Crew Chief: Chris Rice
Blake Koch at Phoenix International Raceway… One final NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) elimination race, at Phoenix International Raceway, currently stands between Blake Koch and his chase for a championship. Committed to keeping his No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection™ Chevrolet Camaro in the hunt, Koch’s 12th visit to the 1.022-mile oval for the Ticket Galaxy 200 holds his fate. Collecting a 16th-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway earlier this year, Koch is steadfast in his belief that this trip will end in even better results this time around.
Sounding Off- Blake Koch… “Phoenix is very temperature sensitive. It all just depends what the weather is like this weekend. The first time we were there this year was so long ago though. We’ve learned so much since then with Kaulig Racing™. Now we know what I like in a race car and we know more about these race cars in general. I think we’ll be much better when we go back this time.”
The Chase is On… Heading into the final elimination race of the inaugural NXS Chase, Koch is sitting fourth, inside the cut-off mark, by one point. He will need to maintain his position in order to advance on to the “Final 4.”
Chassis Chatter… Kaulig Racing™ will roll out chassis No. 145 from it’s stable of RCR chassis for Saturday’s Ticket Galaxy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. This will be the fifth time chassis 145 has raced in 2016. It has a chassis-best qualifying effort and finish of ninth at Kansas Speedway.
Previous Race Recap… Forced to a backup car early in the weekend, Koch was able to have a track-best effort at Texas Motor Speedway, qualifying 12th and rallying to a 14th-place finish. Koch’s Top-15 finish was good enough to keep him within the final cutoff of the Chase with one race remaining.
2016 Season in Review…In 31 starts this season, Koch has four top-10 (Daytona, Richmond 1, Bristol 2, Kansas), 20 top-15, and 24 top-20 finishes. The NXS driver has completed 4927 of 5179 laps attempted (95.1%) and has a season-best start of fifth at Richmond International Raceway in the fall, and a season-best finish of eighth at Richmond International Raceway in the spring, and Bristol Motor Speedway in the fall. Across 31 races, Koch has an Average Start of 13.5, and an Average Finish of 17.1.
Experience on the Box… Chris Rice, crew chief for Blake Koch and the No. 11 Kaulig Racing™ team, has 251 career NXS starts to his resume since 1999. Rice has called the shots for 11 NXS races at Phoenix International Raceway, including a 16th-place finish earlier this season with Koch.
Blake Koch NXS Career… While the West Palm Beach, Fla. driver may be making his debut with Kaulig Racing™ during the 2016 season, Koch is not a stranger to the NXS. Making 178 career starts, Koch has a career-best starting position of second at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 2013), and a career-best finish of eighth at Richmond International Raceway (April 2016) and Bristol Motor Speedway (August 2016).
Tune-In… The Ticket Galaxy 200 will be televised live Saturday, November 12, at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90.
- On November 8, 2016