Ryan Blaney Started And Finished In The Same Position At Kansas

Ryan Blaney
Track:    Kansas Speedway

Race:     Kansas Lottery 300

Date:     October 21, 2017

 

No. 22  Discount Tire Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney

Start:    3rd

Finish:   3rd

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 200/200

Laps Led: 3

Owner’s Points Position (leading by): 1st (+12)

 

Recap: Ryan Blaney started third and finished third in the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford in Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway. Blaney showed speed in the Mustang all weekend and wasted no time working his way to the second position at the drop of the green flag. In the opening 45-lap stage, Blaney’s Ford built loose over the long green-flag run. The third-generation driver would remain in the runner-up position before the first caution flag of the race at lap 45, ending the first stage of the 200 lap event. Blaney reported the handling of his Mustang to be slightly loose on corner entry and crew chief Greg Erwin elected to pit for slight adjustments, four tire and fuel.  When the second, 45-lap stage resumed, it was more of the same for the No. 22 Discount Tire Mustang, consistently running fast lap times on the track and battling for the second position. Over the course of the second stage, Blaney’s Ford began to lose rear grip, so Erwin called for more adjustments to help regain the lost handling. At the end of the final stage the 23-year-old would restart ninth with 104 laps remaining in the 300 mile race. Blaney again worked his way back to the front, battling for the second position by lap 112. When the caution flag was displayed for the final time at lap 137, Erwin called the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford into the pits for the final time, adjusting the track bar along with four fresh tires and fuel. Blaney would restart fourth and he immediately charged forward, battling three wide for the race lead on lap 147. Blaney would lead three laps before losing steam and settling into the second position.  With three laps reaming, Blaney ran over debris, cutting down his right rear tire. He would forfeit the runner-up position, limping his Ford to the finish line in third. The third place finish propelled the No. 22 Ford team to the lead in the Owners point standings, leading the No. 18 of Joe Gibbs Racing by 12 markers.

 

Quote: “The 18 and 20 were really strong today. I thought the Discount Tire Ford were getting better there at the end and then we had a right-rear come apart at the end of the race. That sucked. I thought that we had something at the end for the leaders. Just not our day. We just stalled out with 15 laps to go.”

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

Cole Custer Returns To His Wheelhouse, 1 1/2 Mile Tracks

Cole Custer

Event: Kansas Lottery 300 (Round 30 of 33)

Date: Oct. 21, 2017

Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City

Layout: 1.5-mile oval

 

Cole Custer Notes of Interest
 

●  The Kansas Lottery 300 is the fourth of seven races in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs and the first race in the second playoff round. Four drivers will be eliminated at the conclusion of the three-race round, narrowing the field to four drivers who will compete for a winner-take-all championship battle in the season finale Nov. 18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

 

●  Cole Custer is fifth in the XFINITY Series Playoffs with 3,007 points, 19 points behind series leader William Byron. Custer starts the second round of the playoffs with two bonus points, earned by his two stage wins in the Sept. 23 race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

 

●  Kansas Speedway is the ninth of 11 1.5-mile tracks on the 2017 XFINITY Series schedule. Custer leads the 2017 XFINITY Series regular season drivers in points at 1.5-mile tracks with 303, he leads the series with a 7.8 average finish at 1.5-mile tracks, and he has led the most laps at 1.5-mile tracks this season with 90.

 

●  Custer is competing for his fifth consecutive top-10 finish. He has earned 10 top-10s in the last 13 races and three top-10s in the first three playoff races.

 

●  In 12 XFINITY Series starts and nine NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at 1.5-mile ovals, Custer has four top-five finishes and 12 top-10s. Custer has earned two top-fives this season at 1.5-mile tracks – Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth on April 8 (fifth) and Kentucky Speedway in Sparta on Sept. 23 (fifth) – and finished in the top-10 at three other venues – Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 4 (10th), Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway on May 27 (seventh) and Oct. 7 (sixth), and Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois on Sept. 16 (seventh).

 

●  Custer’s best finish in the 29 XFINITY Series races run this season is fourth, earned in the 11th race of the year June 3 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The result equaled Custer’s best career XFINITY Series finish, which he earned in his series debut at Charlotte in May 2016.

 

●  Custer has six top-fives and 18 top-10s in 34 career XFINITY Series starts.

 

●  At 19 years and 8 months old, Custer is the youngest driver in the playoffs.

 

●  Custer’s best qualifying effort in the 29 XFINITY Series races run this season is third, earned three times – April 22 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, June 10 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway and Sept. 23 at Kentucky. Custer has 21 top-10 starts and nine top-five starts this season.

 

●  Custer is third in the XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year standings, 51 points behind leader William Byron and 15 points behind second-place Daniel Hemric. Custer has earned eight Rookie of the Race awards this season, three having come at 1.5-mile tracks (fifth at Texas, 11th Las Vegas Motor Speedway and sixth at Charlotte). Rookie of the Race awards are given to the highest-finishing rookie.

 

●  The Kansas Lottery 300 will mark Custer’s 35th career XFINITY Series start and his third XFINITY Series start at Kansas.

 

Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation/Code 3 Associates Ford Mustang
 

You lead the XFINITY Series at 1.5-mile tracks and there are still three more of them to visit in the playoffs. Are you confident that you will perform well at the remainder of the intermediate tracks, and does this give you an advantage on the others?

