COLE CUSTER – 2017 Kentucky Race Report

July 10th, 2017

Cole Custer Finishes 11th at Kentucky

Haas Automation Driver Earns Career-Best Kentucky Finish

Date: July 8, 2017
Event: Alsco 300 (Round 16 of 33)
Series: NASCAR XFINITY Series
Location: Kentucky Speedway in Sparta (1.5 mile-oval)
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (45 laps/45 laps/110 laps)
Start/Finish: 8th/11th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
Point Standing: 6th (368 points, 210 out of first)

 Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Erik Jones of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45):

  • Started eighth, finished sixth. Earned five stage points.
  • Ran in and around the top-five throughout the stage. Highest running position was third.
  • Pitted for two tires and fuel at conclusion of stage.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90):       

  • Started eighth, finished 12th.
  • Custer noted his Haas Automation Ford Mustang was loose on landing in between turns one and two of the 1.5-mile oval.
  • Ran just outside the top-10 for the majority of the stage.
  • Pitted for four tires, fuel and adjustments at conclusion of stage.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 91-200):

  • Started 12th, finished 11th.
  • Custer was caught in traffic at the beginning of the stage and fell back to the 16th place.
  • After a lap-168 caution, Custer pitted for two tires, fuel and adjustments to restart in the 10th position.
  • Ran as high as seventh before the conclusion of the race.

 Notes:              

  • This was Custer’s second NASCAR XFINITY Series start at Kentucky and his 21st career XFINITY Series start.
  • Custer’s 11th-place finish in the Alsco 300 was his best result ever at Kentucky. Prior to the race, Custer had one XFINITY Series start and one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at Kentucky. Both came in 2016 and he finished 32nd and 14th, respectively.
  • Custer moved up one spot in the championship standings to sixth, 27 points behind fifth-place Brennan Pole and 210 points behind series leader Elliott Sadler.
  • There were eight caution periods for a total of 44 laps.
  • Twenty of the 40 drivers in the Alsco 300 finished on the lead lap.
  • Kyle Busch won the Alsco 300 to score his 88th career XFINITY Series victory, his second of the season and his third at Kentucky. His margin of victory over second-place Ryan Blaney was 1.097 seconds.

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“We had track position at the start and were able to get some points, but we fought the handling a little bit on our Haas Automation Mustang today. We did get better as the day went on, but just missed it a little bit. We will learn for when we come back.”