COLE CUSTER – 2018 Richmond Race Report

April 20th, 2018

Cole Custer Finishes Sixth at Richmond

Code 3 Associates Driver Scores Second Straight Pole; Earns Sixth Straight Top-10

Date: April 20, 2018
Event: Richmond 250 (Round 8 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Richmond (Va.) Raceway (.75-mile oval)
Format: 250 laps, broken into three stages (75 laps/75 laps/100 laps)
Start/Finish: 1st/6th(Running, completed 250 of 250 laps)
Point Standing: 6thwith 263 points

Race Winner:    Christopher Bell of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Daniel Hemric of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Elliott Sadler of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-75):

  • Custer started first, finished third and earned eight bonus points.
  • Custer held the Code 3 Associates Ford in the lead for the first 43 laps of Stage 1.
  • After a lap-64 caution, Custer restarted fourth and moved up to third before the stage ended.
  • He pitted for four tires and fuel at the conclusion of the stage.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-150):

  • Custer started eighth, finished fifth and earned six bonus points.
  • Five cars pitted before the conclusion of Stage 1, putting Custer in the eighth position.
  • Custer was caught in traffic on the restart and noted loose-handling conditions when he got back to the gas.
  • Custer took four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments at the conclusion of the stage.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 151-250):

  • Custer started eighth, finished sixth.
  • During the pit stop at the end of Stage 2, the No. 00 team received a penalty for an uncontrolled tire and forced Custer to the rear of the field.
  • Following a lap-164 caution, Custer powered his way back into the top-10 in less than 10 laps.
  • Custer continued to wheel the Code 3 Associates Ford through the field and fought his way up to sixth when the race concluded.

Notes:              

  • Custer earned his and Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste’s second straight pole.
  • This marks Custer’s second Xfinity Series top-10 at Richmond and sixth straight top-10 of the season.
  • Custer earned14 bonus points in the Richmond 250.
  • Custer led once for a total of 43 laps.
  • Five cautions slowed the race for 49 laps.
  • Only 15 of the 40 drivers finished on the lead lap.
  • No NASCAR Cup Series drivers were entered in the Richmond 250.
  • Christopher Bell won the Richmond 250 to score his second career Xfinity Series victory, first of the season and first at Richmond. His margin of victory over second-place Noah Gragson was .423 seconds.

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Code 3 Associates Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing With Biagi-DenBeste:     

“We had such a fast car. At the start of the race we were really good and then the middle stage we were a little bit off, and then we made the Code 3 Associates Ford pretty good there at the end, but we got that penalty, which I guess was a little bit of a close call. We’ll look at it but it’s just frustrating because I think we had a really good car, but it is what it is. I’ve got to thank everybody at Code 3 and hopefully come back better next time.”