COLE CUSTER – 2018 Fontana Race Report

March 17th, 2018

Cole Custer Finishes Sixth at Auto Club

Haas Automation Driver Earns Third Straight Top-10

Date: March 17, 2018
Event: Roseanne 300 (Round 5 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California  (2-mile oval)
Format:150 laps, broken into three stages (35 laps/35 laps/80 laps)
Start/Finish: 4th/6th (Running, completed 150 of 150 laps)
Point Standing: 6th with 144 points

Race Winner:    Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-35):

  • Custer started fourth, finished third. Earned eight bonus points.
  • Custer piloted the Haas Automation Ford to the second position by lap two.
  • During the stage, he noted visibility and handling issues due to sand on the windshield and tight-handling conditions.
  • After a lap-33 caution, the stage concluded under caution. He pitted for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 36-70):

  • Custer started third, finished sixth. Earned five bonus points.
  • Custer fell to the sixth position during the restart, but battled back to third place on lap 48.
  • On lap 69, the caution flag was raised due to a cut tire on the No. 42 car, ultimately ending Stage 2 under caution.
  • He pitted for four tires, fuel and adjustments, and gained one position on pit road.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 71-150):

  • Custer started fifth, finished sixth.
  • Custer piloted his Haas Automation Ford Mustang in and around the top-five until a lap-96 caution.
  • During the caution, crew chief Jeff Meendering radioed Custer to the pits for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.
  • Custer climbed to as high as second and ran inside the top-10 before another caution on lap 139. He pitted for four tires and fuel.
  • Custer restarted in the third position behind a car on older tires. As a result, he was caught in traffic and battled just outside of the top-five before the conclusion of the race.

Notes:              

  • This was Custer’s second NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Auto Club Speedway.
  • This marks Custer’s first top-10 at Auto Club and third top-10 of the season.
  • This was Custer’s third straight top-10.
  • Custer earned 13 bonus points in the Roseanne 300.
  • Only 22 of the 40 drivers finished on the lead lap.
  • Seven cautions slowed the race for 32 laps.
  • Joey Logano won the Roseanne 300 to score his 29th career Xfinity Series victory, first of the season and third at Auto Club Speedway. His margin of victory over second-place Justin Allgaier was 1.429 seconds.

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

“We had good speed today out of our Haas Automation Ford Mustang, but we got caught up there on the final restart behind the 39 car who was on old tires. I don’t know if we had enough to compete with the 22 car, but we definitely had a top-three car. It was a good day for the team and I’m glad we were able to put on a good race for my hometown fans.”