COLE CUSTER – 2017 Watkins Glen Race Advance

Event:               Zippo 200 at The Glen (Round 20 of 33)
Date:                 Aug. 5, 2017
Location:          Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International
Layout:             2.45-mile road course


Cole Custer Notes of Interest


  • The Zippo 200 at The Glen will mark Custer’s 25th career NASCAR XFINITY Series start and his first XFINITY Series start at Watkins Glen International. 
  • While the Zippo 200 at The Glen will be Custer’s first XFINITY Series start at Watkins Glen, it will be his fourth overall start at the 2.45-mile road course. In Custer’s three NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts at The Glen, he earned a pole, two top-five finishes and led 17 laps.
  • Custer’s best finish in the 19 XFINITY Series races run this season is fourth, earned June 3 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. It was his 11th top-10 and fifth top-five and it equaled his career-best finish.
  • Custer’s best qualifying effort in the 19 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 12 top-10 starts and four top-five starts this season.
  • Custer has earned four top-five finishes, nine top-10s and has led 29 laps so far in the 2017 XFINITY Series season.
  • Custer is second in the XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year standings, 58 points behind leader William Byron.
  • 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 is sixth in the XFINITY Series driver standings, 233 points behind series leader Elliott Sadler.
  • This will be Stewart-Haas Racing’s first XFINITY Series road-course race.


Cole Custer, Driver Q&A


Do you enjoy road-course racing?  

“I never really grew up road racing or anything, but when I started doing it I thought it was one of the more fun things we do here throughout the season. I feel like it was something I started getting better at and there was a different level of competition in road-course racing. I’m really looking forward to all of the road courses coming up this season.”

 What will it take to run a successful race at Watkins Glen?

First, you have to be good as a driver. However, Watkins Glen is one of the tracks where the car comes into play more than most road courses. It’s definitely a fast track and one of the more fun places we go to. 

This is your first road-course run of the season. Do you feel rusty at all?  

I’ve been trying to get back into road-course racing a bit. We tested some sports cars at Mid-Ohio, so that helped me get used to the sharp corners and get back in the flow of road courses. Our Haas Automation team has never raced before at a road course, but we definitely have a lot of smart guys that know how to set up a car, so we should be pretty strong this weekend.


Jeff Meendering, Crew Chief Q&A


This is the XFINITY team’s first ever road-course race. What are your expectations and how have you been preparing for this moment?  

I think we have a great shot this weekend as Cole has been successful in the past at road courses. Our team has done a great job this season adapting to new territory and I expect the same to happen this weekend. We’re heading into Watkins Glen with momentum and plan to have another solid top-five finish and hopefully a win.