 2016) after starting 17th. The last time Koch visited BMS in April, he finished ninth, earning his first top-10 of the 2017 season. Koch has recorded a total of two top-10 finishes at BMS.

Sounding Off – Blake Koch… “Statistically, Bristol seems like it’s our best racetrack after finishing eighth and ninth in the last two races there. We have good notes to go off of from  and I really like the PJ1 substance that Bristol put down on the track last race and plan to put down again. I love short tracks and think this weekend is a good opportunity for us to secure some more points and our position in the playoffs.”

2017 Season… Koch is currently tied for ninth in the NXS Championship standings after 21 races. He has recorded one pole position, six top-10 starts, two top-10 finishes and nine top-15 finishes. The Kaulig Racing driver has led 32 laps so far in 2017. Last week at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Koch scored a track-best start of third and finish of 11th after winning Stage 1, finishing 10th in Stage 2 and suffering major damage in the final stage before battling back to capture a top-15 finish. The stage win was his second of the 2017 season, earning him an additional playoff point.

Meet Blake…Koch and crew chief Chris Rice will serve as grand marshals for Thursday night’s Speedway Children’s Charities Night Race 5K presented by Bojangles at BMS. Koch will address the crowd, take photos and meet with fans at 8:15 p.m. ET before joining Chris Rice to give the command for the 8:30 p.m. ET start time. Registration is $25 with all proceeds benefitting local children through Speedway Children’s Charities. 

Koch will visit the NXS XFINITY Zone presented by Comcast at BMS on Friday, August 28th at 2:30 p.m. ET for a Q&A and autographs.

Koch will meet with fans and sign autographs at the LeafFilter Gutter Protection display in the BMS FanZone on Saturday, August 18th at 5:45 p.m. ET.

Blake Koch NXS Career… Koch makes his 202nd NXS start this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. To date, Koch has a career-best NXS starting position of first at Talladega Superspeedway (May 2017), and a career-best NXS finish of eighth at RIR (April 2016), Bristol Motor Speedway (August 2016), Phoenix International Raceway (November 2016) and Iowa Speedway (July 2017).

Tune-In… The 300-lap Food City 300 from BMS will be televised live Friday, August 18th, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and will be broadcasted live on the Performance Racing Network (PRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90.

Keeping up with Kaulig Racing… To receive up-to-date information on the No. 11 NXS team, follow @KauligRacing on Twitter as well as on the Kaulig Racing™ Facebook page, www.facebook.com/kauligracing, and the team’s website, www.kauligracing.com.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Blake Koch Earns A Career Best Finish At Mid-Ohio

Blake Koch

Kaulig Racing driver Blake Koch earned a track-best start of third and a track-best finish of 11th on Saturday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The West Palm Beach, Fla. native won Stage 1 of the event, finished 10th in Stage 2 and rebounded from an incident on Lap 51 to finish 11th.

“It was awesome to win a stage today in front of all of the LeafFilter Gutter Protection employees who came out to their home track to support our team,” said Koch. “We had such a fast car this weekend and the team did a great job repairing the damage to the right rear to carry us to the finish. After a great points day, I’m excited to head to Bristol next week to get back to oval racing on a short track.”

After arriving in Ohio on Thursday to visit LeafFilter Gutter Protection’s corporate headquarters in Hudson, the team arrived at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Friday ready to lay down some fast laps in practice. Unfortunately, severe thunderstorms cancelled all on-track actitivty for the NASCAR XFINITY Series on Friday, moving the team’s sole practice session to Saturday morning. Koch finished eighth in that practice session and carried that confidence into qualifying Saturday afternoon, scoring a track-best starting spot of third.

After the drop of the green flag, the field made one complete lap before the race was slowed by caution for oil on the track. Koch maintained the third position through a lengthy clean-up period. The race returned to green on Lap 8, but fell under caution and eventually a red flag with five laps remaining in Stage 1. When the red was lifted, the leader pitted and Koch assumed the second position for the restart with just two laps remaining in the stage. With just one lap remaining, Koch took the lead and maintained it to win Stage 1, capturing 10 stage points and one playoff point.

Crew chief Chris Rice brought Koch down pit road under the stage caution for four fresh tires and fuel. A delayed entry into the pit box relegated Koch to a 24th-place position for the restart on Lap 23 to begin Stage 2.

Just five laps after the restart, Koch had raced his way up to the 19th position and was still running faster lap times than the leader.  He managed to avoid a wreck in front of him on Lap 32 as he climbed to the 14th position. He continued to pick off cars as the stage went on, eventually making the pass for the 10th position just before the stage ended on Lap 40. Koch earned one bonus point for his 10th-place stage finish.

