Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet Silverado for Haas Racing Development (HRD), finished eighth in the American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen at Iowa Speedway in Newton Friday night. It was Custer’s second consecutive top-10 result in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in just his fourth start this season.
“The Haas Automation Chevrolet was really good in practice,” said Custer, who qualified fifth for the 200-lap race. “It changed quite a bit over the course of the race, though. We weren’t able to catch back up to where we started the day, but we finished eighth and I’m proud of the effort that all the guys put into giving us a really strong truck.”
Custer, who is running a nine-race Truck Series schedule for HRD in 2014, was able to maintain his position for the first 40 laps of the race, despite battling a loose-handling condition in his Haas Automation Chevrolet Silverado. After the No. 74 truck of Dustin Hapka spun in turn four to bring out the first caution of the event, crew chief Joe Shear Jr. called Custer to pit road for scheduled service of four tires, fuel and a slight chassis adjustment. While the changes helped, Custer continued to struggle with the handling, but was able to maintain his presence among the top-10.
Changing track conditions over the second half of the race saw Custer continue to battle his ill-handling truck. Despite his struggles, the 16-year-old driver maintained his position inside the top-10. As the laps clicked off and the finish neared, Custer settled into the eighth position and held the spot when the checkered flag waved.
Erik Jones won the American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen to score his second career Camping World Truck Series victory. It was his first win this season and his first at Iowa.