Cole Custer Finishes Second at Charlotte
Haas Automation Driver Earns Best Finish of Season
Date: May 26, 2018
Event: Alsco 300 (Round 11 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (45 laps/45 laps/110 laps)
Start/Finish: 2nd/2nd (Running, completed 204 of 204 laps)
Point Standing: 5th with 371 points
Race Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford) in overtime
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45):
- Cole Custer started second, finished seventh to earn four bonus points.
- Custer held the Haas Automation Ford inside the top-10 during Stage 1.
- He pitted for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments at the conclusion of the stage to correct tight-handling conditions.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90):
- Custer started seventh, finished second to earn nine bonus points.
- Custer powered the Haas Automation Ford into the top-five during the restart.
- After a lap-79 caution, he climbed to second place and held the runner-up position before Stage 2 ended.
- Pitted for four tires, fuel and adjustments after Stage 2 concluded. He was first to leave pit road.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 91-200):
- Custer started fourth, finished second.
- Custer took the lead on lap 102 until a caution five laps later.
- On the restart, he maintained the lead until another caution on lap 126.
- Rain forced an hour-long delay with 28 laps remaining.
- After the final caution, Custer restarted in third place and battled for the lead before securing a runner-up finish.
- Custer’s second-place finish is his best Xfinity Series finish of the season.
- Custer was the highest finishing Xfinity Series regular.
- This marks Custer’s eighth top-10 of the season and fourth top-10 at Charlotte.
- It was Custer’s second top-five of the season and second at Charlotte.
- Custer earned 13 bonus points in the Alsco 300.
- Custer led two times for a total of 29 laps.
- Custer gained one spot in the playoff point standings.
- Thirteen cautions slowed the race for 59 laps with only 22 of the 40 drivers finishing on the lead lap.
- Brad Keselowski led 77 laps to win the Alsco 300 earning his 38th career Xfinity Series victory. It is his second victory of the season and fourth at Charlotte. His margin of victory over second-place Cole Custer .421 seconds.
Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing With Biagi-DenBeste:
“What an incredible day. We’ve always been good here, but we just keep getting better. Our Haas Automation Ford Mustang handled great today and I improved my restarts from last year. It’s great to run up here with the Cup guys and compete for a win. This just shows how hard our guys are working back at the shop. Everyone from Roush-Yates and Stewart-Haas Racing are doing a fantastic job putting us in position to win. We just needed a tick more today. ”