By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
The end of the NASCAR Xfinity Series hiatus means a return to one of Cole Custer’s best tracks. When Custer takes the green flag on Saturday afternoon for the My Bariatric Solutions 300, it will be on the 1.5-mile Quad Oval at Texas Motor Speedway. He will also have a new primary sponsor, Thompson Pipe Group on board his No. 00 Ford Mustang.
Custer has two prior Xfinity Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway. He finished fifth in both races. In 43 Xfinity starts to date, Custer has one victory, eight top-fives, and 24 top-10s. On 1.5-mile tracks, Custer has one win, six top-five, and 15 top-10 finishes in 22 combined starts in both the Xfinity and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
“The mile-and-a-half tracks have been really good to our team,” Custer explained, “so Texas is definitely a place we have excelled at. It’s a hard place to figure out because both ends are different, but I feel like we’ve done a good job managing that in the past.”
Turns one and two at Texas was reconfigured prior to last season, lowering the backing to 20 degrees, and increasing width of the track. The reconfiguration makes the track more unique in comparison to some of its’ ‘cookie-cutter’ counterparts.
“Texas is unique because there are two different corners,” Custer continued. “It’s a tough one to get ahold of because of the repave, but it’s a really fast track and, if we can dial in the Thompson Pipe Group Ford Mustang during practice, we’ll have a solid weekend.”
Entering Saturday’s race, Custer sits sixth in the Championship Standings, despite accidents at both Daytona International Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway. He is 55-points behind Points Leader Elliott Sadler, and 25-points ahead of the cutoff for the Playoffs.
“Now that we’re a little bit more solid in the standings, I would say we can be more aggressive,” Custer said. “I feel like we’ve been building some momentum the last few races, and now it’s just going out there and getting everything right. It’s nice heading to a track that we know we’ll have speed at after finishing as consistently as we have there in the past.”
In the last three races, Custer has finished inside the top-10. Now, he will look to continue to build on that momentum in Saturday’s race.