Date: Sept. 27, 2020
Event: South Point 400 (Round 30 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 268 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Note: Race extended one lap past its scheduled 267-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Start/Finish: 22nd/16th (Running, completed 268 of 268 laps)
Point Standing: 15th with 2,088 points
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):
● Cole Custer started 22nd and finished 15th.
● At the lap-25 competition caution, Custer reported his HaasTooling.com Mustang wasn’t bad, but he didn’t want to get too tight. He pitted for service from 17th and restarted 13th.
● On lap 63, from the 16th position, Custer said his Mustang was much better while running the top groove.
● Custer ended the stage in 15th and pitted for fuel, four tires and adjustments.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):
● Custer started 15th and finished 14th.
● “A little freer,” Custer told the HaasTooling.com crew from 14th on lap 93.
● From 17th on lap 115, the rookie driver told the crew he was struggling over the bumps.
● The California native made a scheduled green-flag pit stop from 17th on lap 120 after reporting his Mustang was struggling in dirty air.
● Custer was up to 14th on lap 150 where he finished the stage and pitted for service to help with his tight-handling car.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-268):
● Custer started 14th, finished 16th.
● Custer entered the top-10 by lap 170 and reported his car fired off tighter.
● Under caution on lap 190 Custer told the crew he was struggling to run the bottom in turns 1 and 2. He pitted from 16th for service.
● The 22-year-old driver restarted 11th on lap 196.
● On lap 221 Custer reported his car was stuck in his current position of 16th.
● Custer made a scheduled green-flag pit stop on lap 233 but got caught a lap down after an untimely caution on lap 237. Custer took the wave-around to get back on the lead lap.
● After restarting 24th, Custer was trapped in dirty air and was 23rd when the next caution was displayed on lap 250. He pitted for service and restarted 20th.
● Custer was able to work his way up to 16th on the final restart, where he ultimately finished.
● Custer was the highest finishing NASCAR Cup Series rookie.
Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We just didn’t have the restarts we needed tonight. Obviously, the caution that came out in the middle of the green-flag pit stop cycle hurt us. The guys did a good job tonight and were good on pit road too.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the YellaWood 500 on Sunday, Oct. 4 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. It is the fifth race of the 10-race playoffs and the second race in the Round of 12. It starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.