COLE CUSTER – 2017 Dover II Race Report

September 30th, 2017

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.