29th-Place Finish at Martinsville for Custer

Race Winner:      Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Winner:  Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 2 Winner:  Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-130):             

● Cole Custer started 31st and finished 29th.

● On lap 40, Custer told the crew his HaasTooling.com/Jacob Construction Mustang was tight while running 24th.

● At the lap-60 competition caution, Custer pitted from 33rd with an extremely tight-handling Mustang. He restarted 30th.  

● On the lap-114 caution, the Ford driver was 30th and reported his tight condition had improved a little bit.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 131-260):

● Custer started 28th, finished 28th.

● On lap 209, Custer reported he got into the wall a little bit, but was able to continue with the race pace.  

● The entire stage ran under green and Custer continued to battle with a tight-handling Mustang.  

● During the stage break Custer pitted for fuel, four tires and adjustments.  

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 261-500):

● Custer started 28th, finished 29th.

● Custer reported his Mustang was still “way too tight” in the early going of the stage.

● The 22-year-old visited pit road during a caution on lap 325 for fuel, four tires and an air pressure adjustment.

● The California native was 29th when the next caution was displayed on lap 388. Custer stayed out and waved around to get one lap back. Restarted 27th.

● Made scheduled green-flag pit stop from 27th on lap 479 for fuel, four tires and adjustments.

● The remainder of the stage ran under green and Custer finished 29th.

 

Notes:

● Custer made his 14th career NASCAR Cup Series start and his first at Martinsville.

● Martin Truex Jr. won the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 to score his 27th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his second at Martinsville. His margin of victory over second-place Ryan Blaney was 4.705 seconds.

● There were seven caution periods for a total of 52 laps.

● Only 14 of the 39 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.

● Kevin Harvick remains the championship leader after Martinsville with a 28-point advantage over second-place Joey Logano.

 

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

“That’s about the most frustrating race I’ve been a part of. It's tough not having any practice and being a rookie, especially at a place like Martinsville that I haven't raced at in a few years. We’ll be better next week.”

 

Next Up:

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Homestead 400 on Sunday, June 14 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

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Speedway Digest Staff

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