Cole Custer Finishes 32nd at Bristol
Haas Automation Driver Collected in Late-Race Accident While Running Third
Date: April 22, 2017
Event: Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 (Round 7 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: 3rd/32nd (Accident, completed 262 of 300 laps)
Point Standing: 12th (130 points, 130 out of first)
Race Winner: Erik Jones of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Daniel Hemric of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-85):
- Started third, finished sixth to earn five stage points.
- Car was tight in the center and exit of the corners throughout Stage 1.
- Ran the majority of the stage on the bottom groove, noting that his Ford Mustang was “quicker down low.”
- Stage 1 ended under caution after an incident in turn two gave Custer a shot at the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash prize.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 86-170):
- Started ninth, finished ninth to earn two stage points.
- Ran in and around the top-10 while saying his car was loose on landing into the corner and tight off.
- A red flag caution due to rain delayed the race for 1 hour, 38 minutes with Custer in 11th-position.
- Before restarting, Custer took four tires and chassis adjustments to restart in 12th-place with three laps before the end of the stage.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 171-300):
- Started ninth, finished 32nd.
- In the beginning of Stage 3, Custer found quicker speeds running the high groove.
- After a lap-219 caution, Custer opted to pit and take four fresh tires with a track bar adjustment. He restarted in ninth.
- Custer battled his way up to third place before another caution on lap 245.
- Custer restarted in third on lap 260 and was collected in an accident on lap 262 which damaged the right-front suspension beyond repair. Custer was forced to take his Haas Automation Ford Mustang to the garage and out of the race.
- Custer’s third-place finish in Stage 1 made him Dash 4 Cash eligible.
- Custer qualified third to earn his career-best NASCAR XFINITY Series starting spot.
- Custer earned a total of seven stage points.
Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
Strong race, and the finish is not indicative of how you ran. How do you feel about your overall performance today?
“We had a really fast Haas Automation Ford Mustang and we were going forward. I think we could’ve definitely won the Dash 4 Cash and maybe had a shot at the win. It just sucks. We’ve had a couple instances like this and it’s like we just can’t do anything about it this year. We’ll move on. We’ve got fast cars and we’ll try to get some solid finishes.”
The next event on the NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule is the Richmond 250 on Saturday, April 29 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1.