COLE CUSTER – 2017 Kansas NXS Race Report

Cole Custer Finishes 19th at Kansas

Cut Tire Five Laps Short of Finish Dampens Haas Automation/Code 3 Associates Driver’s Day

 Date: Oct. 21, 2017
Event: Kansas Lottery 300 (Round 30 of 33)
Series: NASCAR XFINITY Series
Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (45 laps/45 laps/110 laps)
Start/Finish: 7th/19th (Running, completed 198 of 200 laps)
Playoff Point Standings: 8th (3,030 points, 36 points out of first)

 Race Winner: Christopher Bell of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Erik Jones of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Erik Jones of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45):

  • Cole Custer started seventh, finished 10th. Earned one bonus point.
  • Custer piloted his Haas Automation/Code 3 Associates Ford Mustang to ninth place before noting loose handling conditions.
  • Handling became tighter as the stage wore on, but Custer was able to stay inside the top-10 before the stage ended.
  • At the conclusion of the stage, Custer pitted for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90):                

  • Started 12th, finished seventh. Earned four bonus points.
  • During a lap-77 caution, Custer pitted for four tires, fuel, air pressure and chassis adjustments
  • Restarted in the 16th position and powered his Haas Automation/Code 3 Associates Ford Mustang to another top-10 stage finish.
  • Crew chief Jeff Meendering radioed Custer to the pits at the conclusion of the stage for two fresh tires and fuel.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 91-200):     

  • Started fourth, finished 19th.
  • Custer ran as high as second on the initial restart, but fell to eighth as those with fresher tires proved quicker.
  • Pitted under caution on lap 137 for four fresh tires, fuel and chassis adjustments. Restarted in seventh.
  • Custer ran inside the top-10 until lap 195 when he was forced to the pits due to a cut tire.
  • The Haas Automation/Code 3 Associates crew changed four tires under green and sent Custer back out to finish the race.

Notes:                       

  • Custer has earned the most points at 1.5-mile tracks among NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers this season with 326 points.
  • Custer earned a total of five combined stage points.
  • The Kansas Lottery 300 was the first race of the second round of the playoffs. Two more races remain before the season finale Nov. 18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
  • This was Custer’s 35th XFINITY Series start and his third at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.
  • Four cautions slowed the race for 20 laps.
  • Christopher Bell won the Kansas Lottery 300 to score his first career XFINITY Series victory. His margin of victory over second-place Tyler Reddick was 2.670 seconds.

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation/Code 3 Associates Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:                 

“We had a solid Haas Automation Ford Mustang. We fought hard to keep it in the top-10 and earned good stage points. There was nothing we could do at the end of the race because we ran over something late that crippled the right front. It’s just how it goes. There was a big cut in the tire and we had to pit. We ran well at Texas, so I still think we have a good shot at making it into the final four.”

COLE CUSTER – 2017 Charlotte II

Cole Custer Finishes Sixth at Charlotte

Haas Automation Driver Advances to Second Round of Playoffs

Date: Oct. 7, 2017
Event: Drive for the Cure 300 (Round 29 of 33)
Series: NASCAR XFINITY Series
Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (45 laps/45 laps/110 laps)
Start/Finish: 13th/6th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
Playoff Point Standings: 5th (3,007 points, 19 points out of first – ADVANCED TO ROUND 2)

Race Winner: Alex Bowman of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Erik Jones of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Daniel Suarez of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45):

  • Cole Custer started 13th, finished ninth. Earned two bonus points.
  • Piloted his Haas Automation Ford Mustang into the top-10 by lap 20.
  • Noted a tight-handling condition, but managed to make a pass and gain one more position before the conclusion of the stage.
  • Custer pitted for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments at the end of the stage.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90):       

  • Started 11th, finished eighth. Earned three bonus points.
  • Custer continued to fight a tight-handling condition at the beginning of the stage.
  • Ran as high as seventh during Stage 2 until his car’s balance shifted to being loose.
  • At the conclusion of the stage, pitted for four fresh tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 91-200):

  • Started eighth, finished sixth.
  • After a caution on lap 141, Custer pitted for four tires, fuel and adjustments. He restarted in the 11th position.
  • Custer drove to eighth place before a final caution on lap 160, where he pitted for four more tires and fuel to restart back in 11th position.
  • With 40 laps to go, Custer powered his way through the field to finish just outside of the top-five.

