Cole Custer Rolls Into Dover Tied In The Points Lead

Cole Custer


Event: Use Your Melon. Drive Sober 200 (Round 28 of 33)

Date: Sept. 30, 2017

Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway

Layout: Concrete, mile oval

Cole Custer Notes of Interest

●  The Use Your Melon. Drive Sober 200 will be the second of seven races in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs. It will also mark Cole Custer’s 33rd career NASCAR XFINITY Series start and his second XFINITY Series start at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.


●  Custer is tied with Justin Allgaier for first place in the XFINITY Series Playoffs with 2,057 points, two points ahead of second-place Elliot Sadler.


●  In Custer’s seven overall starts at Dover, three are in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, two are in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and one is in the XFINITY Series. Custer’s best overall finish at Dover is fourth, earned in this year’s XFINITY Series race June 3. It tied his career-best XFINITY Series finish and was his 16th top-10 and sixth top-five in 32 XFINITY Series starts.


●  In the 2015 Truck Series race at Dover, Custer led 67 laps and ran in and around the top-five until lap 138 when a fueling issue pushed him off the lead lap and into the 13th position, where he would ultimately finish the race.


●  In 32 XFINITY Series starts, 42 Camping World Truck Series starts and 29 K&N Pro Series starts since 2015, Custer has five wins, six poles, 14 top-five finishes, 25 top-10s and 919 laps led at tracks that are a mile in length or shorter.


●  Custer’s best qualifying effort in the 27 XFINITY Series races run this season is third, earned three times – April 22 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, June 10 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway and Sept. 23 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. Custer has 19 top-10 starts and nine top-five starts this season.


●  Custer is third in the XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year standings, 52 points behind leader William Byron and 12 points behind second-place Daniel Hemric. Custer has earned seven Rookie of the Race awards this season, including at Dover earlier this season.


●  Last weekend at Kentucky Speedway, Custer won Stages 1-2 for his first career XFINITY Series stage wins. He led the field for 49 laps and earned two playoff points on his way to a fifth-place finish.


●  Custer has earned 15 top-10s, five top-fives and has led 119 laps so far in the 2017 season.


●  Custer will pilot chassis No. 1090 in the second race of the playoffs. Chassis No. 1090 holds the new flange-fit composite body that was used at Richmond (Va.) Raceway two weeks ago where Custer ran in and around the top-10 for the majority of the race.


●  The playoffs are divided into three rounds, with the first two rounds consisting of three races apiece and the final, single-race round being the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Four drivers are eliminated after each round to ultimately establish four finalists to decide the championship at Homestead. Drivers automatically qualify for the next round with a win in the current playoff round, with the remaining spots determined by point standings. At Homestead, the top-finishing driver among the four finalists wins the title.

Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang

Your best finish of your 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series career came at Dover earlier this season. Why do you run so well there?

“I’ve always been a fan of the concrete tracks. There’s a lot of speed and a lot of banking. Dover is somewhere I’ve always run well at, but I’ve never really gotten the finishes I would’ve liked. It seems like we’ve always been in the fight for a win there. I’m looking forward to getting back there in our Haas Automation Ford Mustang and logging another solid finish.”

Is there a level of confidence heading to tracks for the second time this season?

“Yes. Coming back to a place for the second time at Kentucky, we found so many things that I’ve liked and that our team has found speed in with our team running week to week. It’s just incorporating those things that I’ve found to like. From practice to race, I think we just kind of fine tune what we have. We’re confident heading back to Dover with the notes we have, especially after our performance last weekend at Kentucky. We finished fourth earlier in the year, so hopefullywe can do that again, or better.”

Describe a qualifying lap at Dover.

“You come in shaking. It’s pretty crazy. You’re getting all that you can out of it and you’re just on edge the whole time. It’s so fast for such a small place.”

Is there any major difference in the feel of the flange-fit composite body?

Not that I can tell. I had no issues with it at Richmond, so I’m looking forward to running it again at Dover.”

