Event: Lilly Diabetes 250 (Round 18 of 33)
Date: July 22, 2017
Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Layout: 2.5-mile rectangle
Cole Custer Notes of Interest
- The Lilly Diabetes 250 will mark Cole Custer’s 23rd career NASCAR XFINITY Series start and his first of any kind at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
- Custer has competed in six restrictor-plate races – three this season in the XFINITY Series – twice at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and once at 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 in a restrictor-plate race was 24th at Daytona (February 2016) and his best ARCA finish in a restrictor-plate race was 10th at Daytona (February 2016) after starting from the pole.
- Custer’s best finish in the 17 XFINITY Series races run this season is fourth, earned in the 11th event June 3 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. It was his ninth top-10 and third top-five and it equaled his career-best finish in 22 career XFINITY Series starts.
- Custer’s best qualifying effort in the 17 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 10 top-10 starts and three top-five starts this season.
- Custer is third in the XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year standings, 61 points behind leader William Byron and one point 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 sixth in the XFINITY Series driver standings, 224 points behind series leader Elliot Sadler.
- Custer has earned two top-five finishes, seven top-10s and has led 29 laps in the 2017 XFINITY Series season.
Cole Custer, Driver Q&A
What are your thoughts on running a restrictor-plate race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
“It’s definitely going to be a different challenge for our Haas Automation team. We really don’t know at all what it will do to the racing, but it will be interesting. Restrictor-plate racing is all about staying out of trouble and getting a solid finish. A win would be great, but a solid finish and staying out of trouble would be great, too”
What are your expectations at Indianapolis, a track where you’ve never run before?
“Indy is one of the most difficult tracks you’ll go to and it will take some time to get used to. With this different aero package, I think it will make it a little easier on me, but it will still be a new challenge.”
How will you prepare for the Lilly Diabetes 250?
“Mentally, I try and just watch as many races as I can at the track coming up and try and get an idea of what I need to do come race time. For Indy, because it’s always so hot, hydration will be the biggest factor on staying in good physical condition.”
Jeff Meendering, Crew Chief Q&A
Share your thoughts on running restrictor plates this weekend at Indianapolis.
“Indy should be a good race for the fans and a nerve-wracking race for the drivers and teams. Going into the weekend, we really don’t know what to expect. With a totally different rules package than we’ve run and limited practice, we’ll have to be prepared to go in several different directions. I have confidence in Cole and our team that we can get it figured out as quickly as any of our competitors.”