 

“Mile-and-a-half tracks are what our Haas Automation/Code 3 Associates team looks forward to the most, and there’s no reason why we can’t go out and compete for wins at all of them. It’s going to be a tough round, so having some mile-and-a-half tracks will help us a lot.”

 

Not only are you in the playoffs for the first time, but you have advanced to the second round. How does a 19-year-old rookie feel after starting the season at Stewart-Haas Racing?

 

“It’s been pretty crazy to see how hard everyone has worked throughout the season to get us to where we are now. It would mean the world to our whole team to get to the final round in Homestead.”

 

Is it tough being a single-car team with minimal help in the majority of the races this season?

 

“Being a single-car team makes it a little bit harder on us. You don’t have a lot of teammates to rely on. Kevin (Harvick) runs the XFINITY car from time to time, so that helps a lot and we’ve learned a ton from it. I rely on Kevin the most. I ask him for advice going into pretty much every weekend about the track and what to expect going into it, especially these playoff races. I’ve never been in the playoffs before, so I asked him about what to expect. These guys have definitely helped me a ton and I don’t know if we would be as good without them.”

 

Jeff Meendering, Crew Chief of the No. 00 Haas Automation/Code 3 Associates Team
 

What are your expectations heading to another intermediate track where the team has run so well?

 

“We are bringing the car we ran really well with at Chicago, Chassis No. 1044. We feel that we have a good shot at winning this race. Cole has a lot of confidence in himself and that particular racecar. This round of the playoffs is tough. We know that we have to run up front in the next three races if we want to have a shot at a championship.”

Cole Custer Kansas 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: Eddie D’Hondt Sr.

Hometown: East Islip, New York

Over-The-Wall Crew:

Front Tire Changer: Ryan Mulder

Hometown: Sioux City, Iowa

 

Front Tire Carrier: Tyler Bullard

Hometown: King, North Carolina

 

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

H​aas Automation Notes of Interest
 

The No. 00 Haas Automation/Code 3 Associates Ford Mustang will feature decals on the lower-rear quarter panel for:

 

●  State Fair Community College– Located at 3201 West 16th Street in Sedalia, Missouri, State Fair Community College (SFCC) provides relevant and innovative learning experiences that successfully prepare students for college transfer, career development and lifelong learning. SFCC is committed to being accessible and affordable; values collaborative partnerships; and strengthens and enriches the intellectual, economic and cultural vitality of the community it serves.

 

●  Haas Factory OutletKansas City, a division of NYMAT Machine Tool Corporation –Based at 15661 South Mahaffie in Olathe, Kansas, Haas Factory Outlet, Kansas City serves all of Kansas and Western Missouri. It is dedicated to providing the best service possible to ensure the Haas machines it sells provide the best overall value of any machine tool brand.

Code 3 Associates Notes of Interest
 

The No. 00 Haas Automation/Code 3 Associates Ford Mustang will feature Code 3 Associates on both sides of the car.

 

●  Code 3 Associates – Code 3 Associates is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization specializing in animal rescue and recovery in disaster areas. Formed in 1985, Colorado-based Code 3 Associates is a national response team that, at the request of local government officials, provides animal rescue and recovery in times of disaster. The organization has evolved from one unpaid volunteer to approximately 75 professional responders and thousands of members around the country, which include animal welfare, law enforcement, fire, EMS and veterinary specialists from the United States and Canada. While its focus is animals and their owners, Code 3 Associates trains its responders to the standards of human rescue, and Code 3 Associates also provides training to conduct thorough investigations into animal welfare issues, all of which is accredited by Colorado State University and the school’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Playoff Standings (first race, Round of 8)  
 

1.        William Byron (3,026 points)

2.        Justin Allgaier (3,023 points, -3)

3.        Elliott Sadler (3,020 points, -6)

4.        Daniel Hemric (3,009 points, -17)

5.        Cole Custer (3,007 points, -19)

6.        Brennan Poole (3,006 points, -20)

7.        Ryan Reed (3,005 points, -21)

8.        Matt Tifft (3,004 points, -22)

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

Cole Custer Pulls Off A Sixth Place At Charlotte

Cole Custer
Date: Oct. 7, 2017

Event: Drive for the Cure 300 (Round 29 of 33)

Series: NASCAR XFINITY Series

Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)

Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (45 laps/45 laps/110 laps)

Start/Finish: 13th/6th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)

Playoff Point Standings: 5th (3,007 points, 19 points out of first – ADVANCED TO ROUND 2)

 

Race Winner: Alex Bowman of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Winner: Erik Jones of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 2 Winner: Daniel Suarez of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45):

 Cole Custer started 13th, finished ninth. Earned two bonus points.

● Piloted his Haas Automation Ford Mustang into the top-10 by lap 20.

● Noted a tight-handling condition, but managed to make a pass and gain one more position before the conclusion of the stage.

● Custer pitted for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments at the end of the stage.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90):       

● Started 11th, finished eighth. Earned three bonus points.

● Custer continued to fight a tight-handling condition at the beginning of the stage.

● Ran as high as seventh during Stage 2 until his car’s balance shifted to being loose.

● At the conclusion of the stage, pitted for four fresh tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 91-200):

● Started eighth, finished sixth.

● After a caution on lap 141, Custer pitted for four tires, fuel and adjustments. He restarted in the 11th position.

