COLE CUSTER – 2018 Talladega I Race Report

Cole Custer Finishes Solid Ninth at Talladega

No. 00 Haas Automation Driver Is Now Fifth in Points

Date:                 April 28, 2018
Event:               Sparks Energy 300 (Round 9 of 33)
Series:               NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location:          Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
Format:             113 laps, broken into three stages (25 laps/25 laps/63 laps)
Start/Finish:      12th/9th (Running, completed 115 of 115 laps)
Point Standing:  9th (299 points, 57 out of first) 

Race Winner:    Spencer Gallagher of GMS Racing (Chevrolet) in overtime
Stage 1 Winner: Daniel Hemric of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Elliott Sadler of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-25):

  • Custer started 12th and finished seventh and picked up four bonus points.
  • Said No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang was handling well. 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 26-50):

  • Custer started seventh and finished seventh.
  • On lap 28 under caution, Custer pitted for right side tires and fuel. 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 51-113):

  • Custer started second and finished ninth.
  • On lap 53, Custer pitted for left side tires and fuel.
  • Fuel only pit stop on lap 75.
  • Custer moved his way up to second on the last lap in turn three, but then was shuffled out the draft and finished ninth.


  • This marks Custer’s seventh top-10 finish of the 2018 season.
  • Custer earned four extra regular season points in Stage 1 and four points in Stage 2.
  • Five cautions slowed the race for 29 laps with only 19 of the 40 drivers finishing on the lead lap.
  • Spencer Gallagher led only one lap, but it was the final lap and he won the Sparks Energy 300 to score his first career Xfinity Series victory. His margin of victory over second-place Brandon Jones was .152 seconds.

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

“We were pretty solid all day. Our guys worked really hard in the Haas-Automation Mustang and got us pretty good speed. We are getting our speedway program better and better. Right there at the end I made a good block off of turn two but wish I would have done something different in three and four to get the lead. It is what it is. It is nice to get the experience. I have never even been able to race for a win at a speedway yet so it is nice to get that experience and hopefully I can use it next time.”