Lexington, OH - The pace on the Mid-Ohio Challenge is always fast. But it’s just as quick before the race. Blake Koch, the driver for Kaulig Racing said we could tag along, if we could keep up. Five and a half hours before the race is a meet and greet for NASCAR fans.
“It’s huge, this sport is all about being assessable to the fans, to the kids,” said Koch.
Three and a half hours before the race are two rounds of qualifying. Which puts Koch in his best start ever on this track.
“We qualified 3rd which is a big deal for us. Last year we qualified 13th,” said Koch.
Two hour before the race it’s a quick lunch, then it is off to meet more fans. Leaf Filter employees that have come to cheer the team on.
“I feel like I had the most fans here with Leaf Filter Gutter Protection, they had the pavilion, 250 people here,” said Koch
“The Xfinity series always does a great job just allowing fans to get access to these guys. They are all taking selfies all the time, they are signing autographs and it’s a great sport to be involved with,” said Matt Kaulig, owner of the Kauling racing team.
30 minutes before the race, it’s one more chance to meet fans, before the drives are formally announced.
Now it’s race time, and we are in the pits, as Koch takes the lead. The race is 75 laps, and Koch’s lead lasts long enough to win stage 1 of the race. With 24 laps to go, Koch is caught up in a wreck. As his pit crew watches it unfold on TV, before springing into action.
“We got in that wreak and we didn’t get the result we deserved. You just have to be aggressive. Because when you have a third place car you can’t let four place by you,” said Koch.
“Finishing 11th after just getting smashed in one of the wreaks is a real big accomplishment and it’s a testament to Blake he’s a great driver and he did a great job today,” said Kaulig.
“As long as we keep improving every week we will end up leaving one of these with a trophy,” said Koch.
You can follow Kaulig Racing at their website.