Race Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-70):
● Cole Custer started 21st and finished 20th.
● During the lap-seven caution, Custer reported his HaasTooling.com/Jacob Construction Mustang was tight mostly on exit while running 18th. He didn’t pit and restarted 15th.
● The California native pitted from 13th during the competition caution on lap 26 for fuel, four tires and adjustments. He restarted 18th after varying pit strategies.
● After minor contact with a competitor, Custer slipped back to 20th and pitted during the stage break.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 71-185):
● Custer started in 18th and finished 13th.
● On lap 82 Custer was 14th and reported his Mustang fired off good.
● The rookie driver made a scheduled green-flag pit stop from 14th on lap 139. He remained in the same position once the pit stop sequence cycled through.
● Custer moved into the 13th spot on lap 177, where he ended the stage and visited pit road.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 186-311):
● Custer started 11th, finished 11th.
● On lap 215, Custer reported his Mustang started the run off free, but it was starting to tighten up while running 11th.
● Custer made a scheduled green-flag pit stop from 11th on lap 257. Shortly thereafter, he relayed to the crew that the No. 41 machine tightened up.
● On lap 281 the Ford driver took over the 10th position.
● In the last few laps, Custer was in the 11th spot where he ultimately finished the race.
● This was Custer’s 27th career NASCAR Cup Series start and his first at Dover.
● Custer was the highest finishing NASCAR Cup Series rookie.
● Custer made six career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Dover prior to moving to the NASCAR Cup Series this year. He won in his last Xfinity Series start at Dover last October and finished in the top-10 all but once. He never finished worse than 13th.
● Denny Hamlin won the Dover 311 to score his 43rd career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his sixth of the season and his first at Dover. His margin of victory over second-place Martin Truex Jr., was 1.179 seconds.
● There were four caution periods for a total of 21 laps.
● Only 12 of the 40 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Kevin Harvick remains the championship leader after Dover with a 100-point advantage over second-place Hamlin.
Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 41 HaasTooling.com/Jacob Construction Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Good rebound from last week. I think we have something to lean on for tomorrow. We can make this car better and have an even better day tomorrow.”
The second event of the NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader at Dover is a 311-mile race on Sunday. It starts at 4 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.