Event: Overton’s 200 (Round 17 of 33)
Date: July 15, 2017
Location: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon
Layout: 1.058-mile oval
Cole Custer Notes of Interest
- The Overton’s 200 will mark Cole Custer’s 22nd career NASCAR XFINITY Series start and his first XFINITY Series start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.
- While the Overton’s 200 will be Custer’s first XFINITY Series start at New Hampshire, it will be his fifth overall start at the 1.058-mile oval. Custer has three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts and one NASCAR K&N Pro Series start at New Hampshire. Between Custer’s four starts at New Hampshire, he has two wins, two poles, three top-10s and has led 208 laps.
- In Custer’s first ever start at New Hampshire in 2013, he captured his fourth K&N Pro Series win from the pole after leading 60 laps.
- In 2014, Custer made his first Truck Series start at New Hampshire. It proved memorable, as he won the pole and then won the race to earn his first career Truck Series victory. At 16 years, 7 months and 28 days, Custer became the youngest race winner in NASCAR national series history.
- If Custer wins the Overton’s 200, he will have earned his first victory in his first career start at New Hampshire in three different NASCAR divisions – K&N Pro Series East, Truck Series and XFINITY Series.
- In 21 XFINITY Series starts, 42 Camping World Truck Series starts and 29 K&N Pro Series starts since 2015, Custer has five wins, six poles, 14 top-five finishes, 23 top-10s and 919 laps led at tracks currently on the NASCAR circuit that are approximately one mile in length or shorter.
- Custer’s best finish in the 16 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 21 career XFINITY Series starts.
- Custer’s best qualifying effort in the 16 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 nine top-10 starts and three top-five starts this season.
- Custer is third in the XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year standings, 53 points behind leader William Byron and four points behind second-place Daniel Hemric. Custer has earned five Rookie of the Race awards this season.
- Custer is sixth in the XFINITY Series driver standings, 210 points behind series leader Elliot Sadler.
- Custer has earned two top-five finishes, six top-10s and has led 29 laps in the 2017 XFINITY Series season.
Cole Custer, Driver Q&A
Describe the feeling you had after winning your second race at New Hampshire, where you became the youngest winner in national series history.
“It was so special because it was a special place for our team with a lot of crew guys from the Northeast. We came there with a fast truck and we were fast in the K&N car the year before that. It was just phenomenal to get my first win there and it kind of solidified myself in that series. It was definitely a day to remember. It probably put my name out there a bit more and gave me more confidence going forward.”
What does it take to run a successful lap around New Hampshire?
“You just have to try to max out your entry speed and roll through the center to get a decent exit. It’s tough when your car isn’t perfect.”
Are you more confident at tracks that are a mile in length or shorter?
“I think we’ve had really good cars in the past at short tracks and I think it’s more natural to me than a mile-and-a-half. It’s probably like that for most guys. We just grew up running short tracks and didn’t have to deal with aero as much.”
Explain the impact that Ford has made on your season thus far.
“They’ve put a lot into our program and they’ve helped a lot with getting us going. They’ve got a lot of awesome tools at the Ford Performance Center. Also, our motors have been awesome with the Roush Yates power under the hood. We’ve definitely had a leg up there and it’s coming along great. We just have to fine tune our Haas Automation Mustangs a little.”
Jeff Meendering, Crew Chief Q&A
How do you feel going to a track where Cole has won from the pole twice and became the youngest winner in national series history?
“I’m excited about going to Loudon. Cole is very good at that track and I’ve been fortunate to be a part of several good teams that have won at that track. We are bringing the same Haas Automation Ford Mustang that we finished fourth with at Dover and a really good run going with it at Bristol before being caught up in a wreck at the end of the race. We haven’t had the runs we hoped for the past couple of weeks, but I feel like we can easily get back on track this weekend and continue to move up in the point standings.”