Cole Custer Finishes Seventh at Mid-Ohio

11 Aug 2018
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Cole Custer Finishes Seventh at Mid-Ohio Getty Images for NASCAR

Race Winner: Justin Allgaier of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Winner: Justin Allgaier of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Stage 2 Winner: Austin Cindric of Team Penske (Ford)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-20):

Custer started fourth, finished 11th.

Moved up to third with a good jump at the start, getting by No. 3 qualifier Brandon Jones by turn one and held position through the entire stage thereafter.

Suffered early contact to his right-rear quarterpanel on a lap-five restart from Elliott Sadler that didn’t turn out to be an issue for the remainder of the stage.

Pitted from third place with three laps to go in the stage for four tires, fuel and to pull out the right-rear quarterpanel.

Resumed 11th and finished the stage in that position.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 21-40):

● Custer started third, finished fourth and earned seven bonus points.

● Another good jump at the start of the stage and quickly settled in behind leader Austin Cindric and second-place Matt Tifft while holding off fourth-place Christopher Bell.

●Shuffled back to fifth on a restart with seven laps to go in the stage as Bell and Daniel Hemric got by for third and fourth, respectively.

● Custer regained fourth place with a pass of Hemric with less than two laps to go in the stage.

● Pitted for four tires and fuel before the start of the final stage and was fourth off pit road among the cars that pitted.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 41-75):

● Custer started seventh, finished seventh.

● Moved up to sixth after the opening lap of the stage and held that position for a short time before dropping back to seventh one-third of the way through the stage, then back up to sixth midway through the stage and kept the pressure on Justin Allgaier for fifth.

● Custer tangled with Allgaier on lap 59 and briefly went off course and back on again, rejoining the race in ninth place.

● The caution flag flew one lap later with several cars bunched up ahead of Custer as a result of a blown tire by Tyler Reddick, dropping Custer to 10th.

● Pitted during the caution for four tires and fuel and restarted 12th with 11 laps to go.

● Climbed back into the top-10 with 10 laps to go after leader Bell spins and drops to the back of the field, then up to eighth on the next lap.

● Custer dropped a spot on the lap-69 restart to ninth place, but then regained the position and one more before the checkered flag flew for his second road-course top-10 in as many weeks.

 

Notes:                   

● This marks Custer’s 17th top-10 of the season and first at Mid-Ohio.

● Custer earned seven bonus points.

● Six cautions slowed the race for 18 laps.

● Only 29 of the 40 drivers finished on the lead lap.

● Justin Allgaier won the Rock N Roll Tequila 170 to score his eighth career Xfinity Series victory, third of the season and first at Mid-Ohio. His margin of victory over second-place Austin Cindric was 2.095 seconds.

 

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing With Biagi-DenBeste:           

“It was a frustrating day, to say the least. Our Haas Automation Mustang was really good. I thought we were a second-place car. We probably could’ve kept up with the 22 (Austin Cindric). I have to apologize to Justin (Allgaier). It worked out for him, but I hit him in the wrong spot there and spun him around. That’s my fault and I’ll apologize. We’ll just move on to Bristol. I want to win. That’s what we want to do. It’s frustrating when things don’t go your way. I thought we were doing everything right, we just need everything to fall into place.”

 

Next Up:               

The next event on the NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule is the Food City 300 on Friday, Aug. 17 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN.

 

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Steven B. Wilson

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