Cole Custer’s DC Solar 200 Review At Phoenix

Cole Custer

(photo courtesy Leon Hammack)
Date: March 18, 2017

Event: DC Solar 200 (Round 4 of 33)


Location: Phoenix International Raceway(Mile oval)

Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/80 laps)

Start/Finish: 9th/21st (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)

Point Standing: 12th (78 points, 66 out of first)

Race Winner: Justin Allgaier of Junior Motorsports (Chevrolet)


Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):


Started ninth, finished 18th.

Battled tight-handling car after the first 15 laps of Stage 1.

Team made major handling adjustments during caution between Stages 1 and 2.


Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):         


Started 23rd, finished 15th.

Before the stage began, NASCAR penalized Custer for driving through too many pit stalls on his stop    and forced the No. 00 to restart at back of the field.

With improved handling, Custer gained eight spots during the stage, occasionally turning top-five        lap times.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-200):


●  Started 15th, finished 21st.

  Climbed to eighth with 14 laps remaining.

●  Made contact with Austin Dillon with 10 to go. During the caution, Dillon drove his damaged car           into Custer’s car.

 Custer pitted for repairs and restarted the race 26th with five laps remaining.



●  Custer tied his career-best NASCAR XFINITY Series qualifying effort.

●  This was Custer’s 10th NASCAR XFINITY Series start.

●  95-degree weather with temperatures exceeding 130 degrees inside racecars.



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


Tell us about the race and your take on the incident with Austin Dillon.

“We had a great race leading up to that. We didn’t start out at all how we wanted to but, by the end, we were probably a fifth- to eighth-place car. I thought that was a really good sign for us. We had a really good Haas Automation Ford Mustang this weekend. The incident with Austin was 100-percent my fault. I got in there too deep, got really loose going in and couldn’t put any wheel into it. That was pretty much it. Something that won’t happen again. It’s unfortunate I cost us and the No. 2 car there.”


Next Up:

The next event on the NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule is the NXS 300 on Saturday, March 25 at Auto Club Speedway. The race starts at 4 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FS1.


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