Event: Zippo 200 (Round 20 of 33)
Date: August 4, 2018
Location: Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International
Layout: 2.45-mile road course
Cole Custer Notes of Interest
- The Zippo 200 will mark Custer’s second NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.
- While the Zippo 200 will be Custer’s second Xfinity Series start at Watkins Glen, it will be his fifth overall start at the 2.45-mile road course. In Custer’s three NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts at The Glen, he earned a pole, two top-five finishes and led 17 laps. He finished 12th in his Watkins Glen Xfinity Series debut in 2017.
- Custer has three overall road course starts in the Xfinity Series. His best Xfinity Series finish at a road course is eighth – earned Aug. 27, 2017 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
- Custer’s four pole awards this season leads all Xfinity Series regulars.
- Custer’s best finish in the 19 Xfinity Series races run this season is second, earned in the 11th event May 26 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
- Custer has earned four poles, seven top-five finishes, 15 top-10s, and has led 232 laps in the 2018 Xfinity Series season.
- Custer has qualified inside the top-five at eight of the last nine races this season. He has earned 14 top-five starts and 15 top-10 starts in the 2018 Xfinity Series season.
- Custer is third in the Xfinity Series driver standings, 18 points behind series leader Daniel Hemric.
- Last weekend at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Custer led a season-high 104 laps, earned his first stage win of the season and secured the Haas Automation Ford team’s 15th top-10 of the season.
- He is joined at The Glen by Stewart-Haas Racing w/ Biagi-DenBeste teammate Aric Almirola in the No. 98 Go Bowling Ford Mustang.
Cole Custer, Driver Q&A
With three of the next six races being road-course events, how important is it to run well at Watkins Glen?
“This is definitely one of the most unique stretches of races we have all year – three road courses, a short track, Darlington and Indianapolis. We have to start strong in this stretch because it doesn’t get any easier – especially when you have guys fighting hard to make it into the playoffs. We aren’t going to run conservatively, though. We’re in this to win and we haven’t gotten one, yet. We had a decent race last year at Watkins Glen and ran up front for a while. It’s extremely important that we take notes and learn from this race heading into Mid-Ohio and Road America.”
Do you enjoy road-course racing?
“I never really grew up road racing or anything but, when I started doing it, I thought it was one of the more fun things we do here throughout the season. I feel like it was something I started getting better at and there was a different level of competition in road-course racing. I’m really looking forward to all of the road courses coming up this season.”
What will it take to run a successful race at Watkins Glen?
“First, you have to be good as a driver. However, Watkins Glen is one of the tracks where the car comes into play more than most road courses. It’s definitely a fast track and one of the more fun places we go to.”
Jeff Meendering, Crew Chief Q&A
What car are you bringing to Watkins Glen and how important is it to succeed at road courses this season?
“We’re bring a brand new car to Watkins Glen this weekend. We’re excited to start with a fresh car and really dial in our road-course program. It’s extremely important to start out on the right foot at the road-course races because we have Mid-Ohio, Road America and the Charlotte Roval road course.”