● Darlington (S.C.) Raceway is hosting its third annual NASCAR “Throwback Weekend.” In conjunction with teams, the track is showcasing iconic paint schemes, personalities and moments from the mid-to-late 1980s.
● Cole Custer and Stewart-Haas Racing are recognizing two-time NASCAR XFINITY Series champion Sam Ard and emulating his 1983 and 1984 championship-winning racecar via a throwback paint scheme on the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang. In just 92 career XFINITY Series starts between 1982 and 1984, Ard drove his No. 00 machine to 22 victories, 67 top-five and 79 top-10 finishes while earning 24 poles and leading 4,035 laps. His average finish was an astonishing 5.5 and it led Ard to back-to-back championships in 1983 and 1984 in what was then known as the NASCAR Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series. Ard was born in Pamplico, South Carolina, roughly 45 minutes southeast of Darlington. Ard was a U.S. Air Force veteran who worked on aircraft at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina, as part of the war effort during Vietnam. He competed in four XFINITY Series races at Darlington. While he didn’t win, he never finished lower than sixth, with his best result being second, earned twice, in 1983 and in his final Darlington race on Sept. 1, 1984.
● The Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 will mark Cole Custer’s 29th career XFINITY Series start and his first ever start at Darlington.
● Darlington will mark Custer’s sixth track of the season where he will race for the first time. At the previous five – Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California; Indianapolis Motor Speedway; Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington; Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin; and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth – he has earned two top-five finishes and three top-10s.
● Custer’s best finish in the 23 XFINITY Series races run this season is fourth, earned June 3 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. It was his 13th top-10 and fifth top-five and it equaled his career-best finish.
● Custer’s best qualifying effort in the 23 XFINITY Series races run this season is third, earned twice – April 22 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and June 10 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. Custer has 13 top-10 starts and three top-five starts this season.
● Custer has earned four top-five finishes, 11 top-10s and has led 29 laps so far in the 2017 XFINITY Series season.
● Custer is third in the XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year standings, 57 points behind leader William Byron and five points behind second-place Daniel Hemric.
● Custer has earned six Rookie of the Race awards this season. Rookie of the Race awards aregiven to the highest-finishing XFINITY Series rookie at each race.
● Custer is sixth in the XFINITY Series driver standings, 276 points behind series leader Elliott Sadler.