Cole Custer heads to the Round of 8 in the NASCAR XFINITY Series with the most momentum. Custer, led 31 of the final 32 laps en route to his ninth career NXS win, seven of which coming this season alone.
The Stewart-Haas Racing driver stayed out on the second to last pit sequence longer than the other leaders and lucked out when a caution flew on Lap 176. He, Justin Haley and Michael Annett were the only three that had yet to hit pit lane for the final time which pinned everyone else a lap down.
Furthermore, only four other cars were a lap down, meaning the odds of winning were very likely for Custer.
He’d do just that and becomes the fifth driver in series history to win in his 100th career start. Ronnie Silver (Hickory) was the first to do so in 1986 while Jeff Green (Las Vegas) 1997, Jamie McMurray (Phoenix) 2004 and Kyle Busch (Daytona) 2007 were the others.
Custer, has seven straight top 10 finishes in his No. 00 Ford and 21 now on the season. He also has nine straight top 10’s on the season and five top eight finishes in his NXS starts on the Monster Mile.
Justin Allgaier got the free pass under that caution and would finish runner-up in his No. 7 Chevrolet. The JR Motorsports driver had three top four finishes in as many tries in the opening round and five straight top five finishes now on the season. Also, Allgaier has 13 consecutive top 10 finishes including five straight top three finishes at Dover. Seven of his last eight Monster Mile starts have seen him finish in the top four as well.
Pole sitter Austin Cindric would come home third in his No. 22 Ford for his third top three finish in as many starts in the opening round. Cindric, has eight top 10 finishes in his last 10 tries on the season, seven of which being in the top five.
Haley, would finish fourth in his No. 11 Chevrolet while Chase Briscoe who originally qualified on the pole but had to make adjustments to his No. 98 Ford and go to the back at the start rounded out the top five.
Michael Annett held off Haley for the eighth and final spot into the second round of the playoffs.
Joe Gibbs Racing had a rough day with all three of their cars taken out of contention early. Two of their three cars were out of the race on the opening lap when Harrison Burton and Brandon Jones were among a four car crash on the backstretch just after the green flag was displayed.
Burton, finished 38th while Jones was credited with a 37th place finish. For Jones, his playoff hopes are done.
Then, shortly after, Christopher Bell had an engine issue and would lose 12 laps for repairs. He would finish 25th.