COLE CUSTER – 2018 Pocono I Race Report

Cole Custer Finishes Fifth at Pocono

Haas Automation Driver Now Second In Season Standings

Date:                 June 2, 2018
Event:               Pocono Green 250 (Round 12 of 33)
Series:               NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location:          Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (2.5-mile triangle)
Format:             100 laps, broken into three stages (25 laps/25 laps/50 laps)
Start/Finish:      1st/5th (Running, completed 100 of 100 laps)
Point Standing: 2nd with 412 points

Race Winner:    Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Paul Menard of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-25):

  • Cole Custer started first, finished 25th.
  • Custer piloted the Haas Automation Ford in the lead for the first two laps.
  • He raced inside the top-five until crew chief Jeff Meendering radioed him to the pits under green with three laps to go in Stage 1.
  • He stayed out of the pits when the stage ended.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 26-50):

  • Custer started first, finished second to earn nine bonus points.
  • Custer powered the Haas Automation Ford to a commanding lead until he noted tight-handling conditions and surrendered the lead on the final lap of Stage 2.
  • When the stage ended, he pitted for four fresh tires, fuel and adjustments.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 51-100):

  • Custer started sixth, finished fifth.
  • Custer ran in second place for the majority of the final stage.
  • On lap 88, he was caught without help from behind and fell to the fifth position, where he ran for the remainder of the race.


  • Custer earned his and Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-Denbeste’s third Xfinity Series career pole.
  • This marks Custer’s ninth top-10 of the season and second top-10 at Pocono.
  • It was Custer’s third top-five of the season and first at Pocono.
  • Custer earned nine bonus points in the Pocono Green 250.
  • Custer led twice for a total of 23 laps.
  • Five cautions slowed the race for 18 laps with only 15 of the 40 drivers finishing on the lead lap.
  • Kyle Busch led 64 laps to win the Pocono Green 250 earning his 92nd career Xfinity Series victory. It is his first victory of the season and first at Pocono. His margin of victory over second-place Chase Elliot was 2.852 seconds.

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

“We had a really fast Haas Automation Mustang . We just didn’t have really good long run speed –  that was our biggest problem. We just got too tight at the end of a run. It was interesting to run the package and try to learn it throughout the day. I just think we needed a little more there. We were close.”