Notes:              

  • Custer was the highest finishing rookie in the Drive for the Cure 300. It was his eighth rookie of the race award this season.
  • Custer has earned the most points at 1.5-mile tracks among XFINITY Series drivers this season.
  • Custer earned his 16th top-10 of the 2017 season, his 18th top-10 in 34 career XFINITY Series starts and his third top-10 at Charlotte.
  • Custer’s sixth-place finish was his fourth-consecutive top-10 this season.
  • Due to inclement weather, qualifying for the Drive for the Cure 300 was canceled. The field was set by owner points.
  • This was the final race in the first round of the playoffs. Custer advanced to the second round and is seeded fifth.
  • There were eight caution periods for 43 laps in the Drive for the Cure 300.
  • Alex Bowman won the Drive for the Cure 300 to score his first career XFINITY Series victory. His margin of victory over second-place Sam Hornish Jr. was 1.390 seconds.

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

“It was a really good night for us. We got our car better. We didn’t have the track position that we wanted, so I think we were more of a third- or fourth-place car, but our Haas Automation Mustang was really solid tonight. I was happy with the improvements we made through the weekend, so I’m looking forward to the next round. It’s going to be a dogfight, that’s for sure. Everybody in this next round has a lot of speed. I think if we can win a race it’s going to be huge. It will be tough, but we just have to really be on our game and fire on all cylinders.”

COLE CUSTER – 2017 Dover II Race Report

Cole Custer Finishes Eighth at Dover

Haas Automation Driver Earns Third-Straight Top-10

Date: Sep. 30, 2017
Event: Use Your Melon. Drive Sober 200 (Round 28 of 33)
Series: NASCAR XFINITY Series
Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/120 laps)
Start/Finish: 6th/8th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
Playoff Point Standings: 4th (2,093 points, 14 points out of first)

Race Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: William Byron of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):

      • Cole Custer started sixth, finished eighth. Earned three stage points.
      • In the opening laps of the stage, Custer piloted his Haas Automation Mustang in and around the top-five, but noted loose-handling conditions.
      • At the conclusion of Stage 1, Custer pitted for four fresh tires, fuel, chassis adjustments and air pressure adjustments.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):     

      • Started sixth, finished seventh. Earned four stage points.
      • Custer ran as high as fourth place in the second stage.
      • Throughout the stage, the balance of Custer’s Haas Automation Mustang shifted to the tight side as the stage wore on.
      • Custer pitted for four more tires, fuel and adjustments at the conclusion of Stage 2.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 120-200):          

      • Started seventh, finished eighth.
      • On the initial restart of the final stage, Custer was caught in traffic and fell to the 12th position.
      • He continued to note tight-handling conditions, but re-entered the top-10 halfway through the stage.
      • Custer continued to move his Haas Automation Mustang up through the field to, gaining a few more spot by the time the checkered flag waved in order to earn his 15th top-10 of the season.

Notes:              

      • The Use Your Melon. Drive Sober 200 was Custer’s 33rd NASCAR XFINITY Series start and his seventh at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
      • Custer earned his 15th top-10 of the 2017 season, his 17th top-10 in 33 XFINITY Series starts and his third at Dover.
      • Custer earned a total of seven combined stage points.
      • Five cautions slowed the race for 28 laps.
      • Ryan Blaney won the Use Your Melon. Drive Sober 200 to score his sixth career XFINITY Series victory, second of the season and first at Dover. His margin of victory over second-place Justin Allgaier was 4.852 seconds.

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

“We had a solid Haas Automation Mustang. We definitely didn’t have the best car but we made it better all day. The last restart didn’t play out for us; it was tough to pass. We got held up in the wrong lane there. We didn’t make any mistakes and got the points that we needed. It was a good day and we’ll head to Charlotte with confidence.”

 Next Up:          

The next event on the NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule is the Drive For The Cure 300 on Saturday, Oct. 7 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN.