● Custer drove to eighth place before a final caution on lap 160, where he pitted for four more tires and fuel to restart back in 11th position.

● With 40 laps to go, Custer powered his way through the field to finish just outside of the top-five.

 

Notes:              

 Custer was the highest finishing rookie in the Drive for the Cure 300. It was his eighth rookie of the race award this season.

● Custer has earned the most points at 1.5-mile tracks among XFINITY Series drivers this season.

● Custer earned his 16th top-10 of the 2017 season, his 18th top-10 in 34 career XFINITY Series starts and his third top-10 at Charlotte.

● Custer’s sixth-place finish was his fourth-consecutive top-10 this season.

● Due to inclement weather, qualifying for the Drive for the Cure 300 was canceled. The field was set by owner points.

● This was the final race in the first round of the playoffs. Custer advanced to the second round and is seeded fifth.

● There were eight caution periods for 43 laps in the Drive for the Cure 300.

● Alex Bowman won the Drive for the Cure 300 to score his first career XFINITY Series victory. His margin of victory over second-place Sam Hornish Jr. was 1.390 seconds.

 

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

“It was a really good night for us. We got our car better. We didn’t have the track position that we wanted, so I think we were more of a third- or fourth-place car, but our Haas Automation Mustang was really solid tonight. I was happy with the improvements we made through the weekend, so I’m looking forward to the next round. It’s going to be a dogfight, that’s for sure. Everybody in this next round has a lot of speed. I think if we can win a race it’s going to be huge. It will be tough, but we just have to really be on our game and fire on all cylinders.”

 

Playoff Standings:        

1.        William Byron (3,026 points)

2.        Justin Allgaier (3,023 points, -3)

3.        Elliott Sadler (3,020 points, -6)

4.        Daniel Hemric (3,009 points, -17)

5.        Cole Custer (3,007 points, -19)

6.        Brennan Poole (3,006 points, -20)

7.        Ryan Reed (3,005 points, -21)

8.        Matt Tifft (3,004 points, -22)

 

Failed to advance to the Round of 8

9.     Brendan Gaughan (2,079 points)

10.   Michael Annett (2,058 points)

11.   Blake Koch (2,055 points)

12.   Jeremy Clements (2,052 points)

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

 

Team Penske Reviews The Charlotte NXS Race

Joey Logano

Track:   Charlotte Motor Speedway

Race:    NC Drive for the Cure 300

Date:     October 7, 2017

 

No. 12 PPG Ford Mustang – Sam Hornish Jr.

Start:    31st

Finish:   2nd

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 200/200

Laps Led: 0

Owner’s Points Position (behind leader): N/A

 

Recap: Sam Hornish Jr. started 31st and finished second in the No. 12 PPG Ford Mustang in Saturday night’s NC Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Despite the deep starting position, the Defiance, OH native, wasted no time working his way forward at the drop of the green flag. In the opening 10 laps, Hornish wheeled the colorful PPG Mustang inside the top-20, reaching the 16th position before the first caution flag of the race at lap 28. Hornish reported the handling of his Mustang to be slightly loose on corner entry and tight in the center. Crew chief Brian Wilson elected to leave the PPG Ford on the track with only a handful of teams taking the opportunity to pit. Hornish continued his forward march during the remaining laps in the first stage, reaching the 10th position when a caution flag at lap 42 ended the stage. Wilson elected to adjust with wedge, also having the crew add tape to the nose to give Hornish more forward turn. When the second stage resumed, it was more of the same for the No. 12 PPG Mustang, consistently running the fastest lap times on the track while marching inside the top-five and finishing the second stage in the third position. The handling had swung to the free side on corner exit during the second stage, so Wilson elected to adjust with track bar on the second stop of the night. The No. 12 Team Penske crew gained a one position on pit road, allowing Hornish to restart on the front row for the beginning of the final stage. The No. 12 Mustang struggled on restarts, but after 10 laps proved to be the fastest car on the track. On the third pit stop of the night, Wilson elected to leave the car alone, servicing it with just four tires and fuel. Unfortunately, the track would take another swing, adding grip as the conditions continued to cool off, and Hornish would have to battle a car that was too tight. When the caution flag was displayed for the final time at lap 160, Wilson called the No. 12 PPG Ford into the pits for the final time, adjusting with track bar, and additional tape on the nose preparing for the sprint to the finish. Several of the lead lap cars had pitted on the lap 141 caution, which shuffled the No. 12 team to the ninth position on the ensuing restart. Again, wasting little time, Hornish charged forward, battling teammate Ryan Blaney for the second position where he would finish the night.

 

Quote: “I think if it had been anybody else other than my teammate or Bowman winning I’d probably been pretty disappointed with tonight for as fast as we were, but the fact that we stuck with it. The car was great.  We needed long runs and didn’t have any early on in the race.  Finally got the car adjusted right where we thought we needed to be and kind of overstepped it.  On that last restart I kind of got stuck on the bottom and it also freed the car up a little bit right there too, knowing that we’re gonna be back in traffic.  It took us a little bit longer.  The top lane rolled and the 2 and the 42 were able to make a lot of ground on us there early, and it was everything that Alex needed to be able to win and it was a bit of fighting for me to be able to get back second.  By the time I had a slip-up underneath the 22 car.  I’m really glad we didn’t end up getting together.  I figured I kind of slid around the corner long enough that I figured I wasn’t gonna correct until he was past me again, and made the right-rear tire mad and it took us about five or six laps to get that calmed back down, go back after him and just not enough time there at the end.”

