COLE CUSTER – 2018 Daytona II NXS Race Report

July 7th, 2018

Cole Custer Finishes 25th at Daytona

Haas Automation Driver Leads Eight Laps; Involved In Accident With Three To Go

 

Date: July 6, 2018
Event: Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 (Round 16 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile superspeedway)
Format: 100 laps, broken into three stages (30 laps/30 laps/40 laps)
Start/Finish: 3rd/25th (Accident, completed 97 of 105 laps)
Point Standing: 3rd with 556 points

Race Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet) in overtime
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-30):

● Custer started third, finished eighth and earned three bonus points.
● Custer powered the Haas Automation Ford to the lead for the first eight laps.
● On lap 10, he was shuffled to the middle of the pack, but quickly re-entered the top-10.
● He noted loose-handling conditions and pitted for two tires, fuel, air pressure and chassis adjustments.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 31-60):

● Custer started fifth, finished 16th.
● During the opening laps, Custer wedged his way into the third position but was left with no help from behind when a car pushed him to the outside lane.
●He fell to 26th place and drove his way back to the top-10. On the last lap, he avoided a wreck and fell to 16th place.
● He pitted for four tires, fuel, wedge and chassis adjustments when the stage concluded.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 61-100):

● Custer started 17th, finished 25th.
● On lap 82, Custer was struck on the right side during a multi-car accident. The red flag was brought out with Custer in the 18th position.
● When racing resumed, he piloted the Haas Automation Ford into the top-five, but was shuffled to the middle of the field and clipped by another car on lap 97. The damage on the No. 00 was unrepairable, ultimately ending Custer’s day.

Notes:               

● Custer led one time for a total of eight laps.
● Six cautions slowed the race for 29 laps.
● Only 18 of the 40 drivers finished on the lead lap.
● Kyle Larson won the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 to score his 11th career Xfinity Series victory, third ofthe season and first at Daytona. His margin of victory over second-place Elliot Sadler was .005 of a second.

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing With Biagi-DenBeste:       

“I felt like our Haas Automation Mustang was really strong and fast, but it didn’t handle the best. We got it better throughout the race and at the end, I felt like we were pretty good and could compete for a win or a top-five. Everybody got crazy there and I think we ran out of room. I think there was nothing we could really do about it, so we’ll move on to the next one.”