Saturday, Dec 02

NCWTS: JR Motorsports 2016 Review, 2017 Preview

While JR Motorsports is known for their success in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, 2016 was the first year that the race team ran a full schedule of 23 races in the Camping World Truck Series with driver Cole Custer.
Custer may not have won any races for JRM in the truck series but he did earn two second-place finishes. The No. 00 driver battled John Hunter Nemechek in the closing laps of the Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park back in September. Custer started on the pole and led 39 laps, the most a driver led during the 66-lap race at the 2.459-mile road course.
Nemechek and Custer went head to head on the final lap. Nemechek shoved Custer into the grass just before the two racers reached the flag stand. It was a finish the NASCAR officials had to review because Custer and Nemechek did not even finish on the paint of the start/finish line.  After the film review was complete, Custer came up short to Nemechek.
"We had a really fast truck," Custer told FS1 after the race. "Just got taken out, he hit me going into the second-to-last corner, then he hit me again."
Custer’s other runner-up finish came in the Speediatrics 200 behind William Byron. Despite not being able to catch Byron, who led a dominating 107 of 200 laps, Custer still led three laps himself on the .875-mile Iowa Speedway. "I thought I had him but I didn’t get a good restart there," Custer said in a post-race interview.
 Although he didn’t make NASCAR’s playoffs, Custer still earned six top-10 finishes during the final half of the season including a third in the DC Solar 350 at Las Vegas behind Daniel Hemric and Tyler Reddick. Custer again led three laps in the 146-lap event. He also finished ninth at Chicago and Texas, sixth at New Hampshire, seventh at Martinsville and rounded out the season with two 10th -place runs at Phoenix and Homestead. He crashed at Talladega but was scored 29th. Along with five top-five’s, 14 top-10’s and 19 top-20’s, Custer led a total of 82 laps in five races.
JR Motorsports has decided not to field a NCWTS entry for 2017. Custer is taking a full time ride at Stewart-Haas Racing where he will pilot the No. 00 Ford Mustang in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and contend for race wins and top finishes.
"I’m running the XFINITY Series this year and I think it’s definitely going to be different," Custer said last week in a Ford Performance transcript. "Coming from the Truck series, there are a lot of Cup guys that you’re racing against and it’s just a new competition level. It’s going to be a little bit of a different challenge, but I think we can do it and have a great team."
Katie Williams

Coming off the ranch, I didn’t have a motorsports background but my passion was and still is very strong. My first taste of NASCAR came at the age of seven while waiting for music videos to come on the old TNN network. As I grew up, I pursued other interest but eventually rediscovered cars going left when I found the SPEED channel during the 2011-2012 offseason.

I didn’t decide I wanted to pursue a career in NASCAR until the summer of 2012. I’m not a wrench head or strong enough for a pit crew so media was the next best thing. At the beginning of 2013, I started going to races and making connections within the sport. I also studied Motorsports Management at Sports Management Worldwide. Although I love what happens on the track, I’ve always been interested in what goes on behind the scenes and I’ve gotten to know many people throughout the radio, TV and digital media world.

While I’m a long time writer, 2015 was my first year actually covering the sport with . I also became a media correspondent for Raceline. I’ve been able to help the TV show gain recognition on social media. My current goal is to acquire more experience in covering NASCAR and move up the media ladder. Outside of motorsports, I have been an equine-sports statistician for 16 years.

I currently reside in Gillette, WY where I’m still involved with horses. I enjoy riding them, rodeo, swimming, traveling and meeting people.

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