COLE CUSTER – 2017 Las Vegas Race Report

March 12th, 2017

Event:               Boyd Gaming 300 (Round 3 of 33)
Series:               NASCAR XFINITY Series
Location:          Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format:             200 laps, broken into three stages (45 laps/45 laps/120 laps)
Start/Finish:      20th/11th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
Point Standing: 10th (62 points, 37 out of first)

 Race Winner:    Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner:   Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner:  Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford) 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45):

  • Started 20th, finished 13th.
  • Custer battled a radio issue and was forced to use hand signals to communicate until the end of Stage 1.
  • The No. 00 Code 3 Associates Ford Mustang featured a loose in, tight through the center, and off the corner handling condition.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90):

  • Started 15th, finished 14th.
  • Custer raced from 20th to 14th in the final six laps of Stage 2 following a four-tire stop under caution.
  • The No. 00 stayed out at the end of Stage 2.

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 91-200):

  • Started 5th, finished 11th.
  • The No. 00 Ford Mustang restarted on slightly older tires after staying out at the end of Stage 2.
  • Custer reported that the No. 00 Ford Mustang was tight from the center of the corner through exit near Lap 105.
  • The No. 00 came to pit road from the 11th position for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment on lap 142 under green-flag conditions.
  • He was running 10th when a debris caution came on lap 161. He pitted under caution for four tires, an air pressure adjustment and fuel.
  • Custer narrowly avoided a wreck right in front of him on lap 192 while racing in the 15th
  • He restarted 14th on lap 196 and gained four positions over the final four-lap run to the finish.

Race Notes:

  • Joey Logano crossed the finish line 0.602 of a second ahead of runner-up Kyle Larson.
  • Daniel Suarez, Justin Allgaier and Austin Dillon rounded out the top five finishers.
  • Custer’s 11th-place result was the best among Xfinity series rookies and his second top-15 finish of 2017.
  • The Boyd Gaming 300 marks Custer’s eighth NASCAR Xfinity Series start and his second start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Code 3 Associates Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“We started out with some radio problems and then got those fixed. I got better as the day went on with restarts and we definitely had a good long-run car and got better by the end. I was able to make our way up there and got lucky by avoiding that wreck right there at the end. It was right there in front of us. I can’t say enough about all of our guys on our Code 3 Associates Ford Mustang and the folks at Stewart-Haas and Ford for all of their support. It’s been a great first few races and we’re looking forward to the rest of them.”

Do you feel like you’ve got some solid momentum going to Phoenix?

“Yeah, for sure. Our goals were to kind of get through the west coast swing solid and see what we’ve got from there. We’re accomplishing our goals right now and it’s gonna put us in a good spot for the rest of the season.”