Date: Aug. 11, 2018
Event: Rock N Roll Tequila 170 (Round 21 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington (2.4-mile road course)
Format: 75 laps, broken into three stages (20 laps/20 laps/35 laps)
Start/Finish: 4th/7th (Running, completed 75 of 75 laps)
Point Standing: 4th with 752 points
Race Winner: Justin Allgaier of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Justin Allgaier of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Austin Cindric of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-20):
● Custer started fourth, finished 11th.
● Moved up to third with a good jump at the start, getting by No. 3 qualifier Brandon Jones by turn one and held position through the entire stage thereafter.
● Suffered early contact to his right-rear quarterpanel on a lap-five restart from Elliott Sadler that didn’t turn out to be an issue for the remainder of the stage.
● Pitted from third place with three laps to go in the stage for four tires, fuel and to pull out the right-rear quarterpanel.
● Resumed 11th and finished the stage in that position.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 21-40):
● Custer started third, finished fourth and earned seven bonus points.
● Another good jump at the start of the stage and quickly settled in behind leader Austin Cindric and second-place Matt Tifft while holding off fourth-place Christopher Bell.
●Shuffled back to fifth on a restart with seven laps to go in the stage as Bell and Daniel Hemric got by for third and fourth, respectively.
● Custer regained fourth place with a pass of Hemric with less than two laps to go in the stage.
● Pitted for four tires and fuel before the start of the final stage and was fourth off pit road among the cars that pitted.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 41-75):
● Custer started seventh, finished seventh.
● Moved up to sixth after the opening lap of the stage and held that position for a short time before dropping back to seventh one-third of the way through the stage, then back up to sixth midway through the stage and kept the pressure on Justin Allgaier for fifth.
● Custer tangled with Allgaier on lap 59 and briefly went off course and back on again, rejoining the race in ninth place.
● The caution flag flew one lap later with several cars bunched up ahead of Custer as a result of a blown tire by Tyler Reddick, dropping Custer to 10th.
● Pitted during the caution for four tires and fuel and restarted 12th with 11 laps to go.
● Climbed back into the top-10 with 10 laps to go after leader Bell spins and drops to the back of the field, then up to eighth on the next lap.
● Custer dropped a spot on the lap-69 restart to ninth place, but then regained the position and one more before the checkered flag flew for his second road-course top-10 in as many weeks.
● This marks Custer’s 17th top-10 of the season and first at Mid-Ohio.
● Custer earned seven bonus points.
● Six cautions slowed the race for 18 laps.
● Only 29 of the 40 drivers finished on the lead lap.
● Justin Allgaier won the Rock N Roll Tequila 170 to score his eighth career Xfinity Series victory, third of the season and first at Mid-Ohio. His margin of victory over second-place Austin Cindric was 2.095 seconds.
Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing With Biagi-DenBeste:
“It was a frustrating day, to say the least. Our Haas Automation Mustang was really good. I thought we were a second-place car. We probably could’ve kept up with the 22 (Austin Cindric). I have to apologize to Justin (Allgaier). It worked out for him, but I hit him in the wrong spot there and spun him around. That’s my fault and I’ll apologize. We’ll just move on to Bristol. I want to win. That’s what we want to do. It’s frustrating when things don’t go your way. I thought we were doing everything right, we just need everything to fall into place.”