An untimely lack of fuel on lap 133 relegated Cole Custer to a 14th-place finish in the Dover 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Friday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
Custer, who started 28th, was running in the sixth position behind the wheel of his No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet Silverado for Haas Racing Development (HRD) when he reported that he’d run out of gas on the backstretch.
“We started 28th and worked our way up to sixth,” Custer said. “We were just biding our time. We had a really good Haas Automation Chevrolet Silverado, but we ran out of gas on the backstretch and that was too much for us to overcome. I thought we had a really good truck. I thought we could’ve had a top-five finish, but sometimes things just don’t go your way.”
Steady rain on Thursday afternoon forced NASCAR to set the field according to the rule book, placing Custer’s Haas Automation Chevrolet 28th on the starting grid. The Ladera Ranch, California, native advanced to the 19th position by lap two, and continued his impressive climb as the laps clicked off. Custer cracked the top-10 on lap 74 and, on lap 123, worked his way to the sixth position.
Crew chief Joe Shear Jr. expressed concern over fuel mileage due to the crew not getting the tank full on their lap-77 pit stop, and had alerted Custer that he would need to hit pit road for scheduled service in the coming laps. Unfortunately, as Custer prepared to make his way to pit road, he ran out of fuel and slowed on the backstretch.
Once Custer was able to make it to pit road, his Haas Automation crew performed a routine pit stop of four tires and fuel. Shear told his rookie driver to act as if he was still in contention for the lead despite being three laps down to the race leader, which saw him record some of his fastest laps of the race. Despite their efforts to regain some of their lost ground, the Haas Automation team was credited with a 14th-place finish when the checkered flag waved.