|Cole Custer Wins at Chicagoland|
|Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images|
For the vast majority of Saturday’s Camping World 300 at Chicagoland Speedway it looked like another non-too-subtle reminder of how good the NASCAR Xfinity Series triumphant trio has been – championship leaders Cole Custer, Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick showed the way.
Ultimately it was Custer’s time to celebrate this weekend, leading a dominant 151 of the race’s 200 laps to take his fourth Xfinity win of the season in the No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford and the sixth victory of his career.
[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]He earned a solid 2.917-second triumph over reigning Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano, who was making his first Xfinity start of the season. Bell was third and Reddick ended up 10th, losing positions only in the waning laps. Michael Annett, who led 25 laps late in the race playing a pit stop strategy, finished fourth. Brandon Jones was fifth.
“I think we’re going to hit it this summer, we have some awesome cars,’’ Custer excitedly told the front grandstands. “I don’t know how to get the car any better, I’m just lucky to drive it.’’
Custer, Bell and Reddick have now combined to win 11 of the season’s 15 races, including the last nine consecutively. Custer and Bell have a series best four wins apiece.
At times – especially following a restart – the affectionately well-worn Chicagoland Speedway surface helped sustain four and five-wide racing in a free-for-all that set the tone of the race behind Custer.
|Cole Custer beats out Joey Logano to the checkered flag at Chicagoland|
|Matt Sullivan/Getty Images|
The SHR driver never seemed to have a problem retaking the lead – he passed polesitter Logano only three laps into the race, en route to the Stage 1 victory. Logano, who started from the pole position, retook the lead late in Stage 2 and held on to claim that stage victory.
But Custer’s No. 00 Ford was just too much for the field, losing the lead only briefly at times but then forcefully and easily retaking it at every opportunity. He passed Michael Annett on a restart with 22 laps to go and never looked back. It’s Custer’s second win in the last four weeks (also including Pocono) and he was runner-up to Bell in the last race at Iowa.
The effort in the oppressive 90-degree heat was impressive even to Custer’s competitors.
When asked where he was getting beat by Custer on track, Logano grinned and deadpanned, “At Chicagoland.’’
“They did a good job. They had the fastest car in practice and Cole did an amazing job.’’
Bell, who failed to lead a lap for the first time this season, kept the championship competition honest and seemed to consider the race a good learning experience for the championship finale on the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway finale – a venue similar to Chicago.
“Our car was really good, really balanced,’’ Bell said. “Felt really good in practice, just lacking a little bit on that double zero car (Custer). They were the class of the field at Homestead (a similar track to Chicagoland) and were here today too.’’
|1||2||0||Cole Custer||Haas Automation Ford||200||151||58||Running|
|2||1||12||Joey Logano(i)||Snap On Ford||200||20||0||Running|
|3||5||20||Christopher Bell||Rheem Toyota||200||0||51||Running|
|4||16||1||Michael Annett||Pilot/Flying J Chevrolet||200||25||36||Running|
|5||6||19||Brandon Jones||Menards/Bali Toyota||200||0||46||Running|
|6||7||22||Austin Cindric||Discount Tire Ford||200||0||39||Running|
|7||10||9||Noah Gragson #||MagnaFlow Chevrolet||200||0||30||Running|
|8||14||11||Justin Haley #||LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet||200||0||32||Running|
|9||3||10||Ross Chastain(i)||Nutrien Ag Solutions Chevrolet||200||0||0||Running|
|10||9||2||Tyler Reddick||KC Motorgroup Chevrolet||200||0||42||Running|
|11||8||18||Riley Herbst(i)||Monster Energy Toyota||200||0||0||Running|
|12||15||23||John Hunter Nemechek #||Chevrolet||200||0||25||Running|
|13||12||39||Ryan Sieg||Big Green Egg Chevrolet||200||0||24||Running|
|14||19||51||Jeremy Clements||RepairableVehicles.com Chevrolet||200||0||23||Running|
|15||17||8||Gray Gaulding||WorldWide Safety Consulting Chev||200||0||22||Running|
|16||11||98||Chase Briscoe #||Ford Performance Ford||199||0||23||Running|
|17||21||81||Jeffrey Earnhardt||Comcast NBCUniversal Toyota||199||1||20||Running|
|18||13||8||Zane Smith||Canadamark Diamond/BN3TH Chev||199||3||24||Running|
|19||22||28||Shane Lee||Titan Mining Rigs Toyota||199||0||18||Running|
|20||20||4||Landon Cassill||Gerber Collision and Glass Chevrolet||199||0||17||Running|
|21||25||7||Ray Black II||ISOKERNFrplcs&Chmnys Chev||199||0||16||Running|
|22||30||1||Stephen Leicht||Gerber Collision Chevrolet||199||0||15||Running|
|23||31||86||Brandon Brown #||BMSRaceTeam.com Chevrolet||198||0||14||Running|
|24||18||15||BJ McLeod||teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet||196||0||13||Running|
|25||26||42||Chad Finchum||NLBHtng&Clng/Ryn'sCllsnSrvce Toyota||195||0||12||Running|
|26||35||0||Garrett Smithley||teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet||195||0||11||Running|
|27||34||36||Josh Williams||Starbrite Star Tron/Simcraft Chevrolet||195||0||10||Running|
|28||24||5||Matt Mills||J.F. Electric Chevrolet||195||0||9||Running|
|29||28||99||Tommy Joe Martins||Diamond Gusset Jeans Toyota||194||0||8||Running|
|30||37||78||Vinnie Miller||JW Transport Chevrolet||194||0||7||Running|
|31||33||90||Ronnie Bassett Jr||Bassett Gutters and More Chevrolet||193||0||6||Running|
|32||29||74||Camden Murphy(i)||RonaldHouseChicago.org Chevrolet||192||0||0||Running|
|33||4||7||Justin Allgaier||BRANDT Professional Agri Chevrolet||127||0||11||Accident|
|34||27||35||Joey Gase||Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Net||111||0||3||Engine|
|35||32||66||Timmy Hill||OCR Gaz Bar Toyota||71||0||2||Electrical|
|36||23||17||Josh Bilicki||RWR Chevrolet||55||0||1||Vibration|
|37||36||52||David Starr||Dealer Associates Inc Chevrolet||52||0||1||Engine|
|38||38||38||Jeff Green||RSS Racing Chevrolet||11||0||1||Electrical|