● A Haas family photo from back in the day will adorn the rear quarterpanels of Custer’s No. 41 SHR Mustang, and the door panels will feature a recent photo of Margaret, a fixture at West Coast NASCAR races over the years who turns 96 next month. Red and pink flowers accent the paint scheme throughout, while “Happy Mothers Day” appears on the hood and rear of the racecar. And the image of a special greeting to Margaret serves as the background on all sides of the racecar. It reads:
Happy Mother’s Day Mom. You’re a fabulous, strong, and beautiful woman. Your never-ending love taught us to work hard, be kind, fair, and generous to others. Your love for family and God is always on display. Our family get-together traditions are always memorable. You love watching NASCAR, and have always been proud of your four children and grandchildren. You’ve dedicated 43 years of your life being a religious school teacher and Principal. You were a great role model to the many students you taught. We love you, respect you, and thank you. Love, from your kids, Bob, Gene, Joanne, Darlene.
● For the 23-year-old Custer, Sunday’s 400-mile race marks the 51st Cup Series start of his career and his fourth on the 1.33-mile, egg-shaped oval. The reigning Cup Series Rookie of the Year’s 12th-place finish in the Southern 500 last September was the best of his three Darlington outings in 2020.
● The native of Ladera Ranch, California, was credited with the victory in his most recent NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Darlington in 2019 after finishing second the previous year and ninth in 2017, all behind the wheel of the No. 00 SHR Ford. In the 2019 race, he crossed the finish line .602 of a second behind the apparent race-winner Denny Hamlin. But Hamlin’s racecar was disqualified after a ride-height violation was discovered in postrace inspection, giving Custer his eighth of nine career Xfinity series victories. In the September 2018 Xfinity Series race at Darlington, Custer was runner-up to Brad Keselowski by .738 of a second.
● After last Sunday’s 24th-place finish at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Custer arrives at Darlington 23rd in the Cup Series standings, 290 points behind leader Denny Hamlin, and 59 points behind the 16th and final playoff position.
● Returning to Custer’s No. 41 Ford Mustang for SHR is team co-owner Gene Haas’ newest holding, Haas Tooling, which was launched as a way for CNC machinists to purchase high-quality cutting tools at great prices. Haas cutting tools are sold exclusively online at HaasTooling.com and shipped directly to end users. HaasTooling.com products became available nationally last July, and the cutting tools available for purchase at HaasTooling.com have proven to be even more important during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as CNC machines have become vital to producing personal protective equipment. Haas Automation, founded by Haas in 1983, is America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools. The company manufactures a complete line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers and rotary tables and indexers. All Haas products are constructed in the company’s 1.1-million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Oxnard, California, and distributed through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets.
● SHR revealed last month that Code 3 Associates returns to the No. 41 Ford Mustang for the July 11 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Code 3 Associates has been a hero to animals for more than 30 years. If disaster strikes, Code 3 will deploy its Animal Rescue Team to help in emergencies like hurricanes, fires and floods. From now until June 20, fans have the opportunity to have their name featured on the No. 41 SHR Ford and help Code 3 continue its rescue efforts by simply visiting Code3.cc/Cole41 and making a $41 donation.