Sunday, December 4, 2022

Blake Koch Eyeing NASCAR Return?

Josh Berry’s 2021 No. 8 Filter Time Chevrolet Camaro. Photo Credit: JR Motorsports.

The success of Kaulig Racing in recent years has been nothing short of heartwarming. The organization has come from the ground up in NASCAR, building their program into a championship-contending Xfinity Series operation, with a future of Cup now beginning to come to fruition.

Now, one of the organization’s former drivers is eyeing a return to the track.

Late Sunday evening, Blake Koch posted a tweet discussing his aspirations to get behind the wheel of a NASCAR race car once again.

The video featured in Koch’s tweet came from 2018, during a sit down with

Koch was relieved of his driving duties at Kaulig Racing after the 2017 season, leaving Ryan Truex with the seat in the organization’s flagship Xfinity Series entry.

“You have two options in life when you get bad news,” Koch said during the interview. “You can take that bad news, sit at home and pout and feel sorry for yourself, or you can like stand up, get ready, get motivated and make that next chapter count.”

The subsequent career hurdle launched the now 36-year-old into the business sector, creating FilterTime after conceptualizing the idea just minutes after the phone call regarding his future at Kaulig. The air filter subscription service has been a success, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. joining as a Co-Founder of the company.

FilterTime became a winning NASCAR sponsor in 2020, after joining JR Motorsports driver Justin Allgaier at Richmond.

Koch and Jr. continued the on-track branding for FilterTime with Josh Berry in 2021.

The timing couldn’t have raised more eyebrows. Not only does the retweet seem random at 11:31 pm on a Sunday, but it also came just hours after his former employer won their first Cup Series race, thanks to AJ Allmendinger at the Brickyard.

The Florida native paired up with Matt Kaulig’s Leaf Filter Gutter Protection in 2014 during a Cup start with Go FAS Racing, marking the sponsor’s NASCAR debut. In 2016, the entrepreneur launched his own NASCAR operation, a one-car team, bearing his name in the Xfinity Series.

Right out of the gate, the No. 11 Leaf Filter Camaro showed the team had the capability to race at the front. In the team’s debut season, Koch raced into the NASCAR playoffs, finishing in 11th overall. Koch qualified again for the playoffs in 2017, improving to eighth overall.

Koch teased in his tweet that Phoenix could be his “ultimate choice,” which could set him up for a one-off start in 2021 at the season finale in November. After joining Kaulig, Koch finished in 16th or better in four starts, including two top-ten finishes at the track.

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