 

No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney 

Start:    2nd

Finish:    3rd

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 200/200

Laps Led: 38

Owner’s Points Position (behind leader): 2nd (-8)

 

Recap: After an extensive rain delay at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS), Ryan Blaney finished the NC Drive for the Cure 300 in the second position, capturing his 34th career top-five finish. Blaney and the No. 22 Discount Tire team started the 200-lap event second after Saturday’s qualifying session was rained out and the field was set by the rule book. During the first 45-lap stage, Blaney raced within the top three, battling a loose Ford Mustang. The first stage saw two cautions where Blaney communicated to his team the Ford had no turn or drive on take-off. Blaney would remain in the third position until the end of the stage. Crew chief, Greg Erwin called the third-generation-driver down pit road, under caution on lap 47 for minor adjustments to help tighten up the Ford and help on take-off. The 23-year-old would restart from the third position once the second stage started on lap 51. Shorty after, Blaney captured the second position making it three-wide. Over the course of the long run, Blaney’s Ford became increasingly free, dropping to the fourth position by the end of the second stage on lap 90. Blaney raced his way up to the second position on lap 97 before the race fell under caution once again on lap 104. During the restart, Blaney would battle hard for position, almost capturing the race lead before settling into the second position.  Erwin called Blaney down pit road on lap 123 for a scheduled pit stop under caution. The No. 22 team won the race off pit road and Blaney would restart as the race leader with 74 laps remaining. The race would see yet another caution on lap 147, gambling the caution would come out again, Erwin elected to stay out while other teams came to pit road. Blaney would go on to lead 38 laps before the caution flew again on lap 160. Blaney came to pit road for four fresh tires, fuel and minor adjustments on lap 162. Blaney would restart eighth and drive up to the second position before falling back to third at the end of the race. Blaney’s third place finish was his fourth top-10 finish in six races at CMS.

 

Quote:  “I thought we had a pretty decent car.  We started off great.  I thought we lacked a little bit of speed and I was real loose.  We did a pretty good job of getting it tighter to where it might be a little bit better.  We got the lead on pit road, which is good.  They did a great job on pit road all night with really fast stops and that helped out a bunch.  On that last restart we got running there and some cars stayed out.  They gambled a little bit and we got stuck behind the 5 a little bit.  The 42 did a good job.  He got a big run on the top and drove away from us.  He was better than us that last run anyway.  We lost a little bit of speed there.  It stinks we couldn’t have won that race, but I thought we learned a little bit and hopefully we can apply that tomorrow.”

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

Matt Tifft Leaves JGR For Richard Childress Racing In 2018

Matt Tifft
Richard Childress Racing has signed Matt Tifft to a multi-year agreement to join RCR’s NASCAR XFINITY Series driver lineup. Tifft will pilot the #2 Chevrolet Camaro beginning in 2018 and will compete for the 2018 driver championship. The 21-year-old driver is currently a contender in the XFINITY Series Playoffs in his rookie season.

Tifft, a native of Hinckley, Ohio, has made 70 starts across NASCAR’s top three national touring series dating back to 2013, including 39 in the XFINITY Series. Tifft’s racing background includes dirt late model and super late model racing on dirt tracks in Ohio and Michigan. His asphalt racing experience includes 26 starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and 25 starts in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. Tifft was awarded Rookie of the Year honors in the ARCA Racing Midwest Tour.

“I am very appreciative and grateful for the opportunity to race for a championship and grow as a driver under one the most successful and historic teams in NASCAR,” said Tifft. “RCR has a long history of developing partnerships through its XFINITY Series program. I am looking forward to being a part of the family and applying what I have learned in my first full-time XFINITY Series season while continuing to grow with the goal of competing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in the future.”

“Matt is a talented race car driver and an even better young man,” said Richard Childress, Chairman and CEO of RCR. “I’ve watched him race for the past few years and we were impressed by his ability. We look forward to welcoming Matt to our XFINITY Series program and having him compete for a championship with RCR.”

An announcement regarding sponsorship and crew chief for Tifft and the #2 Chevrolet Camaro will come at a later date.

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

Cole Custer Logs Another Top Ten Finish At Dover

Cole Custer
Date: Sep. 30, 2017

Event: Use Your Melon. Drive Sober 200 (Round 28 of 33)

Series: NASCAR XFINITY Series

Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (Mile oval)

Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/120 laps)

Start/Finish: 6th/8th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)

Playoff Point Standings: 4th (2,093 points, 14 points out of first)

 

Race Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Winner: William Byron of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Stage 2 Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):

● Cole Custer started sixth, finished eighth. Earned three stage points.

● In the opening laps of the stage, Custer piloted his Haas Automation Mustang in and around the top-five, but noted loose-handling conditions.

● At the conclusion of Stage 1, Custer pitted for four fresh tires, fuel, chassis adjustments and air pressure adjustments.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):     

● Started sixth, finished seventh. Earned four stage points.

● Custer ran as high as fourth place in the second stage.

● Throughout the stage, the balance of Custer’s Haas Automation Mustang shifted to the tight side as the stage wore on.

● Custer pitted for four more tires, fuel and adjustments at the conclusion of Stage 2.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 120-200):          

● Started seventh, finished eighth.

