COLE CUSTER – 2018 NXS Charlotte Roval Race Report

September 29th, 2018

Date: Sept. 29, 2018
EventDrive for the Cure 200 (Round 28 of 33)
SeriesNASCAR Xfinity Series
LocationCharlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (2.28-mile, 17-turn road course)
Format: 55 laps, broken into three stages (15 laps/15 laps/25 laps)
Start/Finish: 6th/7th (Running, completed 55 of 55 laps)
Point Standing:  (4th with 2,083 points, 49 points out of first)

Race WinnerChase Briscoe of Stewart-Haas Racing w/ Biagi-DenBeste (Ford)
Stage 1 WinnerDaniel Hemric of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 WinnerChristopher Bell of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-15):

● Custer started sixth, finished second and earned nine bonus points.
● After a caution on lap two, the Haas Automation driver made his way to fourth place.
● Custer said he needed an adjustments to help him drive off of the corners better, but he continued to climb through the field when he made the pass for third on lap 10.
● In the closing laps the No. 22 car spun, promoting Custer to second place before the stage ended.
● At the conclusion of the stage, he pitted the No. 00 Ford for four tires, fuel and adjustments.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 16-30):

● Custer started fifth, finished second and earned nine bonus points.
● Custer raced the Haas Automation Ford to second place by lap 27.
● After discussion with crew chief Jeff Meendering, he decided not to pit so he could earn maximum bonus points when the stage ended.
● He pitted when the stage concluded for four tires, fuel and more adjustments to improve his drive off the turns.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 31-55):

● Custer started 14th, finished seventh.
● Custer avoided a multi-car accident during the restart of the stage and moved into the top-10.
● He raced the Haas Automation Ford Mustang up to seventh with four laps to go and held his position before the checkered flag waved.

Notes:               

● Custer is now 14 points above the cutoff line to advance to Round 2 of the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs.
● This marks Stewart-Haas Racing’s 55th overall win.
● This marks Custer’s 22nd top-10 of the season and fifth consecutive road-course top-10 finish.
● Custer earned 18 bonus points in the Drive for the Cure 200 at Charlotte.
● Five cautions slowed the race for 10 laps.
● Chase Briscoe won the Drive for the Cure 200 to score his first career Xfinity Series victory, first of the season and first at Charlotte. His margin of victory over second-place Justin Marks was 1.478 seconds.

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

“We had a good points day. We had a really fast car that I think could have competed for a win, but we just went for the points with the position that we’re in. I had a really fast Haas Automation Mustang and stayed clean. We took our strategy that we were in and it worked out.”

Playoff Standings:          

1.     Christopher Bell (2132 points) 1 win
2.     Daniel Hemric (2,099 points, -33)
3.     Tyler Reddick (2090 points, -42)
4.     Cole Custer (2,083 points, -49)
5.     Matt Tifft (2,082 points, -50)
6.     Elliott Sadler (2,080 points, -52)
7.     Justin Allgaier (2,080 points, -52)
8.     Ross Chastain (2078 points, -54)
9.     Austin Cindric (2,069 points, -63)
10.   Ryan Truex (2,054 points, -78)
11.   Ryan Reed (2,055 points, -79)
12.   Brandon Jones (2,050 points, -82)