Cole Custer Finishes Fifth at Iowa
Haas Automation Driver Scores Second Straight Top-Five
Date: July 29, 2017
Event: US Cellular 250 Presented by American Ethanol (Round 19 of 33)
Series: NASCAR XFINITY Series
Location: Iowa Speedway in Newton (.875-mile oval)
Format: 250 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/130 laps)
Start/Finish: 5th/5th (Running, completed 254 of 254 laps)
Point Standing: 6th (474 points, 233 out of first)
Race Winner: Ryan Preece of Joe Gibbs Racing in overtime (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Ryan Preece of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Justin Allgaier of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):
- Started fifth, finished seventh. Earned four stage points.
- Custer ran in and around the top-five noting tight-handling conditions throughout Stage 1.
- Was the highest finishing rookie of the stage.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):
- Started fourth, finished eighth. Earned three stage points.
- Custer ran just outside of the top-five throughout Stage 2.
- Custer pitted for four tires and fuel at the conclusion of Stage 2 to correct tight handling conditions.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-254):
- Started sixth, finished fifth.
- Custer ran as high as third during the final stage.
- After a caution on lap 234, Custer opted not to pit and restarted in the third position
- Custer battled inside of the top-five until the conclusion of the race.
- This marks Custer’s fourth top-five of 2017 and the fifth top-five of his XFINITY Series career.
- This marks Custer’s ninth top-10 of 2017 and the 11th top-10 of his XFINITY Series career.
- Custer was the highest finishing rookie.
- Seven cautions slowed the race for 40 laps.
- Ryan Preece won the US Cellular 250 to score his first career XFINITY Series victory. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Benjamin was .054 of a second.
Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We had a really solid Haas Automation Mustang this week. We kind of struggled a bit last time we were here and wanted to improve on what we had, so we brought something completely different and it really paid off. The team did a great job bringing something new. We had bad restarts today mostly because we started on the bottom. I think we had at least a third-place car this weekend. It was fun to be good at a short track this year and, hopefully, we can keep that going. I can’t thank everybody enough – Tony Stewart and Gene Haas for the opportunity and Ford for another fast racecar.”