NASCAR XFINITY Series Overview
Event: Sparks Energy 300 (Round 9 of 33)
Date: May 6, 2017
Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway
Layout: 2.66-mile oval
Cole Custer Notes of Interest
Cole Custer, Driver Q&A
What are your thoughts on Talladega and restrictor-plate racing?
“I think it’s fun because it’s something different we do in the season, but it makes it tough because you can do everything right and still get wrecked. We’re bringing a more competitive car than we had in Daytona, so I think we’ll have a lot more speed. There are some things that the drivers have to play into at Talladega, but a lot of it has to do with the draft. I don’t think I’m terrible at drafting, but I definitely need to get better.”
It seems each week your team has unloaded some fast Haas Automation Ford Mustangs. Has your new partnership with Ford and Stewart-Haas exceeded your expectations?
“Absolutely. We’ve had some great speed out of our Haas Automation Ford Mustangs, just not the finishes we want. If our luck turns around here soon, hopefully we can put Stewart-Haas and Ford in victory lane where they belong.”
Jeff Meendering, Crew Chief Q&A
What are your thoughts and expectations on racing at Talladega?
“I’m really looking forward to Talladega. We had a car that raced well in Daytona, but we got collected early in an accident. We didn’t get to run long enough to really show what we could do. We were probably a little conservative with our setup going into Daytona with Cole being a rookie and not knowing what to expect. This weekend, we’re focusing on a little more speed in the car and sacrificing some handling. I think we should have a pretty fast Haas Automation Ford Mustang. Our Roush Yates engines were fast in Daytona, so that will be a huge help to us this weekend. Hopefully, we can get the monkey off our back and make it through the wrecks to get a decent finish.”
- Tom Jensen
NASCAR Editor at FOXSports.com & RACER Magazine