COLE CUSTER – 2018 Dover I Race Advance

May 2nd, 2018

Event:               OneMain Financial 200 (Round 10 of 33)
Date:                 May 5, 2018
Location:          Dover (Del.) International Speedway
Layout:             Concrete mile oval

Cole Custer Notes of Interest

 

  • The OneMain Financial 200 will be Custer’s third NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway and eighth overall start at the concrete mile oval. 
  • Custer is competing for his eighth consecutive top-10 finish of the season and third consecutive top-10 at Dover. He ranks second in the series in top-10s this season.
  • Last weekend at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Custer charged to second place on the final lap but was shuffled to ninth before the checkered flag.
  • No Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers are eligible to race in the OneMain Financial 200 Xfinity Series race at Dover.
  • Custer’s best finish in the eight Xfinity Series races run this season is his fourth-place result at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
  • Custer has one win, two poles, nine top-five finishes, 28 top-10s and has led 350 laps in 47 career Xfinity Series starts. 
  • Custer is fifth in the Xfinity Series driver standings with 299 points, 57 behind leader Elliot Sadler.
  • Custer has earned two pole awards, seven consecutive top-10s, one top-five and has led 48 laps thus far in 2018.
  • The top-four finishers in last weekend’s Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega are eligible for the Dash 4 Cash at Dover. The top finisher of the four drivers will win a $100,000 cash prize. Custer competed in the Dash 4 Cash at Bristol but was five positions short at Talladega to qualify this weekend. 
  • In Custer’s seven overall starts at Dover, three are in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, two are in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and two are in the Xfinity Series. Custer’s best overall finish at Dover is fourth, earned in the 2017 Xfinity Series race June 3.
  • In the 2015 Truck Series race at Dover, Custer led 67 laps and ran in and around the top-five until lap 138, when a fueling issue pushed him off the lead lap in 13th place, where he would ultimately finish the race.
  • In 47 Xfinity Series starts, 42 Camping World Truck Series starts and 29 K&N Pro Series starts since 2015, Custer has five wins, eight poles, 14 top-five finishes, 29 top-10s and 962 laps led at tracks that are a mile in length or shorter.

 

Cole Custer, Driver Q&A

 

You came so close to winning with one lap to go at Talladega last weekend. Do you feel like you are creeping up on a win?

“I think we’ve been building momentum to win a race all year, so hopefully Dover is the place we can put it all together and it’s a place everyone wants to win at. We are pretty solid in the standings now, so we’re able to be more aggressive when it counts. The fact that I was able to compete for a win last weekend was incredible, and we’re hoping to do it again this weekend.”

Dover is the last Dash 4 Cash race of the season with no Cup Series drivers entered. Do you feel this may be your last chance for a shot at a win until the standalone races?

“Just because Cup drivers aren’t in the race doesn’t mean it’s easy to win, but Dover should be a good track for us to compete for one. We finished fourth behind three Cup drivers last year so, theoretically, we have a great shot at winning if we run just as well.”

The short-track program is improving, as we saw at Richmond and Bristol. Is Dover the one to win?

“We’ve had a lot of improvements at tracks this year and I think Dover will be another one. We have some good ideas of how to make our Haas Automation Mustangs a little faster and a lot more notes to go off of. It’s been great to run up front at a few of these short tracks, too, and it has taught me a lot.”

Describe a qualifying lap at Dover.

“You come in shaking. It’s pretty crazy. You’re getting all that you can out of it and you’re just on edge the whole time. It’s so fast for such a small place.”

 

Jeff Meendering, Crew Chief Q&A 

 

There’s no arguing that you have unloaded fast Haas Automation Fords every weekend – especially at short tracks. To what do you attribute the success at short tracks this year?

“Short tracks are all unique in size, shape and banking. You have to develop individual setups for each track, where a lot of the intermediate tracks we go to take a fairly similar setup and you can transfer things you learn from one track to the other. It definitely takes longer to build a good short-track notebook, but we’re getting there.”

What car are you bringing to Dover?

“We are bringing Chassis No. 1044, which was last run in Kansas at the end of last season. Cole ran in second for a while until he cut a tire at the end of the race. It was definitely a fast car and one we’re confident to bring to Dover.”