● On the initial restart of the final stage, Custer was caught in traffic and fell to the 12th position.

● He continued to note tight-handling conditions, but re-entered the top-10 halfway through the stage.

● Custer continued to move his Haas Automation Mustang up through the field, gaining a few more spots by the time the checkered flag waved in order to earn his 15th top-10 of the season.

 

Notes:              

 The Use Your Melon. Drive Sober 200 was Custer’s 33rd NASCAR XFINITY Series start and his seventh at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

● Custer earned his 15th top-10 of the 2017 season, his 17th top-10 in 33 XFINITY Series starts and his third at Dover.

● Custer earned a total of seven combined stage points.

● Five cautions slowed the race for 28 laps.

Ryan Blaney won the Use Your Melon. Drive Sober 200 to score his sixth career XFINITY Series victory, second of the season and first at Dover. His margin of victory over second-place Justin Allgaier was 4.852 seconds.

 

Playoff Standings:         

1.     Justin Allgaier (2,107 points)

2.     William Byron (2,104, points, -3)

3.     Elliott Sadler (2,094 points, -13)

4.     Cole Custer (2,093 points, -14)

5.     Daniel Hemric (2,090 points, -17)

6.     Brennan Poole (2,082 points, -25)

7.     Matt Tifft (2,067 points, -40)

8.     Ryan Reed (2,055 points, -52)

9.     Brendan Gaughan (2,053 points, -54)

10.   Michael Annett (2,048 points, -59)

11.   Blake Koch (2,043 points, -64)

12.   Jeremy Clements (2,035 points, -72)

 

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

“We had a solid Haas Automation Mustang. We definitely didn’t have the best car but we made it better all day. The last restart didn’t play out for us; it was tough to pass. We got held up in the wrong lane there. We didn’t make any mistakes and got the points that we needed. It was a good day and we’ll head to Charlotte with confidence.”

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

HMS Gets Alex Bowman Two NXS Rides, Charlotte And Phoenix

Alex Bowman
Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) announced today that through their technical partnership with Hendrick Motorsports, Alex Bowman, 24, will pilot the No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) races at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Oct. 7) and Phoenix International Raceway (Nov. 11). Hendrick Automotive Group’s HendrickCars.com, which features more than 43,000 new and pre-owned cars for sale, will serve as the primary sponsor in Charlotte with additional support from Vannoy Construction. A sponsor for Phoenix will be announced at a later date.

 NOTES OF INTEREST:

 

  • Racing for a Title: Bowman joins Kyle Larson, Tyler Reddick and Justin Marks as drivers of the No. 42 Chevrolet in 2017. Currently the No. 42 team leads the NXS owners’ standings following Reddick’s win at Kentucky Speedway. Through 27 starts, the combination of Larson, Reddick and Marks has four wins, 11 top-five, 15 top-10 finishes and two poles. Larson picked up victories in Fontana, Richmond and Dover prior to Reddick’s win in the first round of the NXS playoffs.

 

  • Bowman in the NXS: The Tucson, AZ native made his NXS debut in 2012, and finished runner-up to Larson in the 2013 NXS Rookie of the Year standings. In 50 series starts, Bowman has five top-five and 13 top-10 finishes along with three poles. Bowman moves into the No. 88 Chevrolet in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for Hendrick Motorsports beginning in 2018.

 

CGR QUOTEBOARD:

 

  • Chip Ganassi, Owner, Chip Ganassi Racing: “We’re excited to welcome Alex to the No. 42 team for two races. He’s a great young talent, who can help us with our goal of winning an NXS owners’ championship. Initially those two races were earmarked for Larson but we wanted him to focus on the Cup playoffs so we appreciate Rick (Hendrick) and his team for allowing us to put Alex in our car. Hendrick Motorsports has been a tremendous partner of CGR for many years.”

 

  • Rick Hendrick, Owner of Hendrick Motorsports and Chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group: “This is a terrific opportunity for Alex to get back into a competitive environment and work with a championship-caliber team. I think he’ll pick up right where he left off. It’s also a valuable platform for us to promote HendrickCars.com in our (Hendrick Automotive Group’s) home market. Chip is a great friend, and we’re looking forward to working with his team on and off the track.”

 

  • Alex Bowman, Driver, No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro: “I’m really excited to get back in a race-winning car with a team like CGR. A huge thanks to Chip and Mr. Hendrick for putting this together for me to get some valuable seat time heading into 2018. My goal is to win two races and help the No. 42 team win the NXS owners’ championship.”

Earlier in the season (7/20/17), shortly after the HMS announcement of Bowman replacing Dale Jr., I asked the question about whether HMS would try to get Bowman a few races under his belt before the 2018 season?  At that time, I thought that it would be extremely foolish for Hendrick to throw Bowman to the wolves in 2018 without at least a couple of races in either the CWTS, NXS, or Cup series before the season begins in February.

Now we know the answer to that question!

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

Cole Custer Rolls Into Dover Tied In The Points Lead

Cole Custer

 

Event: Use Your Melon. Drive Sober 200 (Round 28 of 33)

Date: Sept. 30, 2017

Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway

Layout: Concrete, mile oval

Cole Custer Notes of Interest
 

●  The Use Your Melon. Drive Sober 200 will be the second of seven races in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs. It will also mark Cole Custer’s 33rd career NASCAR XFINITY Series start and his second XFINITY Series start at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

 

●  Custer is tied with Justin Allgaier for first place in the XFINITY Series Playoffs with 2,057 points, two points ahead of second-place Elliot Sadler.

