for your iPhone
for your iPad
NASCAR

NASCAR Links

Scanner Frequencies

Meet the Staff

2017 Schedule

Last-Lap Pass Propels Cole Custer to Victory at Pocono

Passes Tyler Reddick in Final Turn
Saturday, June 1, 2019

Advertisement

Cole Custer earned his fifth Xfinity Series victory on Saturday at Pocono Raceway
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Cole Custer led 59 laps from the pole and, at one point in Saturday's Pocono Green 250, held a lead of more than 13 seconds, but it took a pass through the final corner in overtime for the driver of the No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford to win his third NASCAR Xfinity Series race of the season. 

Series leader Tyler Reddick had grabbed the lead from Custer moments after the overtime restart on Lap 102. Custer gave chase and, one lap later, took full advantage in Turn 3 at Pocono Raceway when Reddick failed to hold the bottom of the track entering the corner. 

Winning for the first time at the 2.5-mile triangular track and for the fifth time in his career, Custer crossed the finish line .226 seconds ahead of Reddick's No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.  

Reddick had started the race from the rear of the field because of a transmission change and later rallied from a pass-through penalty for an outside tire violation on his next-to-last pit stop to claim the runner-up spot and extend his series lead to 76 points over fifth-place finisher Christopher Bell. 

On the final restart lap, Reddick pushed Custer clear of third-place finisher Chase Briscoe in the top lane, then shot to the bottom of the track and cleared Custer's Mustang through Turn 1. The move took Custer by surprise. 

"Tyler gave me a real run for my money there," Custer said. "I have no idea how he made it stick on that restart on the bottom, passing me. But he did. He was unbelievable on the brakes at the end." 

But Custer, who hadn't won from the pole in eight previous tries, had the winning gambit planned as the cars approached Turn 3 for the final time. 

"I was just able to kind of force a mistake a little bit trying to pack air on him," Custer said. "It was a fun end of the race. I had my downshift planned right there. I wish I didn't have to do it like that, but it probably made it exciting." 

Ultimately, a tight handling condition contributed to Reddick's undoing and prevented him from holding the inside line in the final corner. 

"I tried to really get it stopped and make sure I covered the bottom," Reddick said. "We just fought tight over the last half of the race. Thought we had a really good restart, got by Cole, but I was too tight out front in clean air. I just got loose in Turn 3 and gave it back." 

Cole Custer beats Tyler Reddick to the finish line at Pocono
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Custer won Stage 1 wire-to-wire but lost track position in Stage 2, thanks to a variance in strategic calls by other teams. Justin Allgaier took the Stage 2 victory, but his race fell apart when he spun in Turn 1 seconds after a Lap 98 restart to force the overtime. 

By then, Custer had reclaimed the lead on Lap 85 during an exchange of green-flag pit stops and had pulled away to a lead of 13.620 seconds before Austin Cindric's Ford slipped in the Tunnel Turn and sent Jeffrey Earnhardt's Toyota spinning. 

That caution bunched the field and gave Reddick, Briscoe, Bell and fourth-place finisher Ryan Preece a chance to fight for the win. 

In the end, however, it was Custer who prevailed in the fastest car—despite Reddick's gutsy ploy in Turn 1.

RACE RESULTS

Finish Start # Driver Sponsor/Make Laps Led Points Status
1 1 0 Cole Custer FIMS Manufacturing Ford 103 58 56 Running
2 6 2 Tyler Reddick TAME the BEAST Chevrolet 103 1 52 Running
3 12 98 Chase Briscoe # Nutri Chomps/Orscheln Ford 103 0 41 Running
4 8 8 Ryan Preece(i) Planters Chevrolet 103 0 0 Running
5 2 20 Christopher Bell Rheem Toyota 103 7 40 Running
6 15 9 Noah Gragson # Switch Chevrolet 103 0 32 Running
7 3 22 Austin Cindric MoneyLion Ford 103 6 41 Running
8 4 1 Michael Annett Pilot/Flying J Chevrolet 103 0 33 Running
9 13 11 Justin Haley # LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet 103 0 35 Running
10 11 10 Austin Dillon(i) Maestros Classic Chevrolet 103 0 0 Running
11 9 7 Justin Allgaier Klondike Chevrolet 103 27 45 Running
12 23 23 John Hunter Nemechek # ISM Connect Chevrolet 103 4 30 Running
13 27 86 Brandon Brown # ABS Vans Chevrolet 103 0 24 Running
14 14 4 Ross Chastain Georgia Watermelon Association Chevrolet 103 0 27 Running
15 22 36 Josh Williams Starbright Star Tron/Simcraft Chevrolet 103 0 22 Running
16 28 51 Jeremy Clements RepairableVehicles.com Chevrolet 102 0 21 Running
17 16 15 BJ McLeod Teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 102 0 20 Running
18 17 7 Ray Black II ISOKERN Fireplaces & Chmny/ScbLf Chev. 102 0 19 Running
19 21 66 Timmy Hill LeithCars.com Toyota 102 0 18 Running
20 18 8 Gray Gaulding Chevrolet 102 0 17 Running
21 30 90 Ronnie Bassett Jr. Bassett Gutters & More Chevrolet 102 0 16 Running
22 10 18 Jeffrey Earnhardt iK9 Toyota 102 0 15 Running
23 25 1 Stephen Leicht Teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 102 0 14 Running
24 31 52 David Starr GeorgesToolRntl.com/ATS/Whtbrgr Chev. 101 0 13 Running
25 33 78 Vinnie Miller Koolbox/JW Transport LLC Chevrolet 101 0 12 Running
26 5 39 Ryan Sieg C2 Freight Resources Chevrolet 100 0 14 Running
27 32 99 Todd Peck(i) Pulse Transport Chevrolet 100 0 0 Running
28 35 74 Mike Harmon The JourneyHomeProject/Crl Dnls Chev. 99 0 9 Running
29 34 0 Garrett Smithley Trophy Tractor Chevrolet 86 0 8 Running
30 38 5 Matt Mills J.F. Electric Toyota 65 0 7 Brakes
31 36 13 John Jackson CrashClaimsR.US Toyota 36 0 6 Vibration
32 29 17 Camden Murphy(i) RWR Chevrolet 36 0 0 Vibration
33 19 35 Joey Gase MBM Motorsports Toyota 34 0 4 Engine
34 20 93 Josh Bilicki Chevrolet 33 0 3 Vibration
35 37 89 Morgan Shepherd Visone RV Chevrolet 31 0 2 Handling
36 24 38 Jeff Green RSS Racing Chevrolet 22 0 1 Electrical
37 26 42 Chad Finchum Smithbilt Homes Toyota 10 0 1 Accident
38 7 19 Brandon Jones Juniper Toyota 6 0 1 Accident

 

Feedback can be sent to feedback@autoracing1.com

Go to our forums to discuss this article