COLE CUSTER – 2018 NXS Dover II Race Report

October 6th, 2018

Date: Oct. 6, 2018
Event: Bar Harbor 200 (Round 29 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (concrete, mile oval )
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (45 laps/45 laps/110 laps)
Start/Finish: 7th/2nd (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
Point Standing: (4th with 3011 points, 33 points out of first)

Race Winner: Christopher Bell of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Christopher Bell of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Daniel Hemric of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45):

● Custer started seventh, finished seventh and earned four bonus points.
● The Haas Automation driver held the seventh position for the entirety of the stage.
● Custer said the No. 00 Ford became looser as the stage wore on.
● He pitted at the conclusion of the stage for four fresh tires, fuel and adjustments to tighten the car.
● Due to a quick pit stop, Custer gained three spots on pit road.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90):

● Custer started fourth, finished fifth and earned six bonus points.
● Custer raced for the second and third position during the restart before moving back to fifth place.
● He remained inside the top-five until the end of Stage 2.
● Custer pitted the Haas Automation Ford for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments to improve his drive through the center of the turns. He gained two positions on pit road then advanced to second place when the No. 21 car was handed a speeding penalty.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 91-200):

Custer started second, finished second.
● Custer immediately took the lead when the checkered flag waved to start the final stage.
● He led the first 37 laps until the No. 20 car passed him for the lead on lap 132.
● During a caution on lap 162, Custer pitted for four tires, fuel and more chassis adjustments.
● After another caution was thrown on lap 178, Custer restarted in second place and held the runner-up position to advance to the second round of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs.

Notes:               

● This was Custer’s third second-place finish of the season.
● This marks Custer’s 23rd top-10 of the season and third at Dover.
● This marks Custer’s 12th top-five of the season and second at Dover.
● Custer earned 10 bonus points in the Bar Harbor 200 at Dover.
● Custer led 37 laps to bring his 2018 laps led total to 278.
● Four cautions slowed the race for 23 laps.
● Christopher Bell won the Bar Harbor 200 to score his seventh career Xfinity Series victory, sixth of the season and first at Dover.

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

“Early on there were probably some restarts where I was a little bit too conservative – just making sure I wasn’t going to get wrecked. Our Haas Automation Ford was pretty solid. It was a lot about track position and we had to work on our car throughout the day, but the car was awesome at the end. We just needed a tick more. Me and Christopher (Bell) were about equal, but he had the track position. I wish I could have figured out the top faster on that long run, but I think we made huge gains at this track and that’s a testament to our engineers and crew chief and entire team and the Ford simulator. I think we have some good momentum going into the next round.”

Playoff Standings:          

1.     Christopher Bell (3044 points) 2 wins
2.     Justin Allgaier (3039 points, -5)
3.     Daniel Hemric (3013 points, -31)
4.     Cole Custer (3011 points, -33)
5.     Elliott Sadler (3011points, -33)
6.     Tyler Reddick (3011 points, -34)
7.     Matt Tifft (3003 points, -41)
8.     Austin Cindric (3,001 points, -43)