Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Blake Koch Scores First Career Back-to-Back Top-15 Finishes After Charlotte

Heading to Charlotte Motor Speedway confident in the recent performance of his Kaulig Racing™ team, Blake Koch began the weekend 17th and 16th respectively in Thursday's two NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) practice sessions.

Leading into Saturday afternoon's Hisense 4K TV 300, Koch qualified a track-best 18th in his No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection™ Chevrolet Camaro for his sixth start at the 1.5-mile oval.

Fighting a hot and slick race track from the drop of the green flag, Koch radioed in early on that his Chevy Camaro was "loose all the way around." However, the first of yellow flag of the race would wave just 15 laps into the Hisense 4K TV 300, allowing Koch to come down pit road for four tires, fuel and both a track bar and wedge adjustment.

Restarting 18th, the Kaulig Racing™ driver raced his way up to eighth-place despite the yellow flag
being displayed two more times, on laps 26 and 45. However, when the caution flag came out once again, just 10 laps later, crew chief Chris Rice made the call to bring Koch down pit road for four tires and fuel.

With different pit strategies becoming a factor in the 200-lap race, Koch found himself having to work his way through the field when he restarted 16th. Rejoining the top-15 by lap 79, Koch continued his march towards the front of the pack.

Forced to pit under green flag conditions with a majority of the leaders, Koch came down pit road for
four tires and fuel on lap 111, and ultimately lost a lap. Thankfully, as green flag pit stops were cycling through, Koch passed leader Daniel Suarez just as the sixth caution of the day came out on lap 116, allowing him to get back on the lead lap.

Since Koch was at the tail-end of the lead lap, he came down pit road to top off on fuel with only 80 laps remaining in the 200-lap event.

Maintaining his position within the top-15, the Kaulig Racing™ driver worked his way up to 13th, gaining on the cars in front of him just as the final caution of the race waved with only two laps remaining, sending the race into overtime.

Playing pit strategy against the leaders, Rice made the call to bring Koch down pit road for just two tires, lining him up eighth for the first attempt at a green-white-checkered finish.

Trying to make a power move on the final two laps, Koch brushed the wall, losing momentum but still scoring a track-best 14th-place finish, as well as back-to-back top-15 finishes for the first time in his NXS career.

Quote:

"Today's race was a long one but our Kaulig Racing™ team never gave up. Our LeafFilter Gutter
Protection™ Chevrolet Camaro was fast on the long runs but that string of cautions early on didn't help us. Unfortunately the car didn't handle the same on two tires for the final restart, but a top-15 finish is still a solid points day for us."

Notes:

  • Blake Koch was 17th and 16th in the two NXS practice sessions Thursday afternoon at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
  • Koch qualified a track-best 18th Saturday afternoon and raced to a track-best 14th-place finish at the 1.5-mile oval. 
  •  The Kaulig Racing™ driver maintained his 13th position in the 2016 NXS driver point standings, after the 11th race of the season, only 136 points behind leader Daniel Suarez, and just 11 points outside the Chase cutoff point.
  • Denny Hamlin won the Hisense 4K TV 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway followed by Austin Dillon (second), Joey Logano (third), Cole Custer (fourth) and Justin Allgaier (fifth).
  • Up next: Pocono Green 250 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. on Sat., June 4

The Key to Success without a Charter - The Motorsports Group Having Successful 2016

