COLE CUSTER – 2020 Pocono I Race Report

Event: Pocono Organics 325 (Round 14 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (2.5-mile triangle)
Format: 130 laps, broken into three stages (25 laps/52 laps/53 laps)
Start/Finish: 25th/16th (Running, completed 130 of 130 laps)
Point Standing: 26th with 220 points, 314 out of first

Race Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Aric Almirola of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-25):             

● Cole Custer started 28th and finished 18th.
● Early in the race, Custer reported his HaasTooling.com Mustang was tight while running 27th.
● Custer stayed out during the competition caution on lap 12 and restarted 14th.
● Shortly after the green flag, the caution flew again with the Californian in 13th.
● The 22-year-old restarted 13th on lap 20.
● Custer ended the stage in 25th and was happy with his Mustang’s handling. He visited pit road for fuel and four tires.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 26-77):

● Custer started in 27th and finished 19th.
● On lap 53, Custer reported the HaasTooling.com Mustang was starting to get a tick tight while running 22nd.
● Under caution on lap 63, the Ford driver pitted from 13th for fuel and four tires. He restarted 19th.
● Caution was back out on lap 71 with Custer 24th. He pitted for fuel and tires, and restarted 23rd.
● During the stage break, the Ford driver stayed on the track in the 19th position.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 78-130):

● Custer started 17th, finished 16th.
● “Just a little tight,” Custer radioed on lap 91 from 17th.
● The rookie driver made a scheduled green-flag pit stop on lap 97 for right-side tires and fuel. Rejoined the field in 23rd.
● As the remainder of the race ran under green, Custer worked his way forward and finished 16th in his second Cup Series start at Pocono.

Notes:

● Custer made his 17th career NASCAR Cup Series start and his second at Pocono.
● Custer’s 16th-place result bettered his previous best finish at Pocono – 26th, earned in June 2018.
● There were six caution periods for a total of 21 laps.
● Twenty-one of the 40 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Kevin Harvick remains the championship leader after Pocono with a 29-point advantage over second-place Ryan Blaney.

Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“Solid day for us today. We ended up 16th and at the end, I felt we were fast enough to run up front. It’s just trying to get track position and I think I can get my restarts better for tomorrow. It was a solid day, which is what we needed. We can improve on it tomorrow. I think we have a good car and I cannot thank my guys enough. Looking forward to improving on it all, tomorrow.”

Next Up:

The second event of the NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader at Pocono is the Pocono 350 on Sunday, June 28. The race starts at 4 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.