● It’s time to tackle the unpredictability of superspeedway racing once again for Cole Custer and the No. 41 Autodesk Fusion 360/HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) as the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway for Sunday’s YellaWood 500.
● Back with Custer and the No. 41 SHR Ford team for the season’s fifth of six appearances as primary partner is Autodesk Fusion 360, which kicked off its fourth season with the 23-year-old driver and SHR in June on the Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway road course and made its fourth appearance two weekends ago on the high-banked, half-mile concrete oval at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The Sonoma weekend was a hometown race for San Francisco-based Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), a leader in software applications for the engineering, manufacturing, construction, architecture, media and entertainment industries.
● Sunday’s 500-mile race at Talladega will be Custer’s milestone 70th Cup Series start and his fourth on the 2.66-mile oval. The reigning Cup Series Rookie of the Year’s 10th-place finish there in April was the best of his first three Cup Series visits and was the first of his two top-10 finishes earned so far this season. He scored his second top-10 three weeks later on the concrete mile oval at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
● The 23-year-old from Ladera Ranch, California, had promising runs in both of last year’s Cup Series events at Talladega. In the spring race, he was set to restart fifth for the green-white-checkered finish, but his Mustang began to stumble from a lack of fuel, sending him to pit road for a splash-and-go. He finished 22nd. In the fall race, he was able to drive to the front on multiple occasions, but while running fifth just past the race’s halfway point, he was collected in a multicar incident that ended his day.
● Custer has three Talladega appearances in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition in the No. 00 SHR Ford with a best finish of ninth in the 2018 race, and best starts of 12th in the 2018 and 2019 races.
● Custer qualified the No. 00 JR Motorsports entry on the pole for the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega, but saw that bid come to an early end after an accident just past the halfway point.
● After last Sunday’s night’s 29th-place finish on the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway oval, Custer arrives at Talladega 28th in the driver standings.
● Joining Autodesk on the No. 41 Ford Mustang is team co-owner Gene Haas’ newest holding, Haas Tooling, which was launched as a way for CNC machinists to purchase high-quality cutting tools at great prices. Haas cutting tools are sold exclusively online at HaasTooling.com and shipped directly to end users. HaasTooling.com products became available nationally last July, and the cutting tools available for purchase at HaasTooling.com have proven to be even more important during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as CNC machines have become vital to producing personal protective equipment. Haas Automation, founded by Haas in 1983, is America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools. The company manufactures a complete line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers and rotary tables and indexers. All Haas products are constructed in the company’s 1.1-million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Oxnard, California, and distributed through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets.
● SHR, its partner Wow Wow Classic Waffles, and Feeding America®, the largest hunger relief organization in the United States with a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, are asking fans to do their part in helping to end hunger in America by texting HUNGER to 50555 to make a $5 donation to Feeding America, by visiting the Feeding America donation page on Facebook, or the donation page via the Feeding America website. Each $1 donated helps provide at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America® on behalf of local member food banks.