 

●  In Custer’s seven overall starts at Dover, three are in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, two are in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and one is in the XFINITY Series. Custer’s best overall finish at Dover is fourth, earned in this year’s XFINITY Series race June 3. It tied his career-best XFINITY Series finish and was his 16th top-10 and sixth top-five in 32 XFINITY Series starts.

 

●  In the 2015 Truck Series race at Dover, Custer led 67 laps and ran in and around the top-five until lap 138 when a fueling issue pushed him off the lead lap and into the 13th position, where he would ultimately finish the race.

 

●  In 32 XFINITY Series starts, 42 Camping World Truck Series starts and 29 K&N Pro Series starts since 2015, Custer has five wins, six poles, 14 top-five finishes, 25 top-10s and 919 laps led at tracks that are a mile in length or shorter.

 

●  Custer’s best qualifying effort in the 27 XFINITY Series races run this season is third, earned three times – April 22 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, June 10 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway and Sept. 23 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. Custer has 19 top-10 starts and nine top-five starts this season.

 

●  Custer is third in the XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year standings, 52 points behind leader William Byron and 12 points behind second-place Daniel Hemric. Custer has earned seven Rookie of the Race awards this season, including at Dover earlier this season.

 

●  Last weekend at Kentucky Speedway, Custer won Stages 1-2 for his first career XFINITY Series stage wins. He led the field for 49 laps and earned two playoff points on his way to a fifth-place finish.

 

●  Custer has earned 15 top-10s, five top-fives and has led 119 laps so far in the 2017 season.

 

●  Custer will pilot chassis No. 1090 in the second race of the playoffs. Chassis No. 1090 holds the new flange-fit composite body that was used at Richmond (Va.) Raceway two weeks ago where Custer ran in and around the top-10 for the majority of the race.

 

●  The playoffs are divided into three rounds, with the first two rounds consisting of three races apiece and the final, single-race round being the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Four drivers are eliminated after each round to ultimately establish four finalists to decide the championship at Homestead. Drivers automatically qualify for the next round with a win in the current playoff round, with the remaining spots determined by point standings. At Homestead, the top-finishing driver among the four finalists wins the title.

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

Your best finish of your 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series career came at Dover earlier this season. Why do you run so well there?

“I’ve always been a fan of the concrete tracks. There’s a lot of speed and a lot of banking. Dover is somewhere I’ve always run well at, but I’ve never really gotten the finishes I would’ve liked. It seems like we’ve always been in the fight for a win there. I’m looking forward to getting back there in our Haas Automation Ford Mustang and logging another solid finish.”

Is there a level of confidence heading to tracks for the second time this season?

“Yes. Coming back to a place for the second time at Kentucky, we found so many things that I’ve liked and that our team has found speed in with our team running week to week. It’s just incorporating those things that I’ve found to like. From practice to race, I think we just kind of fine tune what we have. We’re confident heading back to Dover with the notes we have, especially after our performance last weekend at Kentucky. We finished fourth earlier in the year, so hopefullywe can do that again, or better.”

Describe a qualifying lap at Dover.

“You come in shaking. It’s pretty crazy. You’re getting all that you can out of it and you’re just on edge the whole time. It’s so fast for such a small place.”

Is there any major difference in the feel of the flange-fit composite body?

Not that I can tell. I had no issues with it at Richmond, so I’m looking forward to running it again at Dover.”

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

Last weekend the Haas Automation Ford team earned two playoff points after Custer won Stages 1-2. Are stage wins the goal in the playoffs? 

“Stage wins have been on our radar all season. We’ve been improving each week and now have the speed it takes to contend for them. Those two points will be nice in the next round, but the 20 extra points we gained for this round gave us a little cushion to help get through the next two races.”

What car are you bringing to the second race of the playoffs this weekend at Dover?

“We are bringing the same car we ran at Richmond, chassis No. 1090. We had a lot of good speed out of that Haas Automation Mustang, but didn’t get the finish we wanted. This will be the second race for this car with the new composite body. I think NASCAR did a really good job with the design and working with the teams to make the composite bodies a success”

Cole Custer Dover 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: Eddie D’Hondt Sr.

Hometown: East Islip, New York

Over-The-Wall Crew:

Front Tire Changer: Ryan Mulder

Hometown: Sioux City, Iowa

 

Front Tire Carrier: Tyler Bullard

Hometown: King, North Carolina

 

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

H​aas Automation Notes of Interest
 

The No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang will feature decals on the lower-rear quarter panel for:

 

●  Pennsylvania College of Technology – Located at One College Avenue in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania College of Technology has many programs and courses available, one of which is a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering technology. The curriculum has a strong emphasis in manufacturing, automation and metals-oriented industries. National Institute ofMetalworking Skills (NIMS) accreditation enables its certified faculty to offer NIMS certification exams to the students. Students who successfully earn NIMS certification enjoy a competitive edge in the job market.

