Event: Overton’s 300 (Round 15 of 33)
Date: June 30, 2018
Location: Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois
Layout: 1.5-mile oval
Cole Custer Notes of Interest
- The Overton’s 300 will mark Cole Custer’s second career NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois.
- Custer is striving to earn this season’s fifth consecutive top-five in the Overton’s 300. He comes into Chicagoland fresh off a fourth-place finish Sunday at Iowa Speedway in Newton.
- Custer has earned three poles, five top-five finishes, 11 top-10s and has led 106 laps in the 2018 Xfinity Series season.
- Custer is second in the Xfinity Series driver standings, four points behind leader Elliott Sadler.
- In 18 career Xfinity Series starts and nine NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at 1.5-mile ovals, Custer has one win, seven top-five finishes and 16 top-10s.
- In Custer’s first and only Xfinity Series start at Chicagoland, he led 41 laps but was shuffled to the middle of the pack before rallying for a seventh-place finish.
- Custer’s best finish in the 14 Xfinity Series races this season is second on May 26 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
- Custer has qualified inside the top-five in 10 of the 14 races run this season.
- Custer will be joined by SHR teammate Kevin Harvick in the No. 98 Hunt Brothers Ford Mustang.
- In 2017, Custer led the Xfinity Series with 422 points at 1.5-mile tracks.
- Two weekends ago at Iowa, Custer ran as high as third place and raced inside the top-five for the majority of the race.
Cole Custer, Driver Q&A
Are you content with the team’s top-five consistency, or do you feel you’ve had the car to win every weekend?
“We go to the track to win every weekend, so I wouldn’t say we’re satisfied. We are second in the standings, though, and are happy to have some consistency lately with some top-five finishes. Consistency is key, but every driver out there wants to win every weekend.”
Would a win take some weight off your shoulders going forward in the season?
“A win would be huge for our team. I feel like we’re really close right now and it would give us some confidence for the rest of the year. It was a huge weight off of our shoulders last year at Homestead, but we feel that we should already have a few and counting.”
What is racing around Chicagoland like?
“Chicago is one of the best tracks we go to. It’s worn out, rough, and you can run all over the track. I think a lot of us look forward to going to Chicagoland because of the challenge it brings.”
Jeff Meendering, Crew Chief Q&A
The Haas Automation team has been dominant at 1.5-mile tracks. How important is it to succeed at mile-and-a-half tracks, knowing Homestead is the winner-take-all championship race?
“As you can see from last year, we focused heavily on our 1.5-mile program and carried the momentum and race notes to Homestead. Every time we go to a mile-and-a-half track, it is so important to run well and take every note we can because there is a championship on the line in November.”