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Cole Custer battles through unbalanced car before a late wreck with Justin Allgaier saw him finish 15th at Richmond

Cole Custer begins his Go Bowling 250 campaign in the No.00 Ford Mustang from 4th place.

Through the first 25-30 laps, Custer struggled to keep track of maintaining his Top 5 spot in 5th.

With no gain of spots, Custer began to go crazy tight as he falls towards the back end of the Top 10.

Then it began to go worse as he completes Stage 1 in 10th.

Stage 2

He may have fallen back in the first run from a front-row to mid-pack runner.

But he bounced back in 5th after putting on treatment during the stage break.

He’s hoping for better feedback this time around to see if his long run speed will help him pay off through old tires.

The results looked okay having remained towards the back end of the Top 10.

But not much improvements having fell off from 9th as Custer finished 9th towards the halfway distance.

Stage 3

To make up lost time, Custer gained a spot on pit road during the stage break before restarting in 8th.

In the initial run, the No.00 car’s getting better as he still runs inside the Top 10.

But at times, he’s tight in the middle down having fallen from 6th to 9th with less than 50 to go.

The first late caution maybe a sigh of relief from Custer as he builds towards a Top 7 recovery.

Unfortunately, Custer bumped with Justin Allgaier with 23 to go as he suffers some smoke and damage from the wreck at Turn 3.

And that turned out to be a disappointing weekend for Cole Custer as he finishes in 15th.

Cole Custer’s 2018 NASCAR XFINITY Series Season.

  • 27 Starts
  • 4547 of 4737 Laps Completed, 96%
  • 240 Laps Led
  • 11 Top 5, 40.7%
  • 21 Top 10 finishes, 77.8%
  • Average Start: 6.1 & Finish: 9.3
  • DNF: Three
  • He currently sits 9th in the Drivers’ Standings with 2035 Points.

Results

  • 14th, Daytona 1
  • 39th/Crash, Atlanta
  • 9th, Las Vegas
  • 8th, Phoenix
  • 6th, Fontana
  • 8th, Bristol
  • 6th, Richmond
  • 9th, Talladega
  • 13th, Dover
  • 2nd, Charlotte
  • 5th, Pocono
  • 3rd, Michigan
  • 5th, Iowa 1
  • 3rd, Chicago
  • 25th/Crash, Daytona 2
  • 5th, Kentucky
  • 9th, Loudon & Iowa
  • 6th, Watkins Glen
  • 7th, Mid-Ohio
  • 4th, Bristol & Road America
  • 2nd, Darlington
  • 29th/Crash, Indianapolis
  • 3rd, Las Vegas 2
  • 15th, Richmond 2

Conclusion

The qualifying times looks good on paper having started in the Top 3 over the past three races:

  • 5th to 29th, Indianapolis
  • 1st to 3rd, Las Vegas
  • 4th to 15th, Richmond

But the race day form does tell a different story.

Cole Custer’s yet to win a race this year since last year’s finale at Homestead-Miami.

Most of the time, the No.00 Ford Mustang looks incredibly unbalanced.

That doesn’t look like a Top 5 quality car where he didn’t have much of a chance of winning at Richmond.

Although, he has excellent short-run speed which works well in contrast to his long-run performance.

The first late caution with 29 laps to go gave him an opportunity to redeem himself towards challenging the Top 5.

But a late crash with Justin Allgaier saw little time to recover & finish 15th.

What Cole Custer needs to do to improve next time?

Out of his five XFINITY Series starts at Richmond, Custer only scored Two Top 10s finishing in 6th twice.

That’s between April 2016 & 2018 which includes the only Pole Award on his 2nd Top 10 run.

He hasn’t had a great record at this track having finished three times outside the Top 10:

  • 13th, April 2017
  • 14th, September 2017
  • 15th, September 2018

For now, he will have to work more on getting the overall performance right if he wants to win races.

Otherwise, if his performances continue to be inconsistent, then he might not make to the Round of 8.

That’s where the real test comes back next weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Roval Course.

At last but not least…

Make sure you keep up to date with Cole Custer via the following pages:

You can also shop his latest Fan Gear and Collectibles via the official NASCAR Shop link here.

References

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