Koch visited pit road under the stage caution for four fresh tires, fuel and to add some tape on the grille. He restarted ninth on Lap 44 to start the final stage of the Mid-Ohio Challenge.

The caution was displayed again on Lap 48 while Koch was running eighth.  The field returned to green on Lap 51. As the field worked Lap 51, Koch was tagged from behind and sent spinning across the course, collecting several cars and suffering severe damage to the right rear of his No. 11 Camaro. The team pitted twice to work on the damage before running out of time on the five-minute crash clock. With all parts and pieces on the No. 11 machine secured, Koch restarted 31st on Lap 57.

The caution was displayed for the seventh time on the restart lap, but Koch was able to gain several positions, putting him 23rd when the field returned to green on Lap 61. Koch continued to fight for position, advancing to the 16th position by the eighth caution flag on Lap 64.

Soon after the restart with eight laps remaining in the race, Koch had to maneuver through the grass to avoid a wreck in front of him. The field was eventually red flagged for the second time. When the race returned to caution, Koch was able to remove some of the grass from his grille by tucking under another car’s bumper. He restarted 13th with five laps remaining at Mid-Ohio.

Koch continued to pick off cars in the closing laps of the race, making bold moves to gain track position. After an eventful day, Koch eventually crossed the finish line 11th at the end of the Mid-Ohio Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Koch improved his track-best start by 10 positions and his track-best finish by one position today at Mid-Ohio. He earned his second stage win of the season, securing another playoff point for a total of two for the season.

Koch and the No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection team leave Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course tied for ninth in the NXS championship standings. The team returns to racing actionFriday, August 18, 2017 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Blake Koch Is Hoping For A Dry Race Weekend At Mid-Ohio

Blake Koch

Blake Koch at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course… Blake Koch has four previous starts in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. He earned a track-best start (13th) and finish (12th) in this race last year. Last year’s event saw periods of heavy rain followed by dry conditions, then eventually another period of heavy rain at the end of the race. While other cars struggled to stay on-track, Koch was able to glide his way to a track-best finish of 12th in the Mid-Ohio Challenge.

LeafFilter Gutter Protection’s Home Track…LeafFilter Gutter Protection, founded and owned by Kaulig Racing team owner Matt Kaulig, is headquartered in Hudson, Ohio, just 80 miles from Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Kaulig originally moved to Northeast Ohio to attend the University of Akron, where he was a standout quarterback for the Zips. He remains heavily involved in the Akron Zips community as he provides aid for the school’s football programs and lends a helping-hand in sponsoring events.

Sounding Off – Blake Koch… “I did not enjoy racing in the rain last year, but we were really fast when the track was dry. It was just about survival when the rain came. I would say the hardest turn at Mid-Ohio is Turn 4 because you carry a lot of speed and it’s easy to wheel hop. You can also gain a lot of speed in that turn, so it’s important to really master your line each time. I’m excited to get back to LeafFilter Gutter Protection’s home track and hope it stays dry!”

2017 Season… Koch is currently 10th in the NXS Championship standings after 20 races. He has recorded one pole position, five top-10 starts, two top-10 finishes and eight top-15 finishes. The Kaulig Racing driver has led 29 laps so far in 2017. Last week at Watkins Glen International, Koch tied his track-best start of 14th and earned stage points in the first two stages of the event, finishing 10th and seventh, respectively. Koch ultimately finished 22nd when contact with a lapped car left him mired back in traffic with no opportunity to make up ground.

 

Blake Koch NXS Career… Koch makes his 201st NXS start this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. To date, Koch has a career-best NXS starting position of first at Talladega Superspeedway (May 2017), and a career-best NXS finish of eighth at RIR (April 2016), Bristol Motor Speedway (August 2016), Phoenix International Raceway (November 2016) and Iowa Speedway (July 2017).Tune-In… The 75-lap Mid-Ohio Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will be televised live Saturday, August 12th, 2017 at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and will be broadcasted live on the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90.

Keeping up with Kaulig Racing… To receive up-to-date information on the No. 11 NXS team, follow @KauligRacing on Twitter as well as on the Kaulig Racing™ Facebook page, www.facebook.com/kauligracing, and the team’s website, www.kauligracing.com.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING O N MY REDNECK!

