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!

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