COLE CUSTER – 2017 Chicagoland NXS Race Report

Cole Custer Finishes Seventh at Chicagoland

Haas Automation Driver Earns Eighth Seed to Start Playoffs

Date: Sept. 16, 2017
Event: TheHouse.com 300 (Round 26 of 33)
Series: NASCAR XFINITY Series
Location: Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (45 laps/45 laps/110 laps)
Start/Finish: 5th/7th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
Playoff Point Standings: 8th (2005 points, 20 points out of first – IN THE PLAYOFFS) 

Race Winner: Justin Allgaier of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Erik Jones of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Erik Jones of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45):

  • Cole Custer started fifth, finished third. Earned eight stage points.
  • Custer kept his No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang inside the top-five throughout Stage 1 and ran as high as third.
  • Custer radioed to crew chief Jeff Meendering that he was tight to the center and over the bumps in turns three and four.
  • At the conclusion of the stage, Custer pitted for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments. He gained one position on pit road.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90):       

  • Started second, finished second. Earned nine stage points.
  • Custer piloted his Haas Automation Ford Mustang into second place for the entirety of Stage 2.
  • Custer pitted for four fresh tires, fuel and more air pressure adjustments at the end of the stage.
  • During the race off pit road, Erik Jones, driver of the No. 20 car, earned a speeding penalty, handing the lead to Custer.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 91-200):

  • Started first, finished seventh.
  • Custer held the lead for the first 38 laps of the final stage.
  • During a lap-181 caution, Custer pitted for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments. He restarted in the fourth position.
  • Custer was caught in traffic on the restart. With nowhere to go, he made contact with the rear of the No. 22 car of Ryan Blaney.
  • Custer’s Haas Automation Ford Mustang suffered light nose and side damage as result of the contact.
  • After pitting to assess and repair the damage during a caution on lap 190, Custer restarted in the 16th position and rallied to his 13th top-10 of 2017.

Notes:              

  • Custer led four times for 41 laps, the second-highest total in the race.
  • The 41 laps led were Custer’s highest single-race total in 31 career XFINITY Series starts.
  • Custer’s 17 stage points were his highest single-race total in 31 career XFINITY Series starts.
  • Custer was the highest finishing rookie and XFINITY Series regular in Stages 1-2.
  • Custer earned his 13th top-10 of 2017 and his 15th top-10 in 31 career XFINITY Series starts.
  • Custer will start the seven-race playoffs as the eighth seed among the 12 eligible drivers.
  • Five cautions slowed the race for 24 laps.
  • Justin Allgaier won TheHouse.com 300 to score his fifth career XFINITY Series victory, his second of the season and second at Chicagoland Speedway. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Larson was 1.772 seconds.

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

“I was happy with that today. That is the best speed we’ve had all year in the Haas Automation Mustang. It was really good and a huge momentum builder. That was probably the most fun I’ve ever had in a stock car, doing those crossover passes. I have respect for him (Kyle Larson) racing me clean there. That was a lot of fun. Erik (Jones) was just pushing it. I think he knew he was probably in a bad spot and tried to keep it in the gas and forced Blaney in the wall. I was right behind it and couldn’t go anywhere. That is how it goes, though.”

 

Playoff Standings:        

  1. William Byron (2,025 points)
  2. Justin Allgaier (2,023 points, -2)
  3. Elliott Sadler (2,020 points, -5)
  4. Daniel Hemric (2,009 points, -16)
  5. Brennan Poole (2,006 points, -19)
  6. Ryan Reed (2,005 points, -20)
  7. Jeremy Clements (2,005 points, -20)
  8. Cole Custer (2,005 points, -20)
  9. Blake Koch (2,005 points, -20)
  10. Matt Tifft (2,004 points, -21)
  11. Brendan Gaughan (2,003 points, -22)
  12. Michael Annett (2,001 points, -24)

COLE CUSTER – 2017 Richmond II Race Report

Cole Custer Finishes 14th at Richmond

Haas Automation Driver Battles Inside Top-10 For Majority of Race

Date: Sept. 8, 2017
Event: Virginia529 College Savings 250 (Round 25 of 33)
Series: NASCAR XFINITY Series
Location: Richmond (Va.) Raceway (.75-mile oval)
Format: 250 laps, broken into three stages (75 laps/75 laps/100 laps)
Start/Finish: 4th/14th (Running, completed 250 of 250 laps)
Point Standing: 6th (617 points, 277 out of first)

Race Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Ty Dillon of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-75):

  • Cole Custer started fourth, finished seventh. Earned four stage points.
  • Custer kept his Haas Automation Ford Mustang inside the top-five for the majority of Stage 1.
  • He ran as high as third until loose-handling conditions pushed him just outside of the top-five.
  • Custer pitted at the conclusion of the stage for four fresh tires, fuel, air pressure and chassis adjustments.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-150):     

  • Started seventh, finished 11th.
  • Custer forced his way into the top-five shortly after the restart.
  • As the stage wore on, Custer’s Haas Automation Ford lost its drive off of the turns and ran too tight in the center of the corners.
  • At the conclusion of Stage 2, he pitted for four fresh tires, fuel and adjustments to correct handling issues.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 151-250):          

  • Started 10th, finished 14th.
  • Custer ran in and around the top-10 for the majority of the stage.
  • With 20 laps to go, Custer continued to endure handling issues, ultimately pushing him outside of the top-10.

