COLE CUSTER – 2020 Texas I Race Report

Event: O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 (Round 18 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 334 laps, broken into three stages (105 laps/105 laps/124 laps)
Start/Finish: 19th/39th (Accident, completed 219 of 334 laps)
Point Standing: 22nd with 322 points, 399 out of first

Race Winner: Austin Dillon of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-105):             

● Cole Custer started 19th and finished 13th.
● During the competition caution on lap 20, Custer reported his HaasTooling.com Mustang was a little bit loose on exit while running 20th.
● The California native pitted for fuel, four tires, a small adjustment and restarted 19th.
● On lap 58, Custer reported that his Ford Mustang was mostly tight in the center while running 20th.
● From the 15th position on lap 80, Custer felt he had a little bit of a vibration, but continued on.
● On lap 86, Custer pitted from the top-15 for a scheduled green-flag pit stop for fuel and two right-side tires.
● The rookie ended the stage 13th and reported his HaasTooling.com Mustang was tight at the end of the run. He pitted for fuel, four tires and adjustments.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 106-210):

● Custer started in 17th and finished 18th.
● When the caution was displayed on lap 117, Custer was in the 13th position and didn’t pit.
● On lap 132 the HaasTooling.com driver reported his Mustang was “too tight” while running 13th.
● Custer made a scheduled green-flag pit stop on lap 172 for fuel, four tires and adjustments.
● On lap 200, Custer was in the 18th position and ultimately finished the stage in the same spot. He pitted for four tires, fuel and adjustments.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 211-334):

● Custer started 17th, finished 39th.
● Custer was involved in a multi-car accident on lap 219 that ended his day prematurely in 39th.

Notes:

● Custer made his 21st career NASCAR Cup Series start and his first at Texas.
● Custer won his first career NASCAR Cup Series race last Sunday at Kentucky.
● Custer made six career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Texas prior to moving to the NASCAR Cup Series this year. He scored a win (November 2018) and collected four top-fives and five top-10s.
● Austin Dillon won the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 to score his third career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Texas. His margin of victory over second-place Tyler Reddick was .149 of a second.
● There were 10 caution periods for a total of 45 laps.
● Only 18 of the 40 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Kevin Harvick remains the championship leader after Texas with a 91-point advantage over second-place Ryan Blaney.

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

“We just kind of got caught up in it. They started wrecking in the front and I couldn’t really see what happened. I was on the brakes as hard as I could, but couldn’t miss it. I feel bad. I mean, I feel like we were getting ahold of our HaasTooling.com Mustang. We fired off pretty decent and we were just trying to keep up with the track there at the end, and I think we got it pretty decent. We just didn’t really get to show anything for it.”

Next Up:

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Super Start Batteries 400 on Thursday, July 23 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.