|Date: June 17, 2017
Event: Irish Hills 250 (Round 13 of 33)
Series: NASCAR XFINITY Series
Location: Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (2-mile oval)
Format: 125 laps, broken into three stages (30 laps/30 laps/65 laps)
Start/Finish: 7th/10th (Running, completed 125 of 125 laps)
Point Standing: 8th (309 points, 151 out of first)
Race Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Elliot Sadler of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-30):
● Started seventh, finished ninth. Earned two stage points.
● Custer reported a loose-handling condition for a majority of Stage 1.
● At the conclusion of the stage, Custer pitted for two tires, chassis adjustments and fuel to gain nine positions.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 31-60):
● Started first, finished 11th.
● Custer led 15 laps before the loose-handling condition returned.
● During a lap-58 caution that ended Stage 2, Custer pitted for four tires, fuel and wedge adjustments.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 61-125):
● Started third, finished 10th.
● Custer battled in the top-10 throughout the final stage.
● During a lap-84 caution, Custer pitted for two tires, fuel and adjustments then restarted fifth.
● Custer restarted the race in seventh with five laps remaining before securing his sixth top-10 finish of the season.
● Custer led a career-high 15 laps.
● Saturday marked Custer’s fourth consecutive top-10 finish and his eighth top-10 in 18 career starts.
● Seven cautions slowed the race for 32 laps.
● Denny Hamlin won the Irish Hills 250 to score his 16th career XFINITY Series victory, his first of the season and his third at Michigan. His margin of victory over second-place William Byron was .012 of a second.
Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I thought we were solid. Our Haas Automation Ford Mustang was loose the whole race. We couldn’t get going great, but we fought all day and had a good strategy. We were able to stay up there, but were missing a little bit.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!