Thursday, Mar 30 Racing: Cole Custer Texas All-Star Advance Racing: Cole Custer Texas All-Star Advance NK Photography Photo

Notes of Interest


● Cole Custer and the No. 41 Ford Mustang team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) take a momentary but expectedly eventful break from the season-long points championship when they head to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth for Sunday night’s annual NASCAR All-Star Race. The 23-year-old driver from Ladera Ranch, California, the reigning Cup Series Rookie of the Year, earned his spot in the non-points exhibition by virtue of his first career Cup Series victory last July at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.


● Custer is one of 17 drivers automatically entered into the NASCAR All-Star Race. The criteria for eligibility include NASCAR Cup Series race winners in 2020 and 2021, and fulltime drivers who are either past All-Star Race winners or past Cup Series champions. Additionally, the winners of each of the three rounds of the NASCAR All-Star Open held prior to the All-Star Race Sunday night will also gain entry into the All-Star Race, as will the winner of the NASCAR Fan Vote.


● This year’s edition of the NASCAR All-Star Race will feature six rounds for a total of 100 laps. The starting lineup for Round 1 will be determined via random draw. Rounds 1 through 4 will be 15 laps each; Round 5 will be 30 laps; the Final Round will be a 10-lap shootout. At the beginning of Round 2, the field will be inverted via random draw (minimum of eight/maximum of 12). Before the start of Round 3, the entire field will be inverted. At the beginning of Round 4, the field will be inverted via random draw (minimum of eight/maximum of 12). Starting positions for Round 5 will consist of the cumulative finish from Rounds 1 through 4. The lowest cumulative finisher starts on the pole, second-lowest starts second, and so forth. All cars must enter pit road for a mandatory four-tire pit stop during Round 5. The starting positions in the Final Round are set by finishing positions of Round 5. Only green-flag laps will count. Additionally, the fastest team on pit road during the mandatory pit stop will earn $100,000. And, of course, the race winner will earn $1 million.


● Sunday night’s All-Star Race will be Custer’s second. He earned his spot in last year’s event, which was held on a Wednesday night at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, just three days prior with his dramatic victory at Kentucky. He finished 16th. Last year’s Kentucky victory also earned Custer a spot in February’s Busch Clash non-points event on the road course at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, where he finished 20th.


● Custer has two points-paying Cup Series outings at the 1.5-mile Texas oval. He finished 14th there last November after an accident ended his day prematurely in the July race.


● Custer was victorious at Texas in the November 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series race, one of his six outings in that series. He has three other top-five finishes, and an eighth-place result in his most recent Xfinity Series visit to Texas in November 2019.


● In NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition at Texas, Custer has a best finish of ninth in the November 2016 race, driving the No. 00 JR Motorsports entry.


● 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 and shipped directly to end users. products became available nationally last July, and the cutting tools available for purchase at 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. 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 and making a $41 donation.


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


Your first career Cup Series win at Kentucky last summer earned a spot in this weekend’s All-Star Race at Texas. How does it feel to be part of such an elite field?

“It’s unbelievable to be a part of the All-Star Race and it’s something that you can never take for granted because you never know if you’re going to be in it every single year. But the chance to go for a million dollars and see what you can do, and the possibilities of winning that and how that would change your life is definitely huge. To have that chance is unreal.”


How do you think having the All-Star Race at Texas will compare to when it was a staple at Charlotte?

“If you want to see some cars going really fast, then Texas is the place to go. I mean, it’s just a big track, a lot of grip, a lot of speed. We’re just going as hard as we can pretty much the whole lap and the whole race. And honestly, you can expect a lot of wrecks because there’s not a whole lot of room to race, you’re constantly going to try and kind of fight over a line.”


What is it about Texas that makes it that way?

“Texas is just fast, wide open, and you’re trying to get as much speed as possible out of your car. It’s a place where you’re on the gas and on the throttle so much that it means a ton to have that car that can just make more speed than everybody else and you’re going to see people trying to get there as soon as possible.”


What’s your favorite memory racing at Texas?

“For me, it was winning there in the Xfinity Series a few years ago. It actually catapulted us into the championship race. It was a last-second kind of really good, tight finish at the end, so it was a really cool one to win.”




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