● Cole Custer and the No. 41 Ford Mustang team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) feature Autodesk as co-primary partner for the fifth and final time this season during Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400 on the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval. San Francisco-based Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), a leader in software applications for the engineering, manufacturing, construction, architecture, media and entertainment industries, is capping off its fifth season with SHR, which started May 1 at Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway, then returned for the June 12 race at its hometown Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, the Aug. 27 Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, and the Sept. 17 Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
● The Autodesk partnership with SHR is more than skin deep. The team utilized Autodesk’s Fusion 360 design and manufacturing software extensively to create lightweight, but strong, components for its fleet of Gen 6 racecars. Autodesk’s generative design capabilities and its Fusion 360 software helps designers and engineers quickly find optimal solutions to design problems, like SHR’s brake pedal revision in its Gen 6 racecars, as chronicled in this video. The new pedal accounted for a 32 percent reduction in weight with a 50 percent increase in stiffness, with the optimized design being realized by Fusion 360. The entire project took just two months to complete – from initial design to simulation, additive manufacturing of the pedal, testing and finalized part. Just as importantly, it was all delivered within two weeks of the needed race date.
● Also riding along with Custer and his SHR Mustang this weekend is team co-owner Gene Haas’ 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 in July 2020. 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.
● Sunday’s 109-lap race around the 2.28-mile, 17-turn road course will be Custer’s 107th career Cup Series start and his third on the Roval. He finished ninth in his Cup Series debut at the track two years ago this weekend for his seventh top-10 of the season en route to capturing 2020 Rookie of the Year honors. The finish came in just his second career road-course race in the Cup Series. Custer started 23rd and finished 18th in this race last October.
● The 24-year-old driver from Ladera Ranch, California, will be making his 15th points-paying Cup Series start on a road course. He matched his career-best road-course finish when he brought home a ninth-place finish July 31 on the infield circuit at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
● Custer’s 11 road-course outings in the Xfinity Series from 2017 through 2019 included a pair of outings on the Roval. He finished seventh in 2018 and eighth in 2019. His best Xfinity Series road-course result was fourth in 2018 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. All but one of his 11 career road-course outings in the Xfinity Series were top-10s.
● Custer also has top-10s in all three of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series outings on road courses, all three occurring at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario. His best was his most recent, a second-place run from the pole with a race-high 39 laps led in the No. 00 JR Motorsports entry in 2016. In addition to his three Truck Series outings, Custer raced on road courses twice in the ARCA Menards Series, at Road America and New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, and nine times in the K&N Pro Series at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, Virginia International Raceway in Alton, and Road Atlanta.