Haas Automation Racing: Cole Custer Dover NXS Advance
May 31, 2017
Cole Custer: Driver, No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang
NASCAR XFINITY Series Overview
Event: OneMain Financial 200 (Round 11 of 33)
Date: June 3, 2017
Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway
Layout: Concrete mile oval
Cole Custer Notes of Interest
- The OneMain Financial 200 will mark Cole Custer’s 16th career NASCAR XFINITY Series start and his first XFINITY Series start at Dover International Speedway.
- While the OneMain Financial 200 will be Custer’s first XFINITY Series start at Dover, it will be his sixth overall start at the concrete mile oval. Custer has three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts and two NASCAR K&N Pro Series starts at Dover. Custer’s best finish at Dover is fifth in the 2016 Truck Series race.
- In the 2015 Truck Series race at Dover, Custer led 67 laps and ran in and around the top-five until lap 138 when a fueling issue pushed him off the lead lap and into the 13th position, where he would ultimately finish the race.
- In 15 XFINITY Series starts, 42 Camping World Truck Series starts and 29 K&N Pro Series starts since 2015, Custer has five wins, six poles, 13 top-five finishes, 22 top-10s and 919 laps led at tracks that are a mile in length or shorter.
- Custer’s best finish in the 10 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 second career top-five finish in the XFINITY Series.
- Custer’s best qualifying effort in the 10 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 six top-10 starts and two top-five starts this season.
- Last weekend at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Custer was the highest-finishing XFINITY Series regular driver and rookie in all three stages (third, fifth and seventh, respectively). It was the second consecutive time Custer was the highest-finishing rookie and XFINITY Series regular at Charlotte.
- Custer is third in the XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year standings, 21 points behind leader William Byron and 16 points behind second-place Daniel Hemric. Custer has earned three Rookie of the Race awards this season, all at 1.5-mile tracks (fifth at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, 11th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and seventh at Charlotte).
- Custer is 11th in the XFINITY Series driver standings, 123 points behind series leader Elliot Sadler.
- The OneMain Financial 200 is the last of four Dash 4 Cash races on the 2017 XFINITY Series schedule. This means drivers will race for a $100,000 cash bonus. Each of the top two full-time XFINITY Series drivers from Stage 1 and Stage 2 will become Dash 4 Cash eligible in the final stage.
- As a Dash 4 Cash race, no full-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers with five or more years of experience is entered in the OneMain Financial 200 in order to give regular XFINITY Series drivers a better chance to win. This means the only NASCAR Cup Series drivers competing in the OneMain Financial 200 are Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Daniel Suarez, Kyle Larson, Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney.
Cole Custer, Driver Q&A
How do you like racing at Dover?
“I’m looking forward to it. It’s one of the coolest tracks we go to. Dover is a concrete track and we had a great run at Bristol. I think we’ll unload another great car and, with the momentum we’re bringing from Charlotte, I think we’ll have a good shot.”
This is the last Dash 4 Cash race of the 2017 season. Is there any pressure to bring home the grand prize?
“We’ll race as hard as we can to get in those Dash 4 Cash spots, but we don’t want to put ourselves in a bad position to jeopardize a solid points-paying finish.”
You’ve been successful in your career at mile tracks. What are your expectations for this weekend at Dover?
“I’m fairly confident going into the weekend. Dover is somewhere I’ve always run well at, but I’ve never really gotten the finishes I would like to have there. It seems like we’ve always been in the fight for a win there. I’m looking forward to getting back there in our Haas Automation Ford Mustang and logging another solid finish.”
Jeff Meendering, Crew Chief Q&A
What are your thoughts on racing at Dover?
“Dover is one of the more challenging tracks we run at. It’s very difficult to get a good balance with the big transitions in and out of the corners. Cole has had good runs in other series at that track. After a good run in Charlotte, we come into the weekend with a lot of confidence.”