Event: Virginia529 College Savings 250 (Round 25 of 33)
Date: Sep. 8, 2017
Location: Richmond (Va.) Raceway
Layout: .75-mile oval
Cole Custer Notes of Interest
- Cole Custer will compete for his fourth consecutive top-10 finish this weekend in the Virginia529 College Savings 250 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway.
- This will mark Custer’s fifth start at Richmond and his third NASCAR XFINITY Series start at the .75-mile oval. In his first XFINITY Series start at Richmond in April 2016, Custer claimed his first XFINITY Series top-10.
- Custer is no stranger to victory lane at Richmond. In 2014, he took the checkered flag after leading 52 laps in the K&N Pro Series East race. In Custer’s four combined starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (two races) and NASCAR XFINITY Series (two races) at Richmond, Custer has a win, two top-five finishes, three top-10s and 76 laps led.
- In 24 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, 24 top-10s and 919 laps led at tracks currently on the NASCAR circuit that are approximately a mile in length or shorter.
- Custer’s best finish in the 24 XFINITY Series races run this season is fourth, earned June 3 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. It was his 14th top-10 and fifth top-five and it equaled his career-best finish.
- Custer’s best qualifying effort in the 24 XFINITY Series races run this season is third, earned twice – April 22 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and June 10 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. Custer has 16 top-10 starts and six top-five starts this season.
- Custer is third in the XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year standings, 61 points behind leader William Byron and two points behind second-place Daniel Hemric.
- Custer has earned six Rookie of the Race awards this season. Rookie of the Race awards are given to the highest-finishing XFINITY Series rookie at each race.
- Custer has earned four top-five finishes, 12 top-10s and has led 29 laps so far in the 2017 XFINITY Series season.
- Custer is sixth in the XFINITY Series championship standings, 268 points behind series leader Elliot Sadler.
Cole Custer, Driver Q&A
You have a win, two top-five finishes and three top-10s at Richmond. What will it take to get your second win at Richmond?
“Richmond is a tough place because you’re just slipping and sliding the whole time, so I think you’ll definitely need a car that can be good on a long run to win there. It’s a really smooth track, but you just slide around like you’re on ice. It makes it really fun and challenging.”
What have you learned from your previous XFINITY Series run this year that you will take back to Richmond?
“Earlier in the year, we had a fast car in practice and missed it a little in the race, but we’ve learned a ton more about our short-track cars since then and feel like we can make it a lot better. I’m looking forward to this weekend because I think we will have a really strong run.”
With only two races left until the XFINITY Series playoffs, are you comfortable where you are in the standings to compete for a championship?
“After Darlington, we locked ourselves into the playoffs. Now, we just want to get as many playoff points as we can going in and I think this weekend is a great chance to do that.”
Jeff Meendering, Crew Chief Q&A
What are your thoughts on heading back to Richmond?
“I’m excited to go to Richmond. Cole had a good run there last year in the XFINITY race and I’ve been on several different teams that have had good runs at that track. Richmond takes a similar setup to Phoenix, where we were in line to have a good finish until we were involved in an accident toward the end of the race. We didn’t have the speed we needed to compete for a win earlier this year, so we’re going to experiment with a different setup which will hopefully carry over to Phoenix later in the playoffs.”