By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
In recent weeks, Cole Custer has been one of the most consistent drivers in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The Sports Clips Haircuts VFW 200 was more of the same for Custer as he earned another Top-10 finish at Darlington Raceway.
The Stewart-Haas Racing driver took advantage of the misfortune of others throughout the race. Custer jumped into the top-three in his No. 00 Haas Automation Throwback Ford Mustang after an incident took out the leading cars of his teammate Kevin Harvick, and Ross Chastain.
However, Custer had nothing for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski, who cruised to victory. Custer only managed to hold the gap at just over 0.700 seconds to finish runner-up.
“We just had to tighten our car up a lot to get pretty good, to where it was secure, but I was pretty happy with our Haas Automation Mustang,” Custer said. “It was a pretty good run. We just need a little bit more, but I’ll take a second at Darlington.
“I was a little bit better than him at the start of the run, but I tried to pace myself and at the end of the run we would just always get too loose. It was a solid day. We just need a little more.”
In stage two, Custer picked off positions as Brandon Jones, Christopher Bell, Daniel Hemric, each encountered their own problems. Each restart, the second-year driver moved up the running order, while keeping off the walls of ‘The Track too Tough to Tame.’ By the end of the second stage, Custer found himself in seventh.
The runner-up finish is the third-straight top-five, and eighth-straight Top-10 finish for Custer. He moves up to third in the Championship Points Standings, 17-Points behind Points Leader Justin Allgaier. With two races remaining before the Playoffs, Custer is locked in via points. He is 328-Points ahead of Chastain, who currently holds the cutoff position.