Cole Custer Finishes Fifth at Indianapolis
Haas Automation Driver Earns Third Top-Five of Season
Date: July 22, 2017
Event: Lilly Diabetes 250 (Round 18 of 33)
Series: NASCAR XFINITY Series
Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile rectangle)
Format: 100 laps, broken into three stages (30 laps/30 laps/40 laps)
Start/Finish: 6th/5th (Running, completed 100 of 100 laps)
Point Standing: 6th (435 points, 230 out of first)
Race Winner: William Byron of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: William Byron of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Elliott Sadler of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-30):
- Started sixth, finished fourth. Earned seven stage points.
- A competition caution on lap 15 presented Custer with the opportunity to correct a tight-handling condition on his Haas Automation Ford Mustang with four fresh tires, fuel and wedge adjustments. He restarted in the eighth position.
- Custer drove to fourth place after the restart and ran in the top-five for the remainder of the stage.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 31-60):
- Started fourth, finished 31st.
- Custer battled inside the top-10 throughout the majority of Stage 2.
- On lap 56, Custer opted to pit under green-flag conditions for four fresh tires and fuel.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 61-100):
- Started seventh, finished fifth.
- Custer raced in and around the top-10 for the first half of the final stage.
- By lap 84, Custer had made his way back into the top-five.
- During the final laps, Custer closed the gap on fourth-place Elliott Sadler before earning a top-five in his first start at Indianapolis.
- Custer scored his third top-five of the 2017 season and his fourth career top-five in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. It was also his eighth top-10 of 2017 and his 10th top-10 in 23 XFINITY Series starts.
- The Lilly Diabetes 250 was Custer’s first start of any kind at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
- Five cautions slowed the race for 22 laps.
- William Byron won the Lilly Diabetes 250 to score his third career XFINITY Series victory, his third of the season and his first at Indianapolis. His margin of victory over second-place Paul Menard was .108 of a second.
Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“It was a pretty fun race. A lot of the time we were kind of strung out there, but when you could get a push it was awesome to get locked up going down the straightaways and everything. Our Haas Automation Mustang was pretty good today. I think we were just as good as the leaders, but I had some bad restarts there at the end. I wasn’t really proud of that. We got a solid run and we’ll go to Iowa and hopefully improve on our last run. I think the new aero package we ran would be a good speedway package, but it’s hard to tell because this was my first start at Indy. It was interesting.”