Blake Koch Scores 5 Stage Points At Watkins Glen

Blake Koch
Kaulig Racing driver Blake Koch finished 22nd on Saturday at Watkins Glen International (WGI) in his 200th career NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) start. The West Palm Beach, Fla. native tied his track-best starting position of 14th and captured stage points in the first two stages before getting tangled with a lapped car near the end of the Zippo 200.

“We had some positive things come out of today, despite not taking home the finish we deserved,” said Koch. “We scored stage points in the first two stages, which is something we haven’t done yet this season and were in a great position until we got twisted up with a lapped car as the green-flag pit stops were cycling through. Our No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevy was mostly uninjured so that’s great news heading into Mid-Ohio next week.”

The team made significant improvements to the No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet Camaro during Friday’s two practice sessions, eventually posting the 15th-fastest time in the final practice session. Koch noted the improvement during his qualifying run Saturday morning, securing a 14th-place starting spot for the Zippo 200.

After the drop of the green flag, Koch reported that the car was a bit loose as he settled into the 17th position. The team did not pit during the Lap 4 caution period, allowing Koch to restart 16th on Lap 7. The caution was again displayed with three laps remaining in Stage 1 as several drivers had begun to pit. Koch was scored 10th as the stage ended under caution on Lap 20, earning him one stage point to be added to his race total.

The team made their first pit stop of the day under caution on Lap 21 for fresh tires, fuel, track bar and air pressure adjustments. Koch restarted 20th on Lap 23 when Stage 2 began.

The race was slowed by caution for the third time on Lap 34 as Koch had raced his way up to the 10th position. He restarted ninth with two laps remaining in Stage 2. In the closing laps of the stage, Koch rocketed past two more cars, taking the stage flag from the seventh position and earning three stage points.

The team opted not to pit under caution to conserve track position. Koch reported that the car was handling much better as he was told to save fuel. He restarted seventh to begin the final stage of the event on Lap 43.

The team made their only green-flag pit stop of the day on Lap 51 for new tires and fuel. As stops continued to cycle through in the next two or so laps, Koch had a dust up with a lapped car, impeding his progress through the field. With no damage, Koch soldiered on and was scored 19th when the caution was displayed with five laps remaining in the race. The team pitted for the final time under that caution for fresh tires and fuel, putting Koch 24th for the restart with three laps remaining.

In the closing laps, Koch avoided chaos around him to gain two positions and cross the finish line 22nd.

Koch and the No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection team leave WGI 10th in the NXS championship standings. The team returns to racing action Saturday, August 12, 2017 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Blake Koch Loves Road Racing

Blake Koch

Blake Koch at Watkins Glen International… Blake Koch has five previous starts in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) at Watkins Glen International (WGI).  Koch earned a track-best starting position of 14th in 2016, but finished 35th after a multi-car pileup on Lap 17 ended the team’s day. Koch’s best finish of 18th at the track came in 2015 after starting 29th.

Milestone Weekend… Koch makes his 200th career NXS start this weekend at WGI. The West Palm Beach, Fla. native grew up racing dirt bikes, but did not drive a stock car until the age of 21. Koch joined NXS competition in 2011 and ran his first full NXS season in 2015. He also has six Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts and 10 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts under his belt.

Sounding Off – Blake Koch… “I really do enjoy road course racing. This weekend at Watkins Glen will be different with the new downforce package for the XFINITY cars. The most difficult part of the track for me is typically the esses so we will make the most of practice and put all of the moving pieces together. We have great engines, brakes and people so we have all of the right ingredients for our No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevy to run well at road courses.”

2017 Season… Koch is currently 10th in the NXS Championship standings after 19 races. He has recorded one pole position, five top-10 starts, two top-10 finishes and eight top-15 finishes. The Kaulig Racing driver has led 29 laps so far in 2017. Last week at Iowa Speedway, Koch qualified a track-best seventh en route to a track-best finish and career-tying best finish of eighth.

Blake Koch NXS Career… Koch makes his 200th NXS start this weekend at WGI. To date, Koch has a career-best NXS starting position of first at Talladega Superspeedway (May 2017), and a career-best NXS finish of eighth at RIR (April 2016), Bristol Motor Speedway (August 2016), Phoenix International Raceway (November 2016) and Iowa Speedway (July 2017).

Tune-In… The 82-lap Zippo 200 at The Glen from WGI will be televised live Saturday, August 5th, 2017 at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN and will be broadcasted live on the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90.

Keeping up with Kaulig Racing… To receive up-to-date information on the No. 11 NXS team, follow @KauligRacing on Twitter as well as on the Kaulig Racing™ Facebook page, www.facebook.com/kauligracing, and the team’s website, www.kauligracing.com.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!