Last season the Cinderella story was certainly Blake Koch and the newly formed Kaulig Racing run by LeafFilter Gutter Protection™ President and Owner Matt Kaulig. Last season that team was staying in the unexpected spotlight that ultimately led to Blake Koch gaining his best career finish of eighth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and landing a spot in the inaugural NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs.
Over his career, Blake Koch has driven every condition of car possible in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The veteran has been in the series entering his 9th season in the series. He’s driven for teams from MacDonald Motorsports to RAB Racing, to now Kaulig Racing where he’s at home with Matt Kaulig and the Kaulig Racing team.
Last season Koch was able to gain two 8th place finishes at Bristol and Richmond which is now his best career finish entering the 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series Season but something tells me that stat may not last to long into the season. In 2016 the team was just coming about and it really all came about very quickly in a sport that has powerhouses who have paid their dues over a long time. Entering 2017, Kaulig Racing and Koch should feel prepared for battle with some changes coming to the series and some new faces joining the place.
Koch had an average finish of 17th last season and a 13th place average start. That momentum is something that many drivers want to bring into the following season and Blake will bring that momentum in. With support from his Kaulig Racing team and his crew chief Chris Rice, the future looks good for Koch and Kaulig Racing. He earned a 9th place finish in the season opening race at Daytona after starting 9th and started the season off 5th in points. The team failed to fall outside the Top-15 in points the whole season and that consistency almost led the team to a Final Four appearance at Homestead but after being eliminated from the Playoffs after Phoenix, Koch had to settle with an 7th place finish in points.
Some of the tracks that will certainly be circled by Kaulig Racing and Koch have to be when the series returns to Richmond, where Koch gained his best career finish last season. I wouldn’t look past the team next weekend on the high banks at the Daytona International Speedway. One thing the team will seek to do in 2017 will be to stay away from the sophomore slump that many drivers and teams face in their second season.