COLE CUSTER – 2017 DOVER I NXS Race Report

June 3rd, 2017

Cole Custer Finishes Fourth at Dover

Haas Automation Driver Ties Career-Best NASCAR XFINITY Series Finish

 

Date: June 3, 2017
Event: OneMain Financial 200 (Round 11 of 33)
Series: NASCAR XFINITY Series
Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile, concrete oval)
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/80 laps)
Start/Finish: 14th/4th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
Point Standing: 10th (242 points, 133 out of first)
 

Race Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Darrell Wallace Jr. of Roush Fenway Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):

  •  Started 14th, finished 16th.
  • Custer battled tight-handling conditions on exit throughout Stage 1.
  • Toward the end of the stage, Custer raced his Haas Automation Ford Mustang just outside of the top-10 until he was caught in traffic that pushed him back to the middle of the field.
  • At the conclusion of the stage, Custer pitted for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):     

  •  Started 15th, finished 16th.
  • Custer’s tight-handling conditions persisted, but improved slightly as the stage went on.
  • During a lap-113 caution, Custer opted to pit for four fresh tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-200):          

  •  Started third, finished fourth.
  • Custer did not pit at the conclusion of Stage 2, placing him in the top-five for the first time in the race.
  • After a lap-145 caution, Custer battled his way into second place.
  • Custer ran consistently inside the top-four for the remainder of the race.

Notes:              

  • Custer was the highest-finishing rookie and NASCAR XFINITY Series regular driver.
  • This was Custer’s second consecutive race as the highest-finishing rookie and XFINITY Series regular driver.
  • His fourth-place finish was his best finish this season and it equaled his career-best result, first earned at Charlotte (N.C) Motor Speedway in May 2016.
  • This is Custer’s third top-five finish in 16 career XFINITY Series starts, his second top-five of the 2017 season and his second top-five at Dover.
  • There were a total of 10 caution periods for 45 laps.
  • Kyle Larson won the OneMain Financial 200 to score his eighth career XFINITY Series victory, his third of the season and his first at Dover. His margin of victory over second-place Ryan Blaney was 1.173 seconds.

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We played the strategy game today and it worked out perfect for us. Once we got our Haas Automation Ford Mustang into clean air, we were able to run really well. It’s awesome to be able to finally build some consistency. It’s great to get some consistent runs even when things aren’t going our way.”