Jeff Meendering, Crew Chief of the No. 00 Haas Automation Team

Last weekend the Haas Automation Ford team earned two playoff points after Custer won Stages 1-2. Are stage wins the goal in the playoffs? 

“Stage wins have been on our radar all season. We’ve been improving each week and now have the speed it takes to contend for them. Those two points will be nice in the next round, but the 20 extra points we gained for this round gave us a little cushion to help get through the next two races.”

What car are you bringing to the second race of the playoffs this weekend at Dover?

“We are bringing the same car we ran at Richmond, chassis No. 1090. We had a lot of good speed out of that Haas Automation Mustang, but didn’t get the finish we wanted. This will be the second race for this car with the new composite body. I think NASCAR did a really good job with the design and working with the teams to make the composite bodies a success”

Cole Custer Dover Performance Profile


No. 00 Haas Automation Team Roster
Primary Team Members:


Driver: Cole Custer

Hometown: Ladera Ranch, California


Crew Chief: Jeff Meendering

Hometown: Concord, North Carolina


Car Chief: Eddie D’Hondt Jr.

Hometown: East Islip, New York


Lead Engineer: Bruce Schlickler

Hometown: Clarksburg, West Virginia


Engine Specialist: Craig Herrmann

Hometown: Albany, New York


Spotter: Eddie D’Hondt Sr.

Hometown: East Islip, New York

Over-The-Wall Crew:

Front Tire Changer: Ryan Mulder

Hometown: Sioux City, Iowa


Front Tire Carrier: Tyler Bullard

Hometown: King, North Carolina


Rear Tire Changer: Chris JacksonHometown: Fort Mill, South Carolina


Rear Tire Carrier: Jeremy Howard

Hometown: Dalhant, Texas


Gas Man: Andrew Migliozzi

Hometown: West Borough, Massachusetts


Jackman: Sean Cotten

Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina

Road Crew Members:


Truck Driver: Jason Gray

Hometown: Concord, North Carolina


Mechanic: Daren VanderLey

Hometown: Mobile, Alabama


Mechanic: Michael Brill

Hometown: Woodsville, New Hampshire


Tire Specialist: Bryan Honeycutt

Hometown: Asheboro, North Carolina


Shock Specialist: Dave Hansen

Hometown: York, Maine


Pit Support: Chris Justice

Hometown: Greensboro, South Carolina

H​aas Automation Notes of Interest

The No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang will feature decals on the lower-rear quarter panel for:


●  Pennsylvania College of Technology – Located at One College Avenue in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania College of Technology has many programs and courses available, one of which is a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering technology. The curriculum has a strong emphasis in manufacturing, automation and metals-oriented industries. National Institute ofMetalworking Skills (NIMS) accreditation enables its certified faculty to offer NIMS certification exams to the students. Students who successfully earn NIMS certification enjoy a competitive edge in the job market.


●  Lehigh Career & Technical Institute – Located at 4500 Education Park Drive in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, Lehigh Career & Technical Institute (LCTI) is Pennsylvania’s largest career and technical school. Founded in 1971, LCTI today provides more than 45 skills-based programs of study, as well as academic instruction for about 2,700 ninth- through 12th-grade students from Lehigh County’s nine public school districts. There are several programs of study to choose from – arts and humanities, business and communication, engineering healthy and human services, industrial technology and academia. For those young adults searching for a manufacturing job, Lehigh offers through its Workforce Education Department a few fields of study: Electromechanical/Mechatronics and CNC Precision Machine.


●  Haas Factory Outlet – Phillips, a division of Phillips Corp – Located at 8500 Triad Drive, Colfax, North Carolina, Haas Factory Outlet Phillips is an exclusive dealer of Haas Automation CNC machine tools, serving Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Eastern Pennsylvania, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Southern New Jersey and Tennessee. Phillips offers outstanding Haas sales, service, training, applications, and spare parts.


Playoff Standings 

1.     Justin Allgaier (2,057 points)

2.     Cole Custer (2,057 points) -0

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)


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