22nd-Place Result for Custer at Darlington

Race Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Winner: William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Stage 2 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)


Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-90):             

● Cole Custer started 14th and finished 21st.

● Within the first 10 laps Custer worked his way into the top-10.

● On lap 12 he reported his HaasTooling.com Mustang was tight.

● The Ford driver reached the eighth spot by lap 18.

● During the competition caution on lap 30, Custer reported his Mustang was still too tight while in the ninth position.

● He restarted on lap 39 after a pit stop for fuel, four tires and adjustments.

● Ended Stage 1 in the 21st spot with a tight Ford Mustang. Pitted during the break for fuel, four tires and adjustments to help with his tight condition.


Stage 2 Recap (Laps 91-185):

● Custer started 18th and finished 22nd.

● During the lap-110 caution Custer radioed to his crew that his HaasTooling.com Mustang was much better that run, but still a little tight. He pitted from 14th and restarted 15th on lap 116.

● During a caution on lap 125 Custer said his car was tight and pitted from 21st for fuel, four tires and adjustments.

● Restarted 17th on lap 130.

● Caution displayed on lap 156 with Custer in the 22nd position. He reported his Mustang “wasn’t bad” during that run and visited pit road for service.

● Restarted 22nd on lap 161, and was in the 19th spot on lap 165.

● Caution once again on lap 173 and Custer reported his car was decent from the 19th spot. Pitted for fuel, four tires and adjustments, and restarted 21st.

● Custer came down pit road during the Stage 2 break from 22nd for fuel, four tires and adjustments to help loosen his Mustang.


Final Stage Recap (Laps 186-293):

● Custer started 22nd and finished 22nd.

● Caution on lap 211 with the California native in the 22nd position. He reported his HaasTooling.com Mustang was pretty good, but was struggling to pass.

● Restarted 22nd on lap 218 and was 23rd when the next caution was displayed on lap 250.

● Pitted on lap 254 for fuel, four tires and adjustments to loosen up his Ford Mustang. Restarted 22nd on lap 258.

● With 25 laps left, Custer was back in the top-20.

● The Cup Series rookie finished 22nd in his first series start at Darlington.



● There were 10 caution periods for a total of 57 laps.

● Only 24 of the 40 drivers in The Real Heroes 400 finished on the lead lap.

● Harvick remains the championship leader after Darlington with a 28-point advantage over second-place Bowman.


Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

Definitely wasn’t the day we wanted at Darlington. We started off the race really good. We were in the top-10 and I was pretty confident with the car, but I think I probably started out too conservative. I didn’t want get the Darlington stripe and ruin our day my first time here in a Cup car. I think I put us too far behind and it was so hard to come back from there. I’m looking forward to Wednesday. I feel like I learned a lot and we’ll be a lot stronger.”


Next Up:

The NASCAR Cup Series returns to Darlington on Wednesday, May 20 for a 500-kilometer race. It starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.