Sounding Off- Blake Koch… “I think everyone is really anxious to get on track at TMS, not only because of the reconfiguration, but also because we are coming out of an off-weekend for the NASCAR XFINITY Series. I think seeing how the Cup cars take to the new surface will be pivotal for how we approach our practice sessions on Friday. It’s really like us drivers have to re-learn how to race at the track with the new surface and the reduction in banking. It will be a challenge, but I’m looking forward to figuring it out.”
You Look Different, TMS… Since the last time NASCAR visited TMS in November 2016, the track has undergone an extensive facelift. The project included a complete repave, construction of an extensive drainage system and a re-profiling of the 1.5-mile oval configuration. The renovation added a new layer of asphalt over the existing pavement, an expansive French drainage system on the frontstretch and backstretch, and a reduction to the banking in Turns 1 and 2 by four degrees.
2017 Season… Koch is currently 10th in the NXS Championship standings after breaking into the top 10 at Auto Club Speedway two weeks ago. In that race, Koch started 11th and fought the handling of the car for the majority of the day before rebounding in the final laps to take home a 12th-place finish. The NXS did not race last weekend.
Almost Home… Kaulig Racing mechanic Jaron Antley calls TMS his hometrack. Antley’s hometown of West Monroe, La. is located about 320 miles from TMS. Antley and his family frequently attended races at TMS when he was growing up. After getting involved in racing through his uncle’s dirt car team, Antley moved to North Carolina to pursue his racing career. He graduated from the NASCAR Technical Institute in 2010 and quickly began his career with the ARCA Racing Series for two years before moving up to the Truck Series.Blake Koch NXS Career… Koch makes his 186th NXS start this weekend at TMS. To date, Koch has a career-best NXS starting position of second at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 2013), and a career-best NXS finish of eighth at Richmond International Raceway (April 2016), Bristol Motor Speedway (August 2016) and Phoenix International Raceway (November 2016).
Meet Blake…Koch will meet with fans and sign autographs at the LeafFilter Gutter Protection display in the TMS FanZone on Saturday, April 8th at 8:45 a.m.
Tune-In… The 200-lap NXS My Bariatric Solutions 300 from TMS will be televised live Saturday, April 8th, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. ET on FOX and will be broadcasted live on the Performance Racing Network (PRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90.