NASCAR XFINITY Series Overview
Event: VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 (Round 27 of 33)
Date: Sept. 23, 2017
Location: Kentucky Speedway in Sparta
Layout: 1.5-mile oval
Cole Custer Notes of Interest
Cole Custer, Driver Q&A
This is the first round of the playoffs. How do you feel and what is the game plan?
“I think it’s finding a balance of not being too aggressive and not putting yourself in a bad position in the points due to a wreck or an unfavorable finish. Also, everyone is going to be racing hard and you can’t finish 15th every race. It’s finding the balance of how hard you want to race and what times you want to push it and what times you don’t. I don’t think there are any tracks in the playoffs that I don’t really look forward to. It’s really hard to believe how far this Haas Automation team has come this year. The guys in the shop have worked extremely hard all year to get us where we are now and we just need to execute.”
After running your best overall race of the 2017 season at Chicagoland, do you feel that the team has built some momentum heading into the playoffs?
“I think we have a lot of momentum after last week. We had a really fast Haas Automation Ford Mustang all weekend and we were able to race well, too. That was probably the most fun I’ve had in a stock car running up front with the Cup guys. As a team, we all learned a good amount last week, so I think we can have a strong weekend at Kentucky. Our mile-and-a-half program has been great this year and we had a decent run at Kentucky earlier this year. I’m looking forward to a consistent run this weekend.”
Explain racing around Kentucky.
“It’s a different place because it’s almost like Texas Motor Speedway, but with opposite corners. Turns one and two are pretty fast where you’re almost wide open on the throttle. Turns three and four, you have to use the brake and have to turn the center pretty good. It’s just two different ends that you have to deal with at Kentucky, but it’s an awesome track to go to.”
Jeff Meendering, Crew Chief Q&A
What are your thoughts about heading to Kentucky this weekend after a solid run at Chicagoland?
“You’re always excited to get back to the track after having a good run. Hopefully, we can keep the momentum up to get the playoffs started on a good note. We’re bringing back (Chassis No.) 970, which is one of our oldest cars that we seem to run really well with every time we race it.”
A first-year XFINITY Series team makes it to the playoffs. Was this to be expected from the Haas Automation team?
“We expected to make the playoffs. Now, we need to execute everything right for the next six weeks. If we are fortunate enough to make it to the final round, there will be a lot of excitement headed to Homestead.”
Does your strategy change from the regular season?
“We won’t change anything we’ve been doing all year. Usually, when you change your normal routine, mistakes happen. We have a strong team and a good driver. As long as nothing happens beyond our control, we should end up with a good finish to the season.”
- Krista K. Massey
Former Group Vice President, Director of Sponsorships and Event Marketing
SunTrust Banks, Inc.