 

●  Lehigh Career & Technical Institute – Located at 4500 Education Park Drive in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, Lehigh Career & Technical Institute (LCTI) is Pennsylvania’s largest career and technical school. Founded in 1971, LCTI today provides more than 45 skills-based programs of study, as well as academic instruction for about 2,700 ninth- through 12th-grade students from Lehigh County’s nine public school districts. There are several programs of study to choose from – arts and humanities, business and communication, engineering healthy and human services, industrial technology and academia. For those young adults searching for a manufacturing job, Lehigh offers through its Workforce Education Department a few fields of study: Electromechanical/Mechatronics and CNC Precision Machine.

 

●  Haas Factory Outlet – Phillips, a division of Phillips Corp – Located at 8500 Triad Drive, Colfax, North Carolina, Haas Factory Outlet Phillips is an exclusive dealer of Haas Automation CNC machine tools, serving Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Eastern Pennsylvania, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Southern New Jersey and Tennessee. Phillips offers outstanding Haas sales, service, training, applications, and spare parts.

 

Playoff Standings 
 

1.     Justin Allgaier (2,057 points)

2.     Cole Custer (2,057 points) -0

3.   Elliott Sadler (2,055 points, -2)

4.   Daniel Hemric (2,052 points, -5)

5.   William Byron (2,051, points, -6)

6.   Brennan Poole (2,047 points, -10)

7.   Matt Tifft (2,036 points, -21)

8.   Ryan Reed (2,034 points, -23)

9.   Brendan Gaughan (2,026 points, -31)

10.  Blake Koch (2,025 points, -32)

11.  Michael Annett (2,022 points, -35)

12.  Jeremy Clements (2,020 points, -37)

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

Suarez Double Dips This Weekend At Dover

Daniel Suarez

It’s good to be the reigning champion. It’s a feeling with which driver Daniel Saurez has become accustomed over the course of the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series season. Even though he competes in the XFINITY series on a limited basis, there’s still a cache of confidence he carries into each race. He’s the champ and it’s good to be the champ.

This weekend Suarez will carry a double dose of buoyancy into Dover (Del.) International Speedway, where he isn’t only the reigning champ, but also the reigning race winner.

Driving the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), Suarez will make his 13th start of the 2017 XFINITY Series season during Saturday’s Use Your Melon. Drive Sober 200.

The founding partner of JGR, Interstate Batteries has been powering the championship-winning organization for more than 25 years and is the “Official Battery of Joe Gibbs Racing.” This year, the iconic brand is celebrating its 65th anniversary. To commemorate the milestone, special 65th anniversary branding has been featured on each of the paint schemes JGR has raced during the 2017 NASCAR season.

It’s the third time this year that Suarez is racing the iconic green-and-white scheme. Having the “Outrageously Dependable” brand on board may give the team the boost it needs to find the one thing that has eluded Suarez so far in 2017 – victory lane.

While Suarez has yet to win in XFINITY competition in 2017, he’s been close, with a trio of third-place finishes and a runner-up effort at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in August to show for it. In total, Suarez has scored five top-five finishes, six top-10s and led laps in seven of his 12 starts.

And now he turns his attention to the concrete mile oval of Dover, where Suarez has made a total of five starts in XFINITY competition. His career record at Dover features one win, two top-fives and four top-10s. He’s led a total of 142 laps and owns an average start of 5.8 and average finish of 8.4.

It was one year ago when Suarez put on a dominant display rarely seen amongst series regulars. Driving the Interstate Batteries Toyota, Suarez started fifth and quickly made his move to the front by taking the top spot just 10 laps into the 200-lap event. The Monterrey, Mexico native went on to dominate the Monster Mile, leading a race-high 123 laps and scoring the win by a margin of more than five seconds.

With Interstate Batteries in tow for the second time at Dover, Suarez and company hope to get the charge they need to pull off the repeat this weekend.

DANIEL SUAREZ, Driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing: 
What are your thoughts on heading to Dover this weekend?

“I’m really looking forward to getting to Dover and back behind the wheel of my Interstate Batteries Camry this weekend. Dover is such a unique racetrack and really unlike any track we visit all season. It reminds me a lot of Bristol, but on a much bigger scale. Every time I see Dover coming up on the schedule, I get excited. It’s honestly one of my favorite tracks we visit all season and I feel really comfortable there. We have two races remaining in the XFINITY Series this season and I want nothing more than to get a win for our team, Interstate Batteries, and all of the great partners that support us in the XFINITY Series.”

What was it like to get that win at Dover last year?

“It was a big win for us. I think the thing you learn the longer you run is how hard wins are to come by. I probably was a little more comfortable going into Dover than other tracks because it was a place I really liked and had been racing at since my K&N days. When we went into Dover last year, we had started running really strong. We had an amazing car that day with a ton of speed. It was a pretty unbelievable win and did a lot for helping us to be able to go on and win the championship.”

You have Interstate Batteries on board again this weekend at Dover. How special is it to race that scheme?

“It’s very special. Interstate Batteries is very important to Coach Gibbs and Joe Gibbs Racing. For me, personally, it’s been great getting to know the people there and Norm Miller. He’s been just great to me, a lot of support and a lot of trust. That’s something really, really special. I feel very lucky to have support from people like him and everyone at Interstate Batteries.”

