Event: Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 (Round 15 of 33)
Date: June 30, 2017
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway
Layout: 2.5-mile oval
Cole Custer Notes of Interest
- The Firecracker 250 will mark Cole Custer’s 20th career NASCAR XFINITY Series start and his second XFINITY Series start at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
- Custer has competed in five restrictor-plate races – two this season in the XFINITY Series – Daytona and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. He also competed once at each track in the Camping World Truck Series and once at Daytona in ARCA. His best Truck Series finish was 24th at Daytona and his best ARCA finish was 10th at Daytona.
- Custer won the pole for the 2016 ARCA season opener at Daytona, becoming the youngest pole winner in Daytona history among the ARCA, Truck, XFINITY and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
- In Custer’s 2017 XFINITY Series debut at Daytona, he ran in the top-10 after starting from the 20th position before he was collected in a multicar accident on lap 20.
- Custer’s best finish in the 14 XFINITY Series races run this season is fourth, earned in the 11th event June 3 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. It was his eighth top-10 and third top-five and it equaled his career-best finish in 18 career XFINITY Series starts.
- Custer is third in the XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year standings, 34 points behind leader William Byron and three points behind second-place Daniel Hemric.
- Custer has earned five Rookie of the Race awards this season. Rookie of the Race awards are given to the highest-finishing XFINITY Series rookie.
- Custer is seventh in the XFINITY Series driver standings, 180 points behind series leader Elliot Sadler.
- Custer’s best qualifying effort in the 14 XFINITY Series races run this season is third, earned in the seventh race of the season April 22 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Custer has eight top-10 starts and three top-five starts this season.
- Custer will support the Marine Corps Installations Pacific (MCIPAC) from Camp Mujuk with a decal on the upper level of his Haas Automation Ford Mustang’s windshield as part of the NASCAR Salutes initiative. MCIPAC strengthens and enables force projection in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region with U.S. allies and partners to protect and defend the territory of the United States, itspeople and its interests.
Cole Custer, Driver Q&A
What does it mean to support the military on the windshield of your Haas Automation Ford Mustang this weekend?
“It’s awesome. Obviously, we wouldn’t be able to race and do what we love to do without the military, and it’s awesome to pay tribute to them and show our respect. It’s a cool thing we get to do on the Daytona race weekend and you don’t get to see it anywhere else. The military members really deserve this kind of recognition.”
What is the key to success at a restrictor-plate track like Daytona?
“One of the biggest keys is just to stay out of trouble. Especially this year, it seems like that is the biggest thing. If we can be there at the end with our Haas Automation Ford Mustang, we’ll have a shot to win.”
Describe the intensity of racing at Daytona.
“Daytona is definitely one of the most intense places we run. Running turns three and four wide open is pretty hard and you know that if you make one small mistake, you can take yourself and a lot of other guys out.”
Jeff Meendering, Crew Chief Q&A
What are your thoughts on racing at Daytona?
“We were still in the building process of our team when we showed up for Daytona in February. Now that we’ve had more time to prepare, we should have a better showing, as long as we can avoid all the accidents that come with speedway racing. We’re bringing a solid speedway car to Daytona this weekend and I think we’ll have a good run if we stay out of trouble.”