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Cole Custer to make his Cup debut with Rick Ware Racing at Las Vegas

Current NASCAR XFINITY Series driver, Cole Custer will make his Monster Energy Cup Series debut in two weeks time.

Custer will drive the No. 51 Ford Fusion for Rick Ware Racing during the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 2-4.

Crucial points behind today’s announcement

Haas Automation Inc., America’s No.1 builder of CNC machine tools, will continue to have Custer’s support where they will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 51 car during the first weekend of March.

Custer will continue his usual XFINITY Series duties with Stewart-Haas Racing while driving for RWR at the same time in the Cup Series.

To mark the Custer’s Cup debut, Lionel Racing will offer a die-cast of the No. 51 Ford Fusion available for everyone to purchase in the next few weeks.

Remember, RWR has a charter they inherited from Richard Petty Motorsports where they will automatically start all 36 races of the year.

Who will serve as Cole Custer’s crew chief

Pat Tryson who served as the Crew Chief for Justin Marks’s 12th place finish in the Daytona 500, will serve as the No.15 Crew Chief for Premium Motorsports for selected races in 2018.

That means that he won’t be in the No. 51 pit box on Custer’s debut in the top flight.

We’re unsure at this stage of who will serve as Custer’s crew chief.

However, Jeff Meendering may be a viable candidate to help out Custer again in Cup as he usually does with him in the XFINITY Series on each race weekend.

The deal will only cover the Las Vegas race so we’ll wait and see how RWR has to say about the matter.

A quick summary of Cole Custer’s career

  • Started racing at the age of 4
  • From Quarter Midgets to Late Models to XFINITY Series, Custer has proven himself as the brightest young talents in the sport
  • Youngest ever Truck Series Pole winner at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois.
  • Youngest winner ever in the record books of the NASCAR’s national touring series (Truck Series) at New Hampshire in 16 years, seven months & 28 days
  • Scored his first XFINITY Series win at Homestead-Miami, where he led a race-high 182 & completed all 200 laps in his 38th series career start

Cole Custer’s Las Vegas record


  • One Race
  • 200 of 200 laps completed, 100%
  • Highest Finish: 11th in 2017
  • Average Start: 20
  • Average Finish: 11

Truck Series

  • One Race
  • 146 of 146 laps completed, 100%
  • 3 Laps led
  • Highest Finish: 3rd in 2016
  • One Top 5/10 Posting, 100%
  • Average Start/Finish: 3

Final Thoughts

It’s great to see Team Owner Rick Ware giving Cole Custer a chance to prove himself of what’s he made of in the Cup Series.

He almost advanced into the Championship 4 Finale last year in Phoenix and it was only just short.

But that’s his rookie year where he gave his all week in, week out.

In 2018, he will get a second crack of fighting the NXS Championship.

At the same time, he will get an opportunity as he has with RWR in two weeks time.

The more experience Custer drives a Cup car, the better he will put himself as a genuine NXS contender once he goes back to the No.00 after Las Vegas.

Also, he spent time with GO FAS Racing during an organizational test at the same track a few weeks ago.

So that’s why Custer’s knowledge of the conditions in Las Vegas & how he drives a Cup car will put to the test because the feedback he gave to GO FAS has noticed Rick Ware to organize a deal done for him in which that announcement became official today.

We cannot wait to see how Custer will fare in the No. 51 Haas Automation branded Ford Fusion & finish in the best result possible.

It’s the beginning of the long road to securing a long-term career for Custer to thrive in the Cup Series.

So kudos to Rick Ware and Stewart-Haas Racing of helping Cole Custer move forward to the next level.

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Image Source: Rick Ware Racing and Statistics: Racing Reference.

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