● Code 3 Associates will be the primary partner onboard Rookie of the Year contender Cole Custer’s No. 00 Ford Mustang at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the first time this season. 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.
● The Boyd Gaming 300 event will mark Custer’s first NASCAR XFINITY Series start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
● On Saturday, Oct. 21, 2016, in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Las Vegas, Custer led three laps prior to earning a third-place finish – his only start at the 1.5-mile oval in any series.
● This weekend, NASCAR is headed West. Custer a Ladera Ranch, California, native grew up racing in grassroots series across the Western United States and, while this will be his first start at Las Vegas in NASCAR’s XFINITY Series, the young gun isn’t a stranger to racing at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway campus. Custer began racing at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011, earning a victory in the USAC Young Gun division to help him to secure the USAC National Focus Young Gun Championship. Then, in 2012, he became the youngest Late Model division winner at the Bullring, also earning the NASCAR Nevada Rookie of the Year title.
● No. 00 crew chief Jeff Meendering isn’t a stranger to success at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Meendering was named crew chief for Bobby Labonte throughout the 2008 season, earning a top-20 finish in his third race with the team. He has come close to victory lane at the West Coast track as a car chief for Jeff Gordon, earning a fourth-place finish in 2005, a fifth-place finish in 2006 and a second-place finish in 2007.
● As 19-year-old Custer heads into this weekend’s race at Las Vegas, he is already two races into his campaign for Rookie of the Year honors. After an incident not of his own fault at Daytona set him back in the points, he gained ground with a top-10 effort Saturday at Atlanta. He now trails the 2017 Rookie of the Year lead heading into Las Vegas by 11 points over first-place William Byron. Custer has accumulated 17 rookie points this year through the first two races. He has a history of performing well as a NASCAR Rookie of the Year contender, earning third in the Truck Series rookie standings in 2016.