COLE CUSTER – 2018 Daytona l XFINITY Race Report

February 17th, 2018

Cole Custer Finishes 14th At Daytona

Haas Automation Driver Survives Wreck-Filled Race

Date: Feb. 17, 2018
Event: Powershares QQQ 300 (Round 1 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
Format: 120 laps, broken into three stages (30 laps/30 laps/60 laps)
Start/Finish: 14th/14th (Running, completed 143 of 143 laps) in overtime
Point Standing: 12th with 24 points

Race Winner:    Tyler Reddick of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Chase Elliott of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-30):

  • Cole Custer started 14th, finished 10th. Earned one bonus point.
  • Custer piloted the Haas Automation Ford in and out of the top-10 throughout the stage.
  • With two laps to go, Custer found a push from the rear sending him to the seventh position.
  • Custer pitted for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments at the conclusion of the stage.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 31-60):       

  • Started 10th, finished 12th.
  • Custer battled inside the top-15 for the majority of Stage 2 while noting tight-handling conditions.
  • At the conclusion of the stage, Custer pitted for four tires, fuel and adjustments.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 61-143):

  • Started 16th, finished 14th.
  • On lap 79, Custer powered the Haas Automation Ford Mustang to the ninth position.
  • During the lap 83 caution, crew chief Jeff Meendering radioed Custer in for a fuel-only stop. He restarted in the ninth position.
  • Custer was involved in an accident on lap 99 causing splitter damage on both sides.
  • He pitted for damage repair five times during two caution periods and remained on the lead lap.
  • After numerous cautions pushing the race 23 laps past the scheduled distance, Custer survived the late race chaos untouched and battled in and out of the top-10 before finishing 14th at the checkered flag.

Notes:              

  • The 14th-place finish was Custer’s highest finish in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
  • Custer is 24th in the Xfinity Series Playoff points standings.
  • 12 cautions slowed the race for 49 laps.
  • The race went 23 laps past the scheduled 120-lap distance.
  • Tyler Reddick won the Powershares QQQ 300 to score his second career Xfinity Series victory, first of the season and first at Daytona. His margin of victory over second-place Elliot Sadler was .001 seconds.

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

“I have to give a huge thanks to the Haas Automation crew for keeping us alive in this race. We were caught up in an accident early and were able to salvage a decent finish. It was still really drivable there at the end. I was really surprised, but I had a huge vibration, so we didn’t have the fastest car there. I was happy with it. Compared to last year, this is a lot better. We didn’t put ourselves in a hole, so I’m looking forward to Atlanta.”

Next Up:          

The next event on the NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule is the Atlanta 250 on Saturday, Feb. 24 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FS1.