Custer Makes His Stand – Youngest Winner in NASCAR

Cole Custer out dueled some veterans of the Camping World Truck Series on a restart with four laps remaining to become the youngest victor in a NASCAR touring series. Custer is 16 years, 7 months and 28 days old and on this day his truck was the class of the field.  Late in the race, on lap 147 of the 175 lap race, a caution was called when the No. 63  truck of Jr. Heffner was helped into the wall by the No. 9 truck of Brennan Newberry.

Custer was called into the pits for tires and fuel while the No. 51 truck of Erik Jones stayed out. Many other trucks including Matt Crafton only took two tires while Custer’s crew chief, Joe Shear Jr., opted to put four fresh tires on the dominant truck of the day. There were several more caution periods and Custer closed in on the leaders until the pinnacle restart with four to go. With Crafton leading and Custer lining up right next to him it appeared that Crafton spun his tires on the restart. As he and Custer went into turn one, Bubba Wallace dove low making it three-wide and Custer came out with the lead, Wallace in second and Crafton in third and that was how they finished. Johnny Sauter came in fourth and John Hunter Nemecheck rounded out the top five.

Custer started on the pole and led the majority of the race. “I was really worried,” Custer said in victory lane.” It was so hard to pass, even lappers. I couldn’t believe we got through all of those guys. The air affected it so much. We had some great restarts, which helped us a lot. I can’t believe it’s happening right now.”

Sitting on the pit road wall after the race Crafton was clearly unhappy with himself. “Started at the back, drove to the front, got beat at the end,” Crafton said.” I spun the tires and couldn’t get it in fourth gear, to be totally honest. Once I spun the tires, I was screwed right there. Then I couldn’t get it in gear, and everybody had a run on me. My bad.” Crafton started at the back due to reported electrical problems with his truck during qualifying.

Wallace, who finished third, said after the race, “Once again I would have had to wreck him to get by him. I think I gave it up a little too much into (turn) three  — when he got clear, could have got to him on the bumper.  Four tires prevailed for him (Cole Custer).  So, congratulations to Cole.  I told him he’d get the pole.  The kid is always fast so it’s always cool to see a new winner. I just hate a Toyota wasn’t in victory lane. Our Toyota Care Tundra was okay. We were a top-three truck — a top-five truck at the beginning of the race. Just couldn’t get off the corner, but we saw some stuff late in the race. We’ll go on to Las Vegas. Proud of my guys. They never gave up. Pit stops were incredible. Gained us some spots, just come up one spot short. I’m pumped. I’m all good. We’ll go on to Vegas with our Toyota Care Tundra and be ready to win.”

Custer was asked if he believed this was happening and he replied, “I’ve been coming since I was really young. Really young, I just can’t believe it.”

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race Number 16
Unofficial Race Results for the 17Th Running Unoh 175 – Saturday, September 20, 2014
New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Loudon, NH – 1.058 Mile Paved
Total Race Length – 175 Laps – 185.15 Miles – Purse: $490,725

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Fin.  St.    No.   Driver           Team       Make
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1    1     00   Cole Custer Haas Automation Chevrolet
2    3     54   Darrell Wallace Jr. ToyotaCare Toyota
3    30   88   Matt Crafton Slim Jim/Menards Toyota
4    18   98   Johnny Sauter Nextant/Curb Record Toyota
5    10   8     John H. Nemechek Smoke-N-Sear/SWM Toyota
6      2    32  Cameron Hayley Cabinets by Hayley Chevrolet
7      7    51   Erik Jones ToyotaCare/Project Pink Toyota
8      6   19   Tyler Reddick # DrawTite Ford
9      9   21    Joey Coulter Allegiant Travel Chevrolet
10    4   29   Ryan Blaney Cooper Standard Ford
11    8   17   Timothy Peters Red Horse Racing Toyota
12   15   13   Jeb Burton Estes/Carolina Nut Company Toyota
13   13   31   Ben Kennedy # Heater.com Chevrolet
14    5    9    Brennan Newberry Qore-24 Chevrolet
15   14   77   German Quiroga NET10 Wireless Toyota
16   11   20   Gray Gaulding # Gemini Southern/Krispy Kreme Chevrolet
17   12   35   Mason Mingus # Call 811 Toyota
18   17   05   John Wes Townley Zaxby’s Toyota
19   21   86   Brandon Brown Dominion Recycling Chevrolet
20   16   99   Bryan Silas Bell Trucks America Inc. Chevrolet
21   20   08   Ray Black Jr. ScubaLife Chevrolet 171 23 47.1 $8,500 Running
22   25   10   Jennifer Jo Cobb Oohrah! Hydration Drink Chevrolet
23   23   63   JR Heffner Park East Sales LLC Chevrolet
24   19   02   Tyler Young # Randco/Young’s Bulding Systems Chevrolet
25   24   50   TJ Bell Dedicated to Electrical Linemen Chevrolet
26   22   07   BJ McLeod Geneva-Liberty Steel Chevrolet
27   27   6    Norm Benning Chevrolet
28   26   0    Caleb Roark Grimes Irrigation & Construction Chevrolet
29   28   36   Justin Jennings Mittler Bros Machine & Tool/Ski Soda Chevrolet
30   29   57   Ted Minor Chevrolet



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

Ed Coombshttp://www.sportshooter.com/coombse
Ed began covering NASCAR for the former Gater Racing News regularly in 2000. He began working with Speedway Media in 2003 by supplying exclusive photos from the races covered. Currently he is the Editor and Assistant Publisher of Speedway Media. He also manages staff and credentialing. With the closing down of Gater News after nearly 50 years he hopes to become a more regular contributor at Speedway Media as a writer and photographer. My Twitter name is @coombsed feel free to follow me I am a member of the National Motorsports Press Association.

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