COLE CUSTER – 2017 Iowa Race Advance

Event:               American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen (Round 14 of 33)
Date:                 June 24, 2017
Location:          Iowa Speedway in Newton
Layout:             .875-mile oval

Cole Custer Notes of Interest

 

  • The American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen will mark Cole Custer’s 19th career NASCAR XFINITY Series start and his first XFINITY Series start at Iowa Speedway in Newton. 
  • While the American Ethanol E15 250 will be Custer’s first XFINITY Series start at Iowa, it will be his eighth overall start at the .875-mile oval. Custer has three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts and four NASCAR K&N Pro Series starts at Iowa.
  • Custer scored his first career Pro Series East victory Aug. 2, 2013 at Iowa from the pole. At 15 years, 6 months and 10 days, he became the youngest winner in Pro Series history. In addition to breaking Dylan Kwasniewski’s record for youngest race winner by nearly six months, Custer also became the first driver to lead every lap (150) in the combination East/West race.
  • Custer’s best Truck Series finish at Iowa is second, earned in 2016. Custer finished .431 of a second behind race-winner William Byron, who he’s now competing with for XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year honors.
  • Custer has earned a win, a pole, four top-fives, six top-10s and has led 237 laps in his seven career starts at Iowa. He was only one position away in the 2014 Pro Series East race from earning a top-10 in all seven finishes.
  • Custer is striving to earn his fifth consecutive top-10 in the American Ethanol E15 250. He comes into Iowa fresh off a 10th-place finish last Saturday at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
  • Custer’s best finish in the 13 XFINITY Series races run this season is fourth, earned in the 11th event June 3 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. It was his eighth top-10 and third top-five and it equaled his career-best finish in 18 career XFINITY Series starts.
  • Custer is third in the XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year standings, 20 points behind leader Byron and one point behind second-place Daniel Hemric.
  • Custer is tied with Byron for the most Rookie of the Race awards with five this season. Rookie of the Race awards are given to the highest-finishing XFINITY Series rookie at each race.
  • Custer is eighth in the NASCAR XFINITY Series driver standings, 151 points behind series leader Elliot Sadler.
  • Custer’s best qualifying effort in the 13 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 eight top-10 starts and three top-five starts this season.
  • Since 2015 across 18 XFINITY Series starts, 42 Camping World Truck Series starts, 29 K&N Pro Series starts and five ARCA Series starts, Custer has earned three wins, two poles, six top-fives, 13 top-10s and has led 689 laps at tracks currently on the NASCAR circuit that are less than a mile in length.

 

Cole Custer, Driver Q&A

 

What was it like to get your first win and pole at Iowa Speedway while leading all 150 laps to become the youngest winner in Pro Series history?

“It was definitely a day I’ll remember. I can’t explain how amazing it felt. Iowa is a special place for our Haas Automation race team. I feel like that win gave me a lot of confidence because it was my first in the K&N Series and I always look forward to coming back. I just love the track. The fans are awesome and it was always one of my favorite tracks growing up. I can’t believe I got to go there and go to victory lane.”

 Why do you seem to run so well at Iowa? 

“I honestly don’t know. I guess it’s just a place that’s natural for me and I’ve always had fast cars there. I grew up running local short tracks, so I was able to familiarize myself with them more than others.” 

Your team has gained a lot of momentum over the past few races. How do you feel heading to Iowa? 

“We’ve been on a pretty good roll for a few weeks now, and hopefully we can keep our consistency going. I feel like we’ve learned a lot since our last short-track race, so I think we’ll have a strong Haas Automation Ford Mustang. I’m confident heading into Iowa knowing that our Stewart-Haas Racing team can put together fast cars each week.” 

 

Jeff Meendering, Crew Chief Q&A

 

What are your thoughts on racing at Iowa?

“I’ve personally never been to Iowa, but I am looking forward to going there knowing the success Cole has had at that track. I feel like our short-track program is getting better after having a good run going at Phoenix and being fast in practice at Richmond before making a bad adjustment for the race. With the Cup guys being in Sonoma, this is a good opportunity for us to contend for a win.”