Cole Custer shot to the outside and completed a four-wide pass to take the lead and win the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway on Sunday. The race marks Custer’s first career victory in the NASCAR Cup Series.
A series of late cautions stacked the field up for a two lap shootout at the conclusion of the 400-mile race. Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. held the top two positions on the final restart, making contact multiple times coming to the white flag. The two lost momentum coming out of Turn 4 allowing Ryan Blaney to dive to the inside.
At the same time, Custer sent up top to make it four wide as the drivers took the white flag. Momentum carried the rookie Stewart-Haas racing driver to the lead entering Turn 1, holding off Truex Jr. and sailing to his first career Cup Series win.
“The 4 and the 19 got together and it kind of opened the door for me to get a lot of momentum on them,” said Custer after winning the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.
“We just had an unbelievable car all day. I mean honestly that was the best car I have driven in a long time.”
Momentum Building for Rookie Cole Custer
The 22 year old rookie from Ladera Ranch, CA is competing in his first full-time season in the NASCAR Cup Series after three seasons in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for Stewart-Haas Racing.
A week before at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Custer earned his first Top 5 of the 2020 season. His five laps led in Kentucky are the driver’s first career laps led in the Cup Series. Custer now has an average finish of 19.5 after 17 races this season in what has been a slow start for the rookie driver who took over for Daniel Suarez this past offseason.
When asked if he was surprised this first win came so soon, Custer excitedly responded “I’m surprised, yes! We have definitely done a lot better job these last few weeks and started putting the whole picture together.”
Momentum is now at an all time high for Custer after two back-to-back Top 5s and his first career victory at Kentucky Speedway.