COLE CUSTER – 2018 Bristol NXS Race Report

Cole Custer Finishes eighth at Bristol

Haas Automation Driver Earns Fifth Straight Top-10

Date: April 14, 2018
Event: Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 (Round 7 of 33)
Series:  NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (.533-mile oval)
Format: 300 laps, broken into three stages (85 laps/85 laps/130 laps)
Start/Finish: 1st/8th (Running, completed 300 of 300 laps)
Point Standing: 6th with 218 points

 Race Winner: Ryan Preece of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Christopher Bell of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Ryan Preece of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-85):

  • Cole Custer started first, finished third. He earned eight bonus points.
  • Custer piloted the Haas Automation Ford inside the top-three for the duration of the stage.
  • He noted tight-handling conditions through the center and off of the turns.
  • At the conclusion of the stage, Custer pitted for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments. 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 86-170):

  • Custer started sixth, finished 13th.
  • Custer dropped to 22nd before the start of the stage because of a pit lane speeding penalty during the stage break.
  • Custer powered his way back to the sixth position before an accident on lap-141 that brought out the red flag.
  • When the green flag waved, Custer appeared to secure a third-place finish until contact with Elliot Sadler dropped him to 13th.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 171-300):

  • Custer started 12th, finished eighth.
  • Battled inside the top-five before reporting tight-handling conditions around lap 245.
  • On lap 278, Custer made contact with the outside wall forcing the No. 00 Ford one lap down.
  • After the final caution, crew chief Jeff Meendering made the call to stay out of the pits to allow Custer to regain the lead lap and finish inside the top-10.


  • Custer earned his and Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste’s first Xfinity Series career pole.
  • Custer was the third of four Dash 4 Cash drivers to cross the finish line.
  • This was Custer’s third Xfinity Series race at Bristol.
  • Twelve cautions slowed the race for 93 laps.
  • This marks Custer’s second top-10 at Bristol and fifth top-10 of the season.
  • Only 12 of the 40 drivers finished on the lead lap.
  • Ryan Preece won the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 to score his second career Xfinity Series victory, first of the season and first at Bristol. His margin of victory over second-place Justin Allgaier was .856 seconds.

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

“We were pretty fast at the start and I made a mistake speeding on pit road that put us behind. We worked hard and I thought we had a better shot at it, but we’ll move on to Richmond. The Haas Automation Ford ran well enough to give us our fifth straight top-10, so we’ll keep the momentum going.”