Cole Custer Logs Another Top Five At Texas

Cole Custer
Date: Nov. 4, 2017

Event: O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 (Round 31 of 33)

Series: NASCAR XFINITY Series

Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (1.5-mile oval)

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

Start/Finish: 2nd/5th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)

Playoff Point Standings: 6th (3,066 points, 37 points out of first / 13 points from cutoff)

 

Race Winner: Erik Jones of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

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

Stage 2 Winner: Erik Jones of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45):

Cole Custer started second, finished 29th.

● Custer battled for second in the opening laps until a loose-handling car dropped him to the middle of the field.

● Custer brought the Haas Automation Ford Mustang to the pits where the crew found a flat right-rear tire was the cause of the issue.

● At the conclusion of the stage, Custer opted not to pit to rejoin the lead lap.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90):       

● Started 29th, finished seventh. Earned four bonus points.

● On lap 57, Custer pitted during a caution while remaining on the lead lap.

● Custer rejoined the top-10 on lap 81 – a lap before another caution.

● He stayed on the track in seventh and held the position the remainder of the stage.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 91-200):

● Started 11th, finished fifth.

● Custer ran just outside of the top-five before a lap-125 caution when he pitted for four tires and fuel.

● He restarted in the eighth position and made his way into the top-five on lap 147.

● Custer pitted for fuel only under green on lap 186.

● He rejoined the race in seventh and drove to fifth before the checkered flag.

 

Notes:              

 Custer’s second-place qualifying effort was his career-best start in 36 NASCAR XFINITY Series attempts.

● Custer was the highest finishing rookie. He earned his ninth rookie of the race award this season.

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

● This marks Custer’s sixth top-five of the 2017 season, his seventh top-five in 36 XFINITY Seriesstarts and his second top-five at Texas Motor Speedway.

The O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 was the first race of the second round of playoffs. One more race remains before the season finale Nov. 18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

● This was Custer’s 36th NASCAR XFINITY Series start and his second at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

● Seven cautions slowed the race for 33 laps.

Erik Jones won the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 to score his ninth career XFINITY Series victory, third of the season and third at Texas. His margin of victory over second-place Ryan Blaney was 1.018 seconds.

 

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

“We started the race with a flat and did all we could do to salvage a good day out of it. We have had two pretty good Haas Automation Ford Mustangs, but have just had a flat tire in both of the past two races. It is what it is for us. I think there is no reason why we can’t make that up in Phoenix.”

 

Playoff Standings:        

1.     Elliott Sadler (3,103 points) +29

2.     William Byron (3,098 points, -5) +24

3.     Justin Allgaier (3,094 points, -9) +20

4.     Brennan Poole (3,079 points, -24) +5

5.     Matt Tifft (3,074 points, -29) -5

6.     Cole Custer (3,066 points, -37) -13

7.     Daniel Hemric (3,061 points, -42) -19

8.     Ryan Reed (3,046 points, -57) -33

 

Next Up:          

The next event on the NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule is the Ticket Galaxy 200 on Saturday, Nov. 11 at Phoenix Raceway.

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

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