By Sarah Handy, Staff Writer
For the most part the month of July was kind to Stewart-Haas Racing rookie Cole Custer. He captured his first NASCAR Cup Series victory at Kentucky Speedway and in his last four races, he has captured three top-10 finishes.
Custer will make his first NASCAR Cup Series start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway as the series gets ready for Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301.
“I’m ready to go,” said Custer. “It’s another short track race, so I’m looking forward to that and [also] it’s a track that I haven’t been before in a Cup car. Obviously going to be some learning involved and trying to figure out the track and the feel of the car and things like that. But, overall, I’m looking forward to try and keep going with our consistency and try to keep going with another solid run and try and build some momentum going into the playoffs.”
While he has never seen the New England track in a cup car, he does have three starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. In those three starts, Custer has earned three top-10 finishes with a career best second last July after starting on the pole.
First Cup Win
Capturing his first NCS win at Kentucky, it’s a good mark on a rookie season and locks Custer and the No. 41 Ford Mustang into the playoffs.
Prior to Kentucky, Custer had just two top-10 finishes on the season coming at Phoenix and Indianapolis.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, Custer stated to the media that he will be able to say it was a successful rookie season. However, he won’t be satisfied if they get knocked out of the playoffs early.
“For a rookie season, if I look back on it I’d say, ‘Yeah, it was a successful rookie season,’ when you win a race. I feel like we’re starting to get to a point where we’re running competitively,” said Custer. “At the same time, I’m not gonna be satisfied if we go into the playoffs, get knocked out in the first round and don’t run well. I want to be able to go into the playoffs, be competitive, make a run at it and not just be a part of it.
I think these next eight or nine races we need to be on our game, be on the gas as hard as we can to try and figure everything out. Get in a good rhythm and be able to do something once we get into the playoffs [because] after the season if you don’t have the end of the season work out, you’re not gonna be satisfied.”
Custer’s No. 41 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing will start Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 from row seven in the 14th position. Tune into NBCSN at 3:00 p.m. ET to catch all the action from Loudon, NH.
Photo Credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography / NKP Photo