Custer Is Not Content With Top Five Finishes

Cole Custer

Event: Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 (Round 16 of 33)

Date: July 6, 2018

Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway

Layout: 2.5-mile oval

 

Cole Custer Notes of Interest
 

●  The Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 will mark Cole Custer’s third career NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

 

●  Custer leads the Xfinity Series driver standings, three points ahead of second-place Daniel Hemric.

 

●  Custer has competed in nine career restrictor-plate races in three different series. His best NASCAR Camping World Truck Series finish was 24th at Daytona, and his best ARCA finish was 10th at Daytona.

 

●  Custer won the pole for the 2016 ARCA season opener at Daytona, becoming the youngest pole winner in Daytona history among the ARCA, Truck, Xfinity and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

 

●  Custer is striving to earn his sixth consecutive top-five finish this weekend. He comes into Daytona fresh off a third-place finish Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois.

 

●  Custer has earned three poles, six top-five finishes, 12 top-10s and has led 106 laps in the 2018 Xfinity Series season.

 

●  Custer’s best finish in the 15 Xfinity Series races this season is second on May 26 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

 

●  Last weekend at Chicagoland, Custer started from the rear of the field, ran as high as second and battled inside the top-five for the majority of the race. In the closing laps, he had an issue on pit road that pushed him outside the top-five. Custer was able to pilot the Haas Automation Ford Mustang back to third behind Cup Series drivers Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson.

 

●  This weekend, Custer will honor the 20th Fighter Wing branch of the United States Air Force on the windshield of his Haas Automation Ford Mustang as part of the NASCAR Salutes initiative. Custer will honor this branch to commemorate Sam Ard, who served as a mechanic at Shaw Air Force base for the 20th Fighter Wing. Ard was a two-time Xfinity Series champion who piloted the No. 00 car to 22 Xfinity Series wins in three years. Custer honored Ard last year with a commemorative paint scheme during the Darlington (S.C.) Raceway throwback weekend.

 

Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang
 

You lead the point standings heading into one of the most chaotic races of the season. Is there a strategy to try and stay out of trouble and hold the lead in points?

 

“Right now, we’re happy we have the points lead and it reflects how we’ve been running, but we’re still focused on trying to win races because that’s what it’s going to take in the playoffs. We need to prove to ourselves that we can win before we get to the playoffs. We’ll be racing as hard as ever this weekend.”

 

You said you aren’t content with top-five’s anymore. Does the Haas Automation team have a chance to beat the Cup Series guys every weekend?

 

“Right now, I feel like every week we can compete with anyone on the racetrack. It’s just not making any mistakes and beating all of them now. We just have to be perfect. We are so close.”

 

It was 150 degrees in the car last weekend at Chicagoland, and you’re headed to Daytona this weekend. How important is hydration and preparation when the laps begin to wind down?

 

“Even at a place like Daytona, it’s important to be hydrated because it’s always hot down in Florida during the summer. I’ll start hydrating early in the week in order to be 100 percent at the end of the race. The most important part is the last lap, so that’s where I need to be the most alert. We are athletes just like any other sport – we just compete in weather 50 degrees hotter than any other.”

 

Jeff Meendering, Crew Chief of the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Team
 

You just achieved first in the points standings. Daytona is the wild card of the season. How do you go into Daytona with the mindset and strategy to hold the lead?

 

“Just like Cole mentioned, we aren’t going to lay down and stray from trying to win each and every race. We have come a long way on our speedway program, so we’re expecting to bring our fastest Haas Automation Ford Mustang, yet. The plan is to get up front and stay there. We have to prove to ourselves that we can win regular-season races.”

 

Cole Custer Daytona Performance Profile
 

 

No. 00 Haas Automation Team Roster
Primary Team Members:

 

Driver: Cole Custer

Hometown: Ladera Ranch, California

 

Crew Chief: Jeff Meendering

Hometown: Concord, North Carolina

 

Car Chief: Eddie D’Hondt Jr.

Hometown: East Islip, New York

 

Lead Engineer: Bruce Schlickler

Hometown: Clarksburg, West Virginia

 

Engine Specialist: Craig Herrmann

Hometown: Albany, New York

 

Spotter: Tim Feduwa

Hometown: Holt, Michigan

Over-The-Wall Crew:

Front Tire Changer: Ryan Mulder

Hometown: Sioux City, Iowa

 

Rear Tire Changer: Chris JacksonHometown: Fort Mill, South Carolina

 

Rear Tire Carrier: Jeremy Howard

Hometown: Dalhant, Texas

 

Gas Man: Andrew Migliozzi

Hometown: West Borough, Massachusetts

 

Jackman: Sean Cotten

Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina

Road Crew Members:

 

Truck Driver: Jason Gray

Hometown: Concord, North Carolina

 

Mechanic: Daren VanderLey

Hometown: Mobile, Alabama

 

Mechanic: Michael Brill

Hometown: Woodsville, New Hampshire

 

Tire Specialist: Bryan Honeycutt

Hometown: Asheboro, North Carolina

 

Shock Specialist: Dave Hansen

Hometown: York, Maine

 

Pit Support: Chris Justice

Hometown: Greensboro, South Carolina

Haas Automation Notes of Interest
 

About Haas AutomationHaas Automation, Inc., is America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools. Founded by Gene Haas in 1983, Haas Automation manufactures a complete line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers, and rotary tables and indexers. All Haas products are built in the company’s 1.1 million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Oxnard, California, and distributed through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets that provides the industry’s best sales, service and support while offering unparalleled cost-to-

performance value.

 

Haas VF-1: This year marks the 30th anniversary of Haas Automation’s very first vertical machining center – the industry-leading VF-1. The “V” in the model name stands for vertical – an industry-standard designation for a vertical mill – and company founder Gene Haas added “F1” to unofficially designate it as the company’s “Very First One.”Introduced at IMTS 88 in Chicago, the Haas VF-1 established an industry milestone, by being the very first American-built vertical machining center to sell for less than $50,000, an unheard-of price at that time. With a published price of $49,900 – another industry first – the Haas VF-1 quickly became the industry benchmark for affordable CNC technology. Today, the Haas VF-1 still sells for less than $50,000.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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