Notes:              

  • The Virginia529 College Savings 250 was Custer’s 30th NASCAR XFINITY Series start and fifth start at Richmond (Va.) Raceway.
  • Only nine of the 40 drivers finished on the lead lap.
  • Three cautions slowed the race for 26 laps.
  • Brad Keselowski won the Virginia529 College Savings 250 to score his 36th career XFINITY Series victory, his second of the season and fourth at Richmond. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was 3.008 seconds.

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

“I’m not sure what happened there at the end of the race. Our Haas Automation Ford Mustang was so fast at the start of the race and throughout the second stage. We just kind of fell off at the end, but we’ll go back and try to figure out what happened.”

 

COLE CUSTER – 2017 Darlington NXS Race Report

Cole Custer Finishes Ninth at Darlington

Haas Automation Driver Earns Third-Straight Top-10

Date: Sep. 2, 2017
Event: Sport Clips VFW 200 (Round 24 of 33)
Series: NASCAR XFINITY Series
Location: Darlington (S.C.) Raceway (1.366-mile oval)
Format: 147 laps, broken into three stages (45 laps/45 laps/57 laps)
Start/Finish: 4th/9th (Running, completed 148 of 148 laps)
Point Standing: 6th (590 points, 268 out of first)

Race Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota) in overtime.
Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45):

  • Cole Custer started fourth, finished 14th.
  • Custer jolted his Haas Automation Ford Mustang to second on the initial restart before a caution on lap one slowed the race.
  • On lap 27, Custer noted tight-handling conditions, ultimately pushing him out of the top-10 before the end of Stage 1.
  • At the conclusion of the stage, Custer pitted for four tires, fuel and wedge adjustments.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90):       

  • Started 12th, finished 13th.
  • Custer noted severe loose-handling conditions throughout Stage 2.
  • He battled just outside of the top-10 for the duration of the stage.
  • After the stage ended, Custer pitted for four fresh tires, fuel and more wedge adjustments to tighten his Haas Automation Mustang.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 91-147):

  • Started 14th, finished ninth.
  • Custer battled his Haas Automation Mustang back into the top-10 on the restart.
  • Custer ran consistently in eighth until the caution on lap 138. He pitted for four tires and restarted in the seventh position.
  • After a final caution leading into overtime, Custer restarted from the 10th position and battled to ninth place to secure a top-10 in his first start at Darlington.

Notes:              

  • There were a total of 11 lead changes among five drivers.
  • Custer earned his 12th top-10 of the 2017 season and his 14th top-10 in 29 XFINITY Series starts.
  • Nine cautions slowed the race for 33 laps.
  • Denny Hamlin won the Sport Clips VFW 200 to score his 17th career XFINITY Series victory, second of the 2017 season and fifth at Darlington Raceway. His margin of victory over second-place Joey Logano was .185 of a second.

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

“We started off fairly decent. We just needed that run to go green that first run. I honestly didn’t know what the track was going to do. The next run we made a wrong adjustment just because I was probably saying the wrong thing. We put it back and were pretty decent. We just needed the restarts to go our way a little bit better there at the end. Overall, it was a solid day. I wanted a little bit better, but it is what it is. It was an honor to run the Sam Ard paint scheme this weekend on our Haas Automation Mustang.”

KEVIN HARVICK – 2017 Darlington NXS Race Report

Harvick Finishes Third at Darlington

Hunt Brothers Pizza Driver Fifth Top-Five Finish of 2017 XFINITY Series Season

Date: Sept. 2, 2017
Event: Sport Clips VFW 200 (Round 24 of 33)
Series: NASCAR XFINITY Series
Location: Darlington (S.C.) Raceway (1.366-mile, egg-shaped oval)
Format: 147 laps, broken into three stages (45 laps/45 laps/57 laps)
Start/Finish: 2nd/3rd (Running, completed 148 of 148 laps)
Race Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota) in overtime

Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Ends on Lap 45):

  • Started second, finished first.
  • Harvick narrowly escaped an early caution on lap nine as Ty Dillon spun directly in front of him.
  • The Hunt Brothers Pizza team raced to the lead on lap 29 and opted to stay out on lap 32 under caution to retain the lead.
  • Harvick came to pit road for four tires and fuel at the conclusion of Stage 1.

