Crew Chief: Chris Rice
Blake Koch at Phoenix International Raceway… Making the final stop on the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) “Western Swing” this weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., Blake Koch is eager for his sixth trip to the 2-mile D-shaped oval. With his track-best start (21st) and finish (19th) at Auto Club Speedway coming last year, the 30 year-old driver hopes to better those results when his No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection™ Chevrolet Camaro hits the track Saturday for the TreatMyClot.com 300.
Sounding Off- Blake Koch… “I haven’t had many good runs at Auto Club Speedway before to know what I need to look for in my car’s setup. If we unload fast, like we have done so far this year, I should have a pretty good idea though. The main thing will be to have patience and learn how to set myself up for passing. I like the fact that we can run different grooves there but the seams are a big issue to deal with. You want to make sure you’re not hitting a seam at the wrong point on the track because it can give you a false read on your car. It’s just difficult. Auto Club Speedway is a tricky track.”
Chassis Chatter… Kaulig Racing™ will roll chassis No. 006 out from it’s stable of RCR chassis for Saturday’s TreatMyClot.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway. This will be the second time chassis 006 has raced in 2016. It was first seen at Atlanta Motor Speedway where Koch qualified 13th and finished 20th after a blown a right front tire with 2 laps remaining in the race.
Previous Race Recap… Continuing his trend of track-best qualifying efforts in 2016, Koch started 12th for the Axalta 200 at Phoenix International Raceway last weekend. Fighting a Chevrolet Camaro that would swing from loose to tight, Koch finished the 200 lap race with a solid 16th-place finish.
2016 Season in Review…In 4 starts this season, Koch has one top-10 (Daytona), 1 top-15, and 3 top-20 finishes. The NXS driver has completed 671 of 683 laps attempted (98.2%) and has a season-best start and finish of ninth at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Across 4 races, Koch has an Average Start of 12.8, and an Average Finish of 17.8.
Experience on the Box… Chris Rice, crew chief for Blake Koch and the No. 11 Kaulig Racing™ team, has 224 career NXS starts to his resume since 1999. Rice has called the shots for nine NXS races at Auto Club Speedway, and his success includes a fifth-place starting spot and a ninth-place finish with Kenny Wallace in 2004.
Blake Koch NXS Career… While the 30 year-old driver may be making his debut with Kaulig Racing™ during the 2016 season, Koch is not a stranger to the NXS. Making 151 career starts, Koch has a career-best starting position of second at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 2013), and a career-best finish of ninth at Daytona International Speedway (Feb. 2016).
Tune-In… The TreatMyClot.com 300 will be televised live Saturday, March 19, at 4:00 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90.