Custer Finishes 19th at Las Vegas

Race Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Stage 2 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):             

● Cole Custer started 17th and ended the stage 29th.

● The Ford driver pitted on lap 26 during the competition caution for fuel, four tires and adjustments to address a loose condition.

● Custer restarted 27th and reported his Production Alliance Group/Haas Automation Mustang had tightened up.

● He ended the stage 29th, then pitted for fuel, four tires and adjustments.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):

● Custer started Stage 2 in 27th and completed it 28th.

● He made a scheduled green-flag pit stop on lap 129 for fuel, four tires and adjustments to help his tight-handling Mustang while in the 29th position.

● Custer ended the stage 28th.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-267):

● Custer began the final stage from 28th and ended the race 19th.

● Shortly after the green flag dropped on the final stage, a caution occurred on lap 169, which allowed Custer to be the beneficiary of the free pass and gain one lap back.

● When the next caution was displayed on lap 177, Custer was once again the beneficiary of the free pass, putting him back on the lead lap in 28th.

● On lap 217, he was 27th and made a scheduled green-flag stop for fuel, four tires and adjustments.

● The California native was 26th when the next caution was displayed on lap 221 and crew chief Mike Shiplett made the call to stay out.

● After returning to green, Custer was in the 23rd position on lap 228.

● With six laps remaining, the final caution of the race was displayed. The Ford driver pitted for fresh tires and restarted 20th, before ending the day in 19th.

 

Notes:

● Custer’s 19th-place result bettered his previous best finish at Las Vegas – 25th, earned in March 2018.

● Joey Logano won the Las Vegas 400 to score his 24th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his second at Las Vegas. His beat second-place Matt DiBenedetto as the race ended under caution.

● This was Ford’s series-leading 13th NASCAR Cup Series victory at Las Vegas and its 687th all-time NASCAR Cup Series win.

● There were nine caution periods for a total of 37 laps.

● Twenty-four of the 38 drivers in the Las Vegas 400 finished on the lead lap.

● Ryan Blaney leaves Las Vegas as the championship leader with a three-point advantage over second-place Logano.

 

Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 41 Production Alliance Group/Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“It’s not the result we wanted today with the Production Alliance Group/Haas Automation Mustang, but the guys worked hard on the car all day. I’m still learning a lot with the Cup car and wanted a better result. We came back from two laps down, and (crew chief) Mike Shiplett did a good job continuing to adjust on the car. I know I need to be better at restarts and some things like that, but I’m looking forward to next week and excited about working with the No. 41 team this year.”

 

Next Up:

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Auto Club 400 on Sunday, March 1 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. The race starts at 3:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

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Speedway Digest Staff

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