Cole Custer Makes His Third NXS Start At Talladega

Cole Custer

Event: Sparks Energy 300 (Round 8 of 33)

Date: April 28, 2018

Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway

Layout: 2.66-mile oval


Cole Custer Notes of Interest

●  Saturday’s Sparks Energy 300 will mark Cole Custer’s third Xfinity Series start at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.


●  Custer is competing for his seventh consecutive top-10 finish of the season. He ranks second in the series in top-10s this season.


●  Custer leads the Xfinity Series with an average starting position of 5.1.


●  No Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers are eligible to race in the Sparks Energy 300 Xfinity Series race at Talladega.


●  Custer’s best finish in the seven Xfinity Series races run this season is his fourth-place result at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.


●  Custer has one win, nine top-five finishes, 27 top-10s and has led 350 laps in 46 career Xfinity Series starts.


●  Custer is sixth in the Xfinity Series driver standings with 181 points, 47 behind leader Elliot Sadler.


●  Custer will be joined by Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste (SHR) teammate Chase Briscoe in the No. 98 Ford Performance Ford Mustang.


●  Custer has earned two consecutive pole awards, six consecutive top-10s, one top-five and has led 48 laps thus far in the 2018 season.


●  Last weekend at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, Custer led the first 43 laps of the Richmond 250 and finished sixth.


●  The top-four finishers in last weekend’s Richmond 250 are eligible for the Dash 4 Cash at Talladega. The top finisher of the four drivers will win a $100,000 cash prize. Custer competed in the Dash 4 Cash at Bristol but was two positions short in Richmond to qualify this weekend.


●  Custer has competed in six restrictor-plate races – one this season in the Xfinity Series at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and two last year at Daytona and Talladega. He also competed once at each track in the Camping World Truck Series and once at Daytona in the  ARCA Series. His best Truck Series finish was 24th at Daytona and his best ARCA finish was 10th at Daytona.

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

Do you enjoy close-quarter superspeedway racing?


“It’s fun to go superspeedway racing just because it’s something so different than what we usually do. You’re on the edge of your seat every single lap and your adrenaline levels are so high, so it’s fun to have that challenge”


How do you position yourself for success at Talladega?


“It’s almost impossible to come up with a good strategy for Talladega because it gets so crazy, but it seems like the best thing is to try and stay up front and out of trouble. You never know when a huge wreck will erupt and you always have to keep your head on a swivel to try and avoid it. Sometimes a good finish at Talladega comes down to pure luck if you can’t lead every lap.”


Have you grown in your ability to draft and pack race with the Xfinity Series cars since last year?


“I feel like I’ve definitely gotten better at pack racing. Daytona was pretty big for me because we got to run all the laps and get some experience. It was a learning curve competing in the Xfinity cars for the first time last year, but I think I’ve grown a lot in my ability and I’m looking forward to navigating my way through traffic if I have to.”


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

What does the car need to perform to the highest standard at Talladega?


“With the restricted engines, it’s essential that everything in the driveline is moving with the least amount of friction. We use Mobil 1 engine oil, Mobil 1 gear lube in the transmission and rear gear, and Mobil 1 grease in the hubs. Having a technical partner like Mobil 1 is an extreme advantage for our team – especially at restrictor-plate races when everything has to run perfectly to turn quick laps.”


What are your thoughts and expectations on racing at Talladega?


“Superspeedway racing bit us every race since we started last season, so going in with a points cushion takes a lot of pressure off. We are bringing chassis No. 719, which we raced in Daytona last year. It has a new front clip and our body shop hung a really good looking body on it. Hopefully, we can turn our speedway luck around this weekend.”


Cole Custer Talladega 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: Tim Fedewa

Hometown: Holt, Michigan

Over-The-Wall Crew:

Front Tire Changer: Ryan Mulder

Hometown: Sioux City, Iowa


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

Haas Automation Notes of Interest

About Haas Automation: Haas Automation, Inc., is America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools. Founded by Gene Haas in 1983, Haas Automation manufactures a complete line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers, and rotary tables and indexers. All Haas products are built in the company’s 1.1 million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Oxnard, California, and distributed through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets that provides the industry’s best sales, service, and support while offering unparalleled cost-to-

performance value.


Haas VF-1: This year marks the 30th anniversary of Haas Automation’s very first vertical machining center – the industry-leading VF-1. The “V” in the model name stands for vertical – an industry-standard designation for a vertical mill – and company founder Gene Haas added “F1” to unofficially designate it as the company’s “Very First One.” Introduced at IMTS 88 in Chicago, the Haas VF-1 established an industry milestone, by being the very first American-built vertical machining center to sell for less than $50,000, an unheard-of price at that time. With a published price of $49,900 – another industry first – the Haas VF-1 quickly became the industry benchmark for affordable CNC technology. Today, the Haas VF-1 still sells for less than $50,000.


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