Though the NASCAR Xfinity Series races have been dominated by Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regulars more often than not this season, rookie Cole Custer has been making some noise by finishing as the top Xfinity regular over the past two weeks.
Custer’s seventh place finish at Charlotte last week ranked as the top among Xfinity Series regulars and with several of the heavy hitters from the Cup Series ineligible to race in Saturday’s race at Dover, Custer would be looking to repeat that performance to not only score the best finish among the Xfinity regulars, but also contend for his best finish of the season.
When the checkered flag flew, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver had accomplished both of those feats by bringing home a fourth-place finish.
“A solid day for us,” said Custer. “We just guessed wrong a bit on our adjustments. I think in the race we were a fifth-to-eighth-place car and just got stuck back there for a while. We just played the strategy game and it worked out perfect for us. Once we got the clean air we were able to stay up front.”
“It’s good. I think we moved up in the standings. It’s good to build some consistency. (That’s) what we didn’t have at the start of the year. If we can continue to make some consistent runs when things aren’t going our way, that will really help us.”
Custer started the day with his work cut out for him as a result of a 14th place run in qualifying, which showed in the first two stages as the rookie was unable to crack the top-10, but in the final stage Custer and his No. 00 team would finally get their feet under them.
Using pit strategy to their advantage, they were able to get Custer into the top-five as the laps would down and he was able to hold his ground to bring home his fourth-place finish, tying his previous career best of fourth-place from Charlotte last season.
The finish was the third time this season that Custer had finished as the top Xfinity Series regular and he now sits 10th in points through the first 11 races of 2017.