Meet the No. 18 Interstate Batteries/Joe Gibbs Racing Team
Car No.: 18 – Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry

 

At-Track PR Contact: Penny Copen Fender with True Speed Communication

704.875.3388 ext. 810 or Penny.Copen@TrueSpeedCommunication.com

Road Crew Members:

Driver: Daniel Suarez

 

Crew Chief: Eric Phillips

 

Car Chief: Chris Meyers

 

Engine Builder: Mark Cronquist

 

Engine Tuner: Roger Purcell

 

Spotter: Chris Osborne

 

Shock Specialist: Dustin Zacharyasz

 

Tire Specialist: John Lanham

 

Engineer: Chris Whitenight

 

Mechanic: Tyler Paxton

 

Truck Driver: Steve Fiedler

Pit Crew Members:

Front Tire Changer: Josh Leslie

 

Front Tire Carrier: Brad Donaghy

 

Gas Man: Tom Lampe

 

Rear Tire Changer: Jake Seminara

 

Rear Tire Carrier: Kenny Barber

 

Jack Man: T.J. Ford

 

 

 

Daniel Suarez Highlights at Dover International Speedway:
● Saturday’s Use Your Melon. Drive Sober 200 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway will be Saurez’s sixth start in NASCAR XFINITY Series competition at the concrete mile oval.

 

● In five previous XFINITY Series starts at Dover, Suarez’s best result is the victory he scored during the fall race in 2016. He also has two top-five finishes and four top-10s for an average start of 5.8 and average finish of 8.4.

 

● This weekend’s XFINITY Series event will be Suarez’s 81st career start in the series. In 80 previous starts, Suarez has scored three wins, 32 top-fives and 51 top-10s. He’s earned the top starting spot six times and has led 497 laps.

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

Cole Custer Logs A Fifth Place Finish At Kentucky

Cole Custer
Date: Sept. 23, 2017

Event: VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 (Round 27 of 33)

Series: NASCAR XFINITY Series

Location: Kentucky Speedway in Sparta (1.5-mile oval)

Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (45 laps/45 laps/110 laps)

Start/Finish: 3rd/5th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)

Playoff Point Standings: 1st (2,057 points… tied with Justin Allgaier)

 

Race Winner: Tyler Reddick of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Winner: Cole Custer of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 2 Winner: Cole Custer of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45):

Cole Custer started third, finished first. Earned one playoff point and 10 bonus points.

● Custer powered his Haas Automation Ford Mustang to second place on the first lap of the opening stage.

● On lap 41, Custer passed leader Kyle Benjamin to secure the first stage win of his NASCAR XFINITY Series career.

● Custer pitted for four fresh tires, fuel and chassis adjustments at the conclusion of the stage.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90):       

● Started second, finished first. Earned one playoff point and 10 bonus points.

● Custer regained the lead on the first lap of Stage 2.

● Despite a caution on lap 74, Custer led the field for the remainder of Stage 2 before earning his second-straight stage win.

● At the conclusion of the stage, Custer pitted for four tires, fuel and adjustments. He was the first car on four tires off pit road.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 91-200):

● Started sixth, finished fifth.

● Custer noted a loose-handling condition at the beginning of the final stage.

● On lap 151, Custer pitted under green-flag conditions for four fresh tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.

● Custer said his Haas Automation Ford Mustang ran free into the corners and was tight to the center of the turns, but managed to fight the balance issues to earn his fifth top-five of the season.

 

Notes:  

● Custer won Stages 1-2 to earn two playoff points and 20 stage points. These were the first stage wins of his NASCAR XFINITY Series career.

● Custer is tied for first in the playoff point standings with Justin Allgaier. Each driver has 2,057 points and is two points ahead of nearest pursuer Elliott Sadler.

● Custer’s 20 bonus points were his highest single-race total in 32 career XFINITY Series starts.

 Custer earned 52 points in the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300, the second-highest total in the race.

 Custer led twice for 49 laps, the third-highest total in the race.

● The 49 laps led were Custer’s highest single-race total in 32 career XFINITY Series starts, breaking Custer’s previous best of 41 laps led in the preceding XFINITY Series race Sept. 16 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois.

● Custer was the highest finishing rookie, earning his seventh rookie of the race award this season and his fourth at a 1.5 mile-oval.

● Custer earned his fifth top-five of the 2017 season and his sixth top-five in 32 XFINITY Series starts.

● This marked Custer’s 14th top-10 of the 2017 season and his 16th top-10 in 32 XFINITY Series starts.

 Three cautions slowed the race for 14 laps.

● Tyler Reddick won the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 to score his first career XFINITY Series victory.  His margin of victory over second-place Brennan Poole was 14.540 seconds.

 

Playoff Standings:        

1.     Justin Allgaier (2,057 points)

2.     Cole Custer (2,057 points, 0 – TIED FOR FIRST)

3.     Elliott Sadler (2,055 points, -2)

4.     Daniel Hemric (2,052 points, -5)

5.     William Byron (2,051, points, -6)

6.     Brennan Poole (2,047 points, -10)

7.     Matt Tifft (2,036 points, -21)

8.     Ryan Reed (2,034 points, -23)

9.     Brendan Gaughan (2,026 points, -31)

10.   Blake Koch (2,025 points, -32)

11.   Michael Annett (2,022 points, -35)

12.   Jeremy Clements (2,020 points, -37)

 

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

“We accomplished just about everything we wanted to tonight. We had an extremely fast Haas Automation Mustang and had an incredible points night. We put ourselves in a great position. Now, we’ll just have to stay focused on executing each race.”

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