Stage 2 Recap (Ends on Lap 90):

  • Started third, finished first.
  • Harvick kept the No. 41 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford on the track under caution on lap 74 while racing in the second position.
  • He took the lead on the following restart and kept it for the remainder of the stage.
  • Harvick came to pit road for four tires and fuel at the conclusion of Stage 2.

Final Stage Recap (Ends on Lap 147):    

  • Started second, finished third.
  • Harvick stayed out under caution on lap 100 to maintain the second position.
  • The Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford passed Joey Logano for the lead on lap 118.
  • Harvick came to pit road as the leader for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment under caution on lap 138.
  • Joey Logano, who had pit stall one, beat Harvick off of pit road forcing him to restart on the bottom.
  • Harvick dropped to the fifth position by the following caution on lap 143, but rallied on the following restart to finish third.

 Notes:              

  • Harvick scored his fifth top-five finish of the 2017 XFINITY Series Season
  • The Hunt Brothers Pizza driver scored his third top-five finish in 15 NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at Darlington.
  • It is his 182nd top-five finish in 341 XFINITY Series starts.
  • Harvick led three times for 54 laps.
  • This is Harvick’s sixth XFINITY Series start for Stewart-Haas Racing.
  • The race featured 11 lead changes among five drivers and nine cautions for 33 laps.
  • Denny Hamlin won the Sport Clips VFW 200 to score his 17th career XFINITY Series victory, second of the 2017 season and fifth at Darlington Raceway. His margin of victory over second-place Joey Logano was .185 of a second.

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 41 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“We had a great Hunt Brothers Ford. I want to thank Hunt Brothers and Fields and Bad Boy Off Road, Ford, Morton Buildings, everybody from Stewart-Haas Racing and Haas Automation for just letting us run this thing. It just didn’t wind up working out there at the end. I wound up on the bottom and I kept my foot in it over there, got loose underneath the No. 20. We weren’t the strongest for five or 10 laps and that didn’t really work out with that short run there at the end and we got stuck on the bottom. We got loose and then we got freight-trained, but just a great car.  It wound up being a great race and that’s all you can ask for.”

COLE CUSTER – 2017 Road America Race Report

Cole Custer Finishes Eighth at Road America

Haas Automation Driver Earns 11th Top-10 of Season

Date: Aug. 27, 2017
Event: Johnsonville 180 (Round 23 of 33)
Series: NASCAR XFINITY Series
Location: Road America at Elkhart Lake (4-mile, 14-turn road course)
Format: 45 laps, broken into three stages (10 laps/10 laps/25 laps)
Start/Finish: 12th/8th (Running, completed 45 of 45 laps)
Point Standing: 6th (562 points, 276 out of first)

Race Winner: Jeremy Clements of Jeremy Clements Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: James Davison of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Daniel Hemric of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-10):

  • Cole Custer started 12th, finished 19th.
  • Custer ran just outside of the top-10 for the majority of the stage.
  • During a lap-seven caution, Custer pitted for fuel and chassis adjustments. At the conclusion of the stage he opted to stay and gain track position.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 11-20):       

  • Started seventh, finished 17th.
  • Custer dealt with a tight-handling Haas Automation Ford Mustang throughout the second stage and shuffled back to 20th place.
  • Custer pitted at the conclusion of Stage 2 for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 21-45): 

  • Started 18th, finished eighth.
  • On lap 28, Custer battled his way back into the top-10 before making a fuel-only pit stop under green-flag conditions.
  • After green-flag pit stops cycled through, Custer piloted his Haas Automation Ford Mustang to third before tight-handling conditions continued to hamper his speed.

Notes:              

  • Qualifying for the Johnsonville 180 was canceled due to inclement weather. Starting positions were set by owner points.
  • Custer earned his 11th top-10 of the 2017 season and his 13th top-10 in 28 XFINITY Series starts.
  • Four cautions slowed the race for eight laps.
  • Jeremy Clements won the Johnsonville 180 to score his first career XFINITY Series victory. His margin of victory over second-place Michael Annett was 5.802 seconds.

