COLE CUSTER – 2018 NXS Darlington Race Advance

Event:               Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 (Round 24 of 33)
Date:                 Sept. 1, 2018
Location:          Darlington (S.C.) Raceway
Layout:             1.366-mile oval

Cole Custer Notes of Interest


  • Darlington (S.C.) Raceway is hosting its fourth annual NASCAR “Throwback Weekend.” In conjunction with teams, the track this year is showcasing iconic paint schemes, personalities and moments in history.
  • Custer will participate in the official throwback weekend of NASCAR by honoring A.J. Foyt and his iconic No. 00 1965 Ford Galaxie that he ran at Riverside (Calif.) International Raceway. For the full release visit:
  • In his 2017 Xfinity Series start at Darlington, Custer ran as high as second and raced in around the top-10 for the majority of the race.
  • Custer has earned four poles, nine top-five finishes, 19 top-10s, and has led 237 laps in the 2018 Xfinity Series season.
  • Custer’s second-place finish May 26 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway is his best in 23 races this season.
  • Custer’s four pole awards this season leads all Xfinity Series regulars.
  • Custer’s 19 top-10 finishes is tied with Elliott Sadler for most among Xfinity Series regulars.
  • Custer is fourth in the Xfinity Series driver standings with 833 points, 13 behind series leader Christopher Bell.
  • Custer has earned 16 top-five starts and 21 top-10 starts in the 2018 Xfinity Series season.
  • Custer is competing for his eighth consecutive top-10 and third consecutive top-five this weekend.
  • Last weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Custer ran as high as second and piloted the Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) to his third consecutive road-course top-10. His efforts were enough to close the championship points gap to Bell by six points.
  • There are only three races left until the Xfinity Series playoffs begin Sept. 21 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. The winner of the regular-season points championship will earn an additional 15 playoff points – equivalent to winning three races.


Cole Custer, Driver Q&A


What does it mean to honor A.J. Foyt’s iconic No. 00 Vel’s Ford Galaxie this weekend?

“A.J. Foyt is one of the toughest guys in the history of racing. I’ve always been inspired by his career because he never gave up, no matter the circumstances. That wreck he had at Riverside was vicious, but he bounced back and just kept on winning. A.J. and this paint scheme remind me that, no matter how hard things get on the racetrack or in life, you never stop fighting. His will and determination set the bar. It’s an honor to run this throwback scheme at Darlington in tribute to everything that A.J. stands for.”

What are your thoughts on racing at Darlington and what are your expectations heading back? 

“My first impression of Darlington was that it was just a real racetrack. Darlington is a place where you really have to drive it and you really have to be up on the wheel and pay respect to every single lap out there. It’s a really cool place to run and it’s challenging. I wish we had more tracks like Darlington. We had a good run in our first start there last year. It’s always good coming back to a track after you actually have notes and you know what to expect heading into the weekend. I’ll lean on Kevin (Harvick) a good bit because he runs well there and he’s obviously pretty good everywhere.”


Jeff  Meendering, Crew Chief Q&A


What are the challenges of a crew chief heading into a track like Darlington?

“Darlington is unique in so many ways. We unloaded well last year, but the biggest challenge there is communicating with the driver on how the car is doing. At Darlington, you put so much into the driver’s hands because they’re on the edge of their seat every lap. It’s not a track that you can just ride around on with a good setup. You have to constantly work with the car and the driver to succeed throughout the race. I’m really looking forward to seeing the A.J. Foyt tribute scheme out there.”