Haas Automation Racing: Cole Custer Charlotte NXS Advance

May 23, 2017

Cole Custer: Driver, No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang

NASCAR XFINITY Series Overview

Event:               Hisense 4K TV 300 (Round 10 of 33)

Date:                 May 27, 2017

Location:          Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway

Layout:             1.5-mile oval

Cole Custer Notes of Interest

  • The Hisense 4K TV 300 will mark Cole Custer’s 15th career NASCAR XFINITY Series start and his second XFINITY Series start at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

 

  • In Custer’s first XFINITY Series start at Charlotte, he led one lap around the 1.5-mile oval and finished a career-best fourth. He was the highest-placing XFINITY Series regular behind Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers Denny Hamlin, Austin Dillon and Joey Logano.

 

  • Custer’s best finish in the nine XFINITY Series races run this season is fifth, earned in the sixth event April 8 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. It was his fourth top-10 and second top-five finish in 14 career XFINITY Series starts.

 

  • Custer is fourth in the XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year standings, 27 points behind leader William Byron and two points behind third-place Matt Tifft. He has earned two Rookie of the Race awards this season at 1.5-mile tracks (fifth at Texas Motor Speedway and 11th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway).

 

  • Custer is 12th in the NASCAR XFINITY Series driver standings, 165 points behind series leader Elliot Sadler.

 

  • Custer’s best qualifying effort in the nine XFINITY Series races run this season is third, earned in the seventh race of the season April 22 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Custer has five top-10 starts and two top-five starts this season.

 

  • In seven XFINITY Series starts and nine Camping World Truck Series starts at 1.5-mile tracks, Custer has three top-five finishes and eight top-10s.

 

  • Custer has earned three of his best finishes this season at 1.5-mile tracks – Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (fifth), Atlanta Motor Speedway (10th) and Las Vegas Motor Speedway (11th).

 

  • This Memorial Day weekend, Custer will support the Marine Corps Installations Pacific (MCIPAC) military unit with a decal on the upper level of his windshield as part of the NASCAR Salutes initiative. MCIPAC strengthens and enables force projection in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region with U.S. allies and partners to protect and defend the territory of the United States, its people and its interests.

Cole Custer, Driver Q&A

Some of your best finishes in your XFINITY Series career have been at 1.5-mile tracks. Why is that?

“I think we’ve unloaded some great cars at the 1.5-mile tracks, which seems to be our strong suit this year. The team has given me some great Haas Automation Ford Mustangs that have helped me adapt to the track faster than I normally would. The team has done a great job with the cars and it has given me the opportunity to race up front.”

What is a lap around Charlotte Motor Speedway like?

“I would say it’s a really edgy racetrack. Age-wise, it’s in the middle of a grippy track and a really worn-out track. It has a lot of tiny, high-speed bumps throughout the track that will upset the car. It’s a really challenging place to get around. Honestly, it’s one of the most difficult tracks I’ve been to. You have to hit your lines and your marks just right, but it’s a fun track.”

What are your thoughts on racing at Charlotte?

“Coming back to Charlotte is pretty important because you have all of the shop members around and all of their families and friends. It’s an important race for everybody and everyone wants to step their game up to win here. On the other hand, you may have a few more distractions being home with family all around, but it’s great having all of your friends around at the race.”

What does it mean to you to support the military on the windshield of your Haas Automation Ford Mustang this weekend?

“It’s awesome. Obviously, we wouldn’t be able to race and do what we love to do without the military, and it’s awesome to pay tribute to them and show our respect. It’s a cool thing we get to do on the Charlotte race weekend and you don’t get to see it anywhere else. The military members really deserve this kind of recognition.”

Jeff Meendering, Crew Chief Q&A

You were raised in Concord, North Carolina, just a few miles from Charlotte Motor Speedway. Tell us about your background in racing.

“I started racing at the Concord Motorsports Park when I was 16 years old in the Street Stock division. I raced that division for a few years, then moved up to the Super Late Model division and ran that for about 10 years.”

What are your thoughts on racing at Charlotte?

“I’ve attended every race at Charlotte for as long as I can remember. For that reason alone, it makes the track special to me – the fact that I can sleep in my own bed over the race weekend is just a bonus. We are bringing the car that we were running well with in California before getting wrecked. Our fabrication shop hung a new Mustang body on it and I feel like it’s the best Haas Automation Ford in our fleet. We had a good test in Charlotte at the beginning of the month so, going in, I feel really good about the weekend.”

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