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Cole Custer Dominates In Chicagoland Victory

Fourth Xfinity Win of the Season
Saturday, June 29, 2019

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Cole Custer Wins at Chicagoland
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

For the vast majority of Saturday’s Camping World 300 at Chicagoland Speedway it looked like another non-too-subtle reminder of how good the NASCAR Xfinity Series triumphant trio has been – championship leaders Cole Custer, Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick showed the way.

Ultimately it was Custer’s time to celebrate this weekend, leading a dominant 151 of the race’s 200 laps to take his fourth Xfinity win of the season in the No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford and the sixth victory of his career.

He earned a solid 2.917-second triumph over reigning Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano, who was making his first Xfinity start of the season. Bell was third and Reddick ended up 10th, losing positions only in the waning laps. Michael Annett, who led 25 laps late in the race playing a pit stop strategy, finished fourth. Brandon Jones was fifth.

“I think we’re going to hit it this summer, we have some awesome cars,’’ Custer excitedly told the front grandstands. “I don’t know how to get the car any better, I’m just lucky to drive it.’’

Custer, Bell and Reddick have now combined to win 11 of the season’s 15 races, including the last nine consecutively. Custer and Bell have a series best four wins apiece.

At times – especially following a restart – the affectionately well-worn Chicagoland Speedway surface helped sustain four and five-wide racing in a free-for-all that set the tone of the race behind Custer.

Cole Custer beats out Joey Logano to the checkered flag at Chicagoland
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

The SHR driver never seemed to have a problem retaking the lead – he passed polesitter Logano only three laps into the race, en route to the Stage 1 victory. Logano, who started from the pole position, retook the lead late in Stage 2 and held on to claim that stage victory.

But Custer’s No. 00 Ford was just too much for the field, losing the lead only briefly at times but then forcefully and easily retaking it at every opportunity. He passed Michael Annett on a restart with 22 laps to go and never looked back. It’s Custer’s second win in the last four weeks (also including Pocono) and he was runner-up to Bell in the last race at Iowa.

The effort in the oppressive 90-degree heat was impressive even to Custer’s competitors.

When asked where he was getting beat by Custer on track, Logano grinned and deadpanned, “At Chicagoland.’’

“They did a good job. They had the fastest car in practice and Cole did an amazing job.’’

Bell, who failed to lead a lap for the first time this season, kept the championship competition honest and seemed to consider the race a good learning experience for the championship finale on the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway finale – a venue similar to Chicago.

“Our car was really good, really balanced,’’ Bell said. “Felt really good in practice, just lacking a little bit on that double zero car (Custer). They were the class of the field at Homestead (a similar track to Chicagoland) and were here today too.’’

RACE RESULTS

Fin StNo.
Driver Sponsor/Make Laps Led Pts Status
1 2 0 Cole Custer Haas Automation Ford 200 151 58 Running
2 1 12 Joey Logano(i) Snap On Ford 200 20 0 Running
3 5 20 Christopher Bell Rheem Toyota 200 0 51 Running
4 16 1 Michael Annett Pilot/Flying J Chevrolet 200 25 36 Running
5 6 19 Brandon Jones Menards/Bali Toyota 200 0 46 Running
6 7 22 Austin Cindric Discount Tire Ford 200 0 39 Running
7 10 9 Noah Gragson # MagnaFlow Chevrolet 200 0 30 Running
8 14 11 Justin Haley # LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet 200 0 32 Running
9 3 10 Ross Chastain(i) Nutrien Ag Solutions Chevrolet 200 0 0 Running
10 9 2 Tyler Reddick KC Motorgroup Chevrolet 200 0 42 Running
11 8 18 Riley Herbst(i) Monster Energy Toyota 200 0 0 Running
12 15 23 John Hunter Nemechek # Chevrolet 200 0 25 Running
13 12 39 Ryan Sieg Big Green Egg Chevrolet 200 0 24 Running
14 19 51 Jeremy Clements RepairableVehicles.com Chevrolet 200 0 23 Running
15 17 8 Gray Gaulding WorldWide Safety Consulting Chev 200 0 22 Running
16 11 98 Chase Briscoe # Ford Performance Ford 199 0 23 Running
17 21 81 Jeffrey Earnhardt Comcast NBCUniversal Toyota 199 1 20 Running
18 13 8 Zane Smith Canadamark Diamond/BN3TH Chev 199 3 24 Running
19 22 28 Shane Lee Titan Mining Rigs Toyota 199 0 18 Running
20 20 4 Landon Cassill Gerber Collision and Glass Chevrolet 199 0 17 Running
21 25 7 Ray Black II ISOKERNFrplcs&Chmnys Chev 199 0 16 Running
22 30 1 Stephen Leicht Gerber Collision Chevrolet 199 0 15 Running
23 31 86 Brandon Brown # BMSRaceTeam.com Chevrolet 198 0 14 Running
24 18 15 BJ McLeod teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 196 0 13 Running
25 26 42 Chad Finchum NLBHtng&Clng/Ryn'sCllsnSrvce Toyota 195 0 12 Running
26 35 0 Garrett Smithley teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 195 0 11 Running
27 34 36 Josh Williams Starbrite Star Tron/Simcraft Chevrolet 195 0 10 Running
28 24 5 Matt Mills J.F. Electric Chevrolet 195 0 9 Running
29 28 99 Tommy Joe Martins Diamond Gusset Jeans Toyota 194 0 8 Running
30 37 78 Vinnie Miller JW Transport Chevrolet 194 0 7 Running
31 33 90 Ronnie Bassett Jr Bassett Gutters and More Chevrolet 193 0 6 Running
32 29 74 Camden Murphy(i) RonaldHouseChicago.org Chevrolet 192 0 0 Running
33 4 7 Justin Allgaier BRANDT Professional Agri Chevrolet 127 0 11 Accident
34 27 35 Joey Gase Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Net  111 0 3 Engine
35 32 66 Timmy Hill OCR Gaz Bar Toyota 71 0 2 Electrical
36 23 17 Josh Bilicki RWR Chevrolet 55 0 1 Vibration
37 36 52 David Starr Dealer Associates Inc Chevrolet 52 0 1 Engine
38 38 38 Jeff Green RSS Racing Chevrolet 11 0 1 Electrical

 

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