● Event: FireKeepers Casino 400 (Round 25 of 36)
● Time/Date: 1 p.m. EDT on Sunday, Aug. 22
● Location: Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn
● Layout: 2-mile oval
● Laps/Miles: 200 laps / 400 miles
● Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 60 laps / Stage 2: 60 laps / Final Stage: 80 laps
● TV/Radio: NBCSN / MRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Notes of Interest
● Cole Custer and the No. 41 Feeding America®/Wow Wow Classic Waffles Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) head to the penultimate race of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series regular season when they hit the 2-mile oval at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn for Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400.
● Sunday’s 400-mile race will be Custer’s 64th Cup Series start and third at Michigan. A year ago, during his Cup Series Rookie of the Year season, Custer posted results of 34th and 25th in the Saturday-Sunday doubleheader on the 2-mile oval in the Irish Hills.
● In three Xfinity Series appearances at Michigan from 2017 through 2019, all in the No. 00 SHR Ford, Custer never finished outside the top-12 or qualified worse than seventh. His best outing was a third-place finish from the fourth starting position in 2018. He finished 10th from seventh on the grid in 2017, and finished 12th from sixth on the grid in 2019.
● After getting caught up in one of the late-race, multicar accidents last weekend on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course that took him out of the top-10 and relegated him to a 25th-place finish, Custer arrives at the Brickyard 28th in the driver standings.
● With Hunger Action Month set to kick off Sept. 1, SHR, its partner Wow Wow Classic Waffles, and Feeding America®, the largest hunger relief organization in the United States with a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, are asking fans to begin thinking about their answer to a simple question: How will you choose to end hunger? Hunger Action Month is an annual campaign dedicated to driving awareness and inspiring action to help end hunger in America, both on a national scale and on the ground in local communities. It’s a time when the Feeding America network of food banks and the public come together to raise awareness and inspire action to help people facing impossible choices due to hunger. Fans are encouraged to visit the Hunger Action Month page via the Feeding America website to learn how they can take action through sharing, volunteering, pledging to advocate, fundraising and making a donation. Each $1 donated helps provide at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks. Custer and the No. 41 SHR Ford team have accumulated nearly 100 volunteer hours to date, working with Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina in packing bags and helping with drop-off events at Charlotte-area schools.
● Fans can do their part by texting HUNGER to 50555 to make a $5 donation to Feeding America, by visiting the Feeding America donation page on Facebook, or the donation page via the Feeding America website. Each $1 donated helps provide at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America® on behalf of local member food banks.
Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 41 Feeding America®/Wow Wow Classic Waffles Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing
You looked like you were headed to a solid top-10 finish on the road course at Indy last weekend, and then it seemed like another case of bad luck ruining a good effort by you and the team. Your thoughts?
“I feel like we’re executing really well during races. It’s at the end where we get caught up in other peoples’ chaos and mess, or something happens that completely turns the race upside down for us. There really isn’t one thing you can point to in terms of what we need to do differently. Look at Indy last week, where we were so strong and it really felt like we had a chance to come out with a good finish. Then you get so many cautions and red flags at the end.”
Would last year’s doubleheader weekend at Michigan for you and the team be considered one of those weekends when the result doesn’t reflect that actual performance level of the team?
“I think we learned a lot last year at Michigan. We certainly improved between the first and second races of the doubleheader, so I’d like to think we’ll have a good day, but as we get down to these final races in the regular season, guys are all fighting for those last spots in the playoffs and things can get crazy pretty quickly.”
Off the track, it seems you and your team, along with SHR partner Wow Wow Classic Waffles, have been working hard to support the initiatives of the Feeding America network. Talk about that.
“We’ve been able to do some really cool things through our partnership with Wow Wow Classic Waffles and Feeding America. It’s been eye-opening to see how many in our area need help and we’ve been able to provide meals for many families through the work we’ve done, but we need help. There are so many ways to help and it doesn’t take much to make a difference for the many families out there who are in need.”
No. 41 Feeding America®/Wow Wow Classic Waffles Team Roster
Primary Team Members
Driver: Cole Custer
Hometown: Ladera Ranch, California
Crew Chief: Mike Shiplett
Hometown: Amherst, Ohio
Car Chief: Tony Cardamone
Hometown: Bristol, Virginia
Engineer: Davin Restivo
Hometown: Ashboro, North Carolina
Engineer: Scott Bingham
Hometown: Lawrenceville, Georgia
Spotter: Andy Houston
Hometown: Hickory, North Carolina
Front Tire Changer: John Roselli
Hometown: Terre Haute, Indiana
Rear Tire Changer: Coleman Dollarhide
Hometown: Hickory, North Carolina
Tire Carrier: Dwayne Moore
Hometown: Griffin, Georgia
Jack Man: Matthew Schlytter
Hometown: Ponte Vedra, Florida
Fuel Man: Corey Coppola
Hometown: Bluefield, West Virginia
Road Crew Members
Mechanic: Joe Zanolini
Hometown: Sybertsville, Pennsylvania
Mechanic: Nick McIntosh
Hometown: Havre, Montana
Shock Specialist: Aaron Kuehn
Hometown: Kensington, Connecticut
Tire Specialist: Thomas Gagliano
Hometown: East Hampton, Connecticut
Engine Specialist: Evan Cupples
Hometown: Hudson, Illinois
Transporter Co-Driver: Eddie DeGroot
Hometown: Baldwinsville, New York
Transporter Co-Driver: David Rodrigues
Hometown: Santa Clarita, California
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!