Cole Custer Pulls Off A Sixth Place At Charlotte

Cole Custer
Date: Oct. 7, 2017

Event: Drive for the Cure 300 (Round 29 of 33)

Series: NASCAR XFINITY Series

Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)

Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (45 laps/45 laps/110 laps)

Start/Finish: 13th/6th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)

Playoff Point Standings: 5th (3,007 points, 19 points out of first – ADVANCED TO ROUND 2)

 

Race Winner: Alex Bowman of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Winner: Erik Jones of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 2 Winner: Daniel Suarez of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45):

 Cole Custer started 13th, finished ninth. Earned two bonus points.

● Piloted his Haas Automation Ford Mustang into the top-10 by lap 20.

● Noted a tight-handling condition, but managed to make a pass and gain one more position before the conclusion of the stage.

● Custer pitted for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments at the end of the stage.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90):       

● Started 11th, finished eighth. Earned three bonus points.

● Custer continued to fight a tight-handling condition at the beginning of the stage.

● Ran as high as seventh during Stage 2 until his car’s balance shifted to being loose.

● At the conclusion of the stage, pitted for four fresh tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 91-200):

● Started eighth, finished sixth.

● After a caution on lap 141, Custer pitted for four tires, fuel and adjustments. He restarted in the 11th position.

● Custer drove to eighth place before a final caution on lap 160, where he pitted for four more tires and fuel to restart back in 11th position.

● With 40 laps to go, Custer powered his way through the field to finish just outside of the top-five.

 

Notes:              

 Custer was the highest finishing rookie in the Drive for the Cure 300. It was his eighth rookie of the race award this season.

● Custer has earned the most points at 1.5-mile tracks among XFINITY Series drivers this season.

● Custer earned his 16th top-10 of the 2017 season, his 18th top-10 in 34 career XFINITY Series starts and his third top-10 at Charlotte.

● Custer’s sixth-place finish was his fourth-consecutive top-10 this season.

● Due to inclement weather, qualifying for the Drive for the Cure 300 was canceled. The field was set by owner points.

● This was the final race in the first round of the playoffs. Custer advanced to the second round and is seeded fifth.

● There were eight caution periods for 43 laps in the Drive for the Cure 300.

● Alex Bowman won the Drive for the Cure 300 to score his first career XFINITY Series victory. His margin of victory over second-place Sam Hornish Jr. was 1.390 seconds.

 

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

“It was a really good night for us. We got our car better. We didn’t have the track position that we wanted, so I think we were more of a third- or fourth-place car, but our Haas Automation Mustang was really solid tonight. I was happy with the improvements we made through the weekend, so I’m looking forward to the next round. It’s going to be a dogfight, that’s for sure. Everybody in this next round has a lot of speed. I think if we can win a race it’s going to be huge. It will be tough, but we just have to really be on our game and fire on all cylinders.”

 

Playoff Standings:        

1.        William Byron (3,026 points)

2.        Justin Allgaier (3,023 points, -3)

3.        Elliott Sadler (3,020 points, -6)

4.        Daniel Hemric (3,009 points, -17)

5.        Cole Custer (3,007 points, -19)

6.        Brennan Poole (3,006 points, -20)

7.        Ryan Reed (3,005 points, -21)

8.        Matt Tifft (3,004 points, -22)

 

Failed to advance to the Round of 8

9.     Brendan Gaughan (2,079 points)

10.   Michael Annett (2,058 points)

11.   Blake Koch (2,055 points)

12.   Jeremy Clements (2,052 points)

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

 

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