Koch’s weekend got off to a rocky start when he wrecked during practice, but his backup car didn’t disappoint in qualifying. The Kaulig Racing Chevrolet started 12th Saturday afternoon and hung around the top 15 until he feared tire issues. After pitting for a fresh set and going a lap down, Koch worked his way back up into the top 20 before a speeding penalty halted his progress. He used the last 50 laps to climb through the field and bring the No. 11 home in 14th.
Koch praised his team for overcoming the rough start to the weekend, saying, “I’m so proud of my team for rebounding off of that and getting out the backup car. They had it out before I even got my car back into the garage.”
The Texas result places him fourth on the Chase Grid, one point above the cut line. Koch knows his championship position isn’t ideal, yet he is grateful for the finish and some momentum for next week’s cutoff race at Phoenix International Raceway
“To come out of here with a top 15 and still in the Chase, I couldn’t be any more pumped and proud. We have a great Phoenix car, and we have a great Phoenix backup,” he said. “We’re ready, and it’s one of my best racetracks … I feel like I’ve gotten so much better as a driver. We’ve gotten so much better as a team at that point. I can’t wait to see what we look like at Phoenix.”
Allgaier’s day went a lot smoother than Koch’s; the JR Motorsports Chevrolet started sixth and stayed in the top 10 throughout the afternoon. The No. 7 team executed consistent stops and avoided trouble, finishing 10th. Although he gave a stout performance, Allgaier sits one point below the cutoff line – meaning he and Koch will go against each other next weekend.
The JRM driver is confident in his team after this weekend and hopes to leave Phoenix with a trophy.
“We executed and came away with a top 10 finish. I’m very proud to drive this car,” he said, adding,” Phoenix was one of the tracks that I had circled in the Chase as I’ve always done well there.”
There is a lot of positivity surrounding their respective situations, and both feel their teams are prepared for whatever comes their way. Winning would be the best Chase scenario for Allgaier and Koch.
However, the JRM driver is hoping for another outcome – one that would benefit both him and Koch.
“I get to race my buddy Blake Koch for the final spot. I’m looking forward to that,” he said. “Hopefully, something happens, and we both get in.”
EMAIL KRISTEN AT email@example.com
FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @KristenS_Writes
The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.