Cole Custer said on Friday afternoon that his No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing NASCAR Xfinity Series team might be ready to peak in time for the Playoffs.
Clearly, Custer is ahead of schedule, after a convincing victory in Friday night’s ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway.
After losing the lead to Austin Cindric on a restart with 26 laps left, Custer regained the top spot on Lap 231 of 250 and pulled away for his second victory of the season. In a race that dodged a persistent threat of rain, Custer crossed the finish line 2.639 seconds ahead of Cindric.
Not only did Custer win for the fourth time in his career--and for the first time on a short track--but he also claimed the $100,000 Xfinity Dash 4 Cash bonus that goes to the highest finisher of four eligible contenders.
“We had a great car,” Custer said. “(Crew chief Mike Shiplett) made great adjustments as it went… This one means a lot. We hadn’t had a short-track win yet. We’ve struggled a lot at short tracks, but this helps
“A lot of my friends give me crap for being bad at this place, but I finally won, so I’ve got a little bit of bragging rights there, so that’s night. I’m just so happy. Two wins--that’s pretty awesome.”
Custer also served notice that he expects the team to get even better as the season progresses.
“I think we’re in a great place,” Custer said. “We’re going to get better and better. I think we’ve started to figure out our cars later in the race, and I think the second time we go back (to the same tracks), we’re going to be even better--just me and Mike working together at these tracks for the first time.
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