COLE CUSTER – 2018 NXS Kansas Race Report

October 20th, 2018

Date: Oct. 20, 2018
EventKansas Lottery 300 (Round 30 of 33)
SeriesNASCAR Xfinity Series
LocationKansas Speedway in Kansas City (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (45 laps/45 laps/110 laps)
Start/Finish: 10th/26th (Running, completed 181 of 200 laps)
Point Standing: (7th with 3,011 points, 46 points out of first and 23 behind the cutoff to advance)

Race Winner: John Hunter Nemechek of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 WinnerDaniel Hemric of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 WinnerJohn Hunter Nemechek of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45):

● Custer started 10th, finished 28th.
● On the first lap, Custer was caught in an accident with nowhere to go, causing significant damage to the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford.
● Custer visited pit road three times to repair the damage and said he had a power steering issue.
● After a lap-25 caution, Custer visited pit road to cover his steering wheel with grip tape to help him turn in the corner with no power steering.
● When the stage ended, he brought the No. 00 Ford to the garage to replace the power steering fluid.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90):

● Custer started 30th, finished 29th.
● Custer reentered the race on lap 54. He said he had power steering for a few seconds, then it completely went away.
● Crew chief Jeff Meendering radioed him back to the pits during a lap 56 caution. The team assessed the issue, but found a mechanical issue in the steering component that could not be repaired.
● He finished the stage 13 laps down but gained one position.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 91-200):

● Custer started 28th, finished 26th.
● Thanks to the Haas Automation Ford team’s hard work to keep Custer on track, he was able to gain two more positions before the race concluded.

Notes:               

● Only eight of the 40 drivers finished on the lead lap.
● John Hunter Nemechek won the Kansas Lottery 300 to score his first career Xfinity Series victory.

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

“I have no idea what happened on that first lap. It seemed like I kind of got loose before everyone started wrecking. I don’t know if something was wrong with the track or something. We all wrecked on lap one and that kind of sunk our boat. We fixed the car and muscled it out but it is what it is. We will have to go try to win at Texas and Phoenix. It sucked. It took a lot. I didn’t think I was going to make it after about 30 laps without power steering, but you kind of get used to it and find a way to get a rhythm. Hopefully, I don’t ever have to do that again.”

Playoff Standings:          

1.     Daniel Hemric (3067 points, +23)
2.     Elliott Sadler (3058 points, +14)
3.     Tyler Reddick (3055points, +11)
4.     Christopher Bell (3003 points, +1)
5.     Matt Tifft (3044 points, -1 )
6.     Justin Allgaier (3039 points, -5)
7.     Cole Custer (3011 points, -23)
8.     Austin Cindric (3,001 points, -43)