Date: Nov. 10, 2018
Event: Whelen Trusted to Perform 200 (Round 32 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: ISM Raceway near Phoenix (Mile oval)
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (45 laps/45 laps/10 laps)
Start/Finish: 2nd/8th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
Point Standing: (1st with 4,000 points)
Race Winner: Christopher Bell of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Justin Allgaier of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Justin Allgaier of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45):
● Custer started second, finished fifth.
● Custer said his Haas Automation Ford fired off loose and became tighter as the stage wore on.
● He ran inside the top-five for the entirety of stage.
● Custer pitted the No. 00 Ford for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments at the end of the stage. He gained one position on pit road.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90):
● Custer started fourth, finished sixth.
● Custer battled inside the top-five for the majority of the stage and fell to sixth before the green-checkered flag waved.
● He pitted for four fresh tires, fuel, and wedge and chassis adjustments when Stage 2 ended.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 91-200):
● Custer started 10th, finished 8th.
● After a lap-136 caution, Custer pitted for four tires fuel and adjustments and moved to sixth place.
● He returned to the top-five on the restart until a lap-145 caution, but fell to eighth on the following restart due to an issue while shifting gears.
● Custer raced inside the top-10 for the remainder of the race and earned his third top-10 at Phoenix.
● Custer automatically advanced to the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami when he won last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
● Custer earned his 25th top-10 of the season and third at ISM Raceway.
● Six cautions slowed the race for 34 laps.
● This will mark Custer’s first Championship 4 eligibility of his Xfinity Series career.
● Christopher Bell won the Whelen Trusted to Perform 200 to earn his eighth career Xfinity series win, seventh of the season and first at Phoenix. His margin of victory over second-place Daniel Hemric was 1.887 seconds.
Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing With Biagi-DenBeste:
“We kind of struggled all day. We tried something different this race and I don’t know if it was what we were looking for, but we’ll go on to Homestead. We just have to do everything to our full potential and we have as good a shot as anybody of winning. We just have to make sure we do everything right. We’ll be in full focus mode starting now. It’s all eyes on the championship.”
1. Cole Custer (4,000)
2. Christopher Bell (4,000)
3. Daniel Hemric (4,000)
4. Tyler Reddick (4,000)
5. Elliott Sadler (Eliminated)
6. Matt Tifft (Eliminated)
7. Justin Allgaier (Eliminated
8. Austin Cindric (Eliminated)