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

“We fought a lot of issues today and there were a lot of things I could’ve done better. To come home with a top-10 was pretty good with all of that considered. Jeff (Meendering, crew chief) made a great call at the end to get our Haas Automation Mustang some track position.”

COLE CUSTER – 2017 Bristol II Race Report

Cole Custer Scores Top-10 at Bristol

Haas Automation/One Cure Ford Driver Maintains Sixth-Place Point Standing

Date: Aug. 18, 2017
Event: Food City 300 (Round 22 of 33)
Series: NASCAR XFINITY Series
Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (.533-mile oval)
Format: 300 laps, broken into three stages (85 laps/85 laps/130 laps)
Start/Finish: 5th/10th (Running, completed 300 of 300 laps)
Point Standing: 6th (533 points, 274 out of first)
 Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-85):

  • Cole Custer started fifth, finished 11th.
  • Custer kept his Haas Automation/One Cure Ford Mustang inside the top-10 for the majority of the stage while battling tight-handling conditions.
  • At the conclusion of the stage, Custer pitted for four tires, fuel, chassis adjustments and air pressure adjustments.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 86-170):     

  • Started ninth, finished 10th. Earned one bonus point.
  • Custer drove in the top-10 throughout Stage 2.
  • To further correct tight-handling conditions, Custer pitted for four fresh tires, fuel and chassis adjustments at the conclusion of the stage.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 171-300):            

  • Started ninth, finished 10th.
  • During a lap-217 caution, Custer pitted for four fresh tires, fuel and wedge adjustments. He restarted in the eighth position.
  • Custer piloted his Haas Automation/One Cure Ford Mustang to fourth place on the restart.
  • After the final caution on lap 285, Custer pitted for four more tires, fuel and wedge adjustments.
  • Custer restarted in the ninth position and competed in the top-10 for the remainder of the race.

 Notes:                

  • Custer was the highest-finishing rookie in Stage 1.
  • Custer earned his 10th top-10 of the 2017 season and his 12th top-10 in 27 XFINITY Series starts.
  • Eight caution periods slowed the race for 46 laps.
  • Kyle Busch won the Food City 300 to score his 91st career XFINITY Series victory, his fifth of the season and his ninth at Bristol. His margin of victory over second-place Daniel Suarez was 1.181 seconds.

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation/ One Cure Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:       

“I’m happy with our day. I think we could have done a little bit better, but the track just changed so much. It was definitely a learning curve for me. It was a lot about restarts and who you were behind and what lane you were in, but we brought a pretty solid Haas Automation/One Cure Ford Mustang. We probably should’ve finished fifth to seventh and I probably could’ve done a little bit better job, but I learned a lot for when we come back the next time.”

Next Up:          

The next event on the NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule is the Johnsonville 180 on Sunday, Aug. 27 at Road America near Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC.

COLE CUSTER – 2017 Mid-Ohio NXS Race Report

Cole Custer Finishes 35th at Mid-Ohio

Haas Automation Driver’s Day Plagued by Mechanical Failure

Date: Aug. 12, 2017
Event: Mid-Ohio Challenge (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: 9th/35th (Running, completed 54 of 75 laps)
Point Standing: 6th (505 points, 258 out of first)

Race Winner: Sam Hornish Jr. of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Blake Koch of Kaulig Racing (Chevy)
Stage 2 Winner: Sam Hornish Jr. of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-20):

  • Started ninth, finished 40th.
  • Due to Custer making contact with the grass in qualifying, he started the Mid-Ohio Challenge with his backup Haas Automation Ford Mustang.
  • On lap two, a mechanical failure forced Custer to the pits.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 21-40):

  • Started 40th, finished 37th.
  • After repairs, Custer entered the field 22 laps down at the start of Stage 2.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 41-75):

  • Started 37th, finished 35th.
  • Custer gained one lap during the final stage.
  • Due to multiple accidents, Custer gained two spots before the conclusion of the race.

Notes:              

  • Nine cautions slowed the race for 27 laps.
  • Sam Hornish Jr. won the Mid-Ohio Challenge to score his fifth career XFINITY Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Mid-Ohio.

Next Up:          

The next event on the NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule is the Food City 300 on Friday, Aug. 18 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN.