COLE CUSTER – 2017 Daytona II Race Report

July 2nd, 2017

Cole Custer Finishes 22nd at Daytona

Haas Automation Driver Involved in Multicar Accident on Lap 99

Date: June 30-July 1, 2017

Event: Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 (Round 15 of 33)
Series: NASCAR XFINITY Series
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
Format: 104 laps, broken into three stages (30 laps/30 laps/44 laps)
Start/Finish: 19th/22nd (Running, completed 104 of 104 laps)
Point Standing: 7th (338 points, 215 out of first)

Race Winner: William Byron of JR Motorsports in overtime (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Blake Koch of Kaulig Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Elliott Sadler of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-30):

  • Cole Custer started 19th, finished 34th.
  • Inclement weather on lap nine brought out the red flag, ultimately postponing the race until 12 p.m. EDT on July 1.
  • Custer ran toward the back of the field, noting tight-handling conditions throughout Stage 1.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 31-60):

  • Started third, finished 31st.
  • Custer said his Haas Automation Ford Mustang became tighter as the stage wore on.
  • On lap 50 Custer was involved in an accident, which pushed him toward the rear of the field.
  • The racecar was not damaged, but Custer was called to pit road by crew chief Jeff Meendering for four tires, fuel and adjustments.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 61-100):

  • Started 18th, finished 22nd.
  • Custer continued to note tight-handling conditions throughout the final stage.
  • He drove his Haas Automation Ford Mustang into the top-10 by lap 83.
  • On lap 99 Custer was involved in a multicar accident that brought out the red flag for nine minutes and 56 seconds.
  • Custer battled his way to finish just outside of the top-20 before the conclusion of the race.

Notes:              

  • Due to an accident not of his making in the final XFINITY Series practice on Thursday, Custer was forced to a backup racecar in the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250.
  • Nine cautions slowed the race for 35 laps.
  • William Byron won the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 to score his second career XFINITY Series victory, his second of the season and his first at Daytona.
  • Elliott Sadler, who finished second in the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250, leads the championship standings with 553 points and has a 59-point margin over Byron, his nearest pursuer.

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

“We had to go to our backup Ford Mustang and worked really hard to get it out there. It was really fast and handled really well, and the guys worked hard all weekend. We could have been better handling-wise, but we were okay. I just got caught up in that wreck there at the end.”