When the Charter System was rolled out in February a few teams were not on the list to receive a charter and it was thought to be the end of teams like The Motorsports Group. One Article has came out about these guys from our site but we are adding to their 2016 Success story. Considering many fans wouldn't consider a success, this team views their little victories a very big deal.
Josh Wise has drove the #30 car in a total of 11 races missing just two races because of the single car qualifying and 44 entries at Daytona and 41 entries at Talladega. Other than those two races Wise has managed to make each race without the charter just like Ryan Blaney, Reed Sorenson, and Cole Whitt.
In 2016 Josh Wise has really found a home at The Motorsports Group and the team has managed to make more races this time this year than they did the whole year last year. Wise has pushed harder and harder each week and is really showing how much he wants to continue racing in The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Josh Wise has an average finish of 37th but with a car without very much sponsorship backing that is something to be proud of especially when NASCAR attempts to stack the odds against teams like these.
As this team continues to show up each weekend, they will continue to make the field and try to keep pushing to be one of the best of the unchartered drivers. Josh Wise's best finish of 2016 has been a 33rd at Bristol in April. Josh is approaching the Summer Swing where things began getting interesting for him last year. Now with basically a full time ride, Josh can focus on giving Curtis Key great finishes at tracks like Pocono, Sonoma, Kentucky, and hopefully Daytona! (Koelle,2016)

Pocono Green 250 at Pocono Entry List

For the first time in the Xfinity Series history, The Xfinity Series will race at The Tricky Triangle. Drivers like Paul Menard, Ty Dillon, Darrell Wallace Jr., and many others will look to make history and become the first driver listed on the All-Time Winners list at Pocono. Kyle Busch also makes his return to the Xfintiy Series for the first race since Bristol. Xfinity Regulars will also be looking to state their case for a chase spot at the Tricky Triangle! A few drivers are racing in the ARCA Race to get experience behind the wheel at Pocono including Ryan Reed who will drive for Lira Motorsports.

Entry List

0 Garrett Smithley
1 Elliott Sadler
01 Ryan Preece
2 Paul Menard
3 Ty Dillon
4 Ross Chastain
6 Darrell Wallace Jr.
7 Justin Allgaier
07 Ray Black Jr.
10 Matt DiBenedetto
11 Blake Koch
13 John Jackson
14 Jeff Green
15 Todd Peck
16 Ryan Reed
18 Kyle Busch
19 Daniel Suarez
20 Erik Jones
22 Joey Logano
28 Dakoda Armstrong
33 Brandon Jones
39 Ryan Sieg
40 Carl Long
42 Kyle Larson
43 Jeb Burton
44 J.J. Yeley
46 Brandon Gdovic
48 Brennan Poole
51 Jeremy Clements
52 Joey Gase
62 Brendan Gaughan
70 Derrike Cope
74 Mike Harmon
78 B J McLeod
88 Alex Bowman
89 Morgan Shepherd
90 Mario Gosselin
93 Josh Wise
98 Aric Almirola   

Axalta We Paint Winners 400 at Pocono Entry List

Summer begins with Pocono. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series begins the summer swing in Pocono and begin The Road to The Chase. Drivers will look to not have to endure the summer heat without a win and try to gain it in week 1 of The Summer Swing. Former Pocono June winners who are currently winless include Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, Tony Stewart, and Kasey Kahne. Also Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson are all still looking to gain their first career victory and gain their spot not only in the chase but also the 2017 All-Star Race! Here is the Entry List for the Axalta We Paint Winners 400!

Entry List

1 Jamie McMurray
2 Brad Keselowski
3 Austin Dillon
4 Kevin Harvick
5 Kasey Kahne
6 Trevor Bayne
7 Regan Smith
10 Danica Patrick
11 Denny Hamlin
13 Casey Mears
14 Tony Stewart
15 Clint Bowyer
16 Greg Biffle
17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
18 Kyle Busch
19 Carl Edwards
20 Matt Kenseth
21 Ryan Blaney
22 Joey Logano
23 David Ragan
24 Chase Elliott
27 Paul Menard
30 Josh Wise
31 Ryan Newman
34 Chris Buescher
38 Landon Cassill
41 Kurt Busch
42 Kyle Larson
43 Aric Almirola
44 Brian Scott
46 Michael Annett
47 AJ Allmendinger
48 Jimmie Johnson
55 Reed Sorenson
78 Martin Truex Jr.
83 Matt DiBenedetto
88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
95 Michael McDowell
98 Cole Whitt