Stewart-Haas Racing Driver Looks for Third Road-Course Win of the Season
- Event: Shriners Children’s 200 (Round 23 of 33)
- Date: Saturday, Aug. 19
- Location: Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International
- Layout: 2.45-mile, seven-turn road course
- Format: 82 laps, broken into three stages (20 laps/20 laps/42 laps)
- Start/Finish: 4th / 7th (Running, completed 86 of 86 laps)
- Note: Race extended four laps past its scheduled 82-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
- Race Winner: Sam Mayer of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang qualified fourth for Saturday’s Shriners Children’s 200 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International but had to drop to the back for the start of the race after the team repaired a leak following qualifying. Custer drove through to the field to enter the top-10 and advanced to the ninth position by the end of Stage 1 on lap 20. The HighPoint.com driver entered the top-five on lap 34 and stayed there to finish fifth in the second stage. Custer continued racing within the top-five as the race reached halfway, and on lap 63 made contact with the No. 17 in turn one during a battle for the third position. Both cars spun, but continued on, with Custer eventually going off course in the esses. The No. 00 team pitted under green for tires and to remove grass from the grille of Custer’s Mustang placing him back in the 22nd position. As the leaders made their final stops for fuel under green, Custer remained on track and found himself back in the top-10. A caution on lap 80 sent the race into overtime and allowed Custer to restart in fourth with a chance to take the win. As the field approached turn one, the leaders made contact and the top-two cars were sent off track. Custer sustained damage while avoiding the melee and held on for a seventh place finish at Watkins Glen.
Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We had a fast No. 00 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang today. To go from dead last to ninth at the end of the first stage was huge and just showed the amount of speed we had. We probably could’ve competed for a win with the No. 19 with the speed we had, but you know, it’s hard to say. Overall, we just had a really fast car, and the guys did a great job putting it together. We were in position to go for the win when we were passing the No. 17, and I just pushed too hard. I should’ve been smarter, but that’s part of it. I would’ve liked to have the trophy, but the good news is that we have a fast racecar heading into these final races of the regular season.”
- Sam Mayer won the Shriners Children’s 200 to score his second career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory, his second of the season and his first at Watkins Glen. His margin over second-place Sheldon Creed was .909 of a second.
- There were five caution periods for a total of 18 laps.
- Twenty-one of the 38 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
- Austin Hill leaves Watkins Glen as the championship leader with a nine-point advantage over second-place John Hunter Nemechek.
The next event on the NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule is the Wawa 250 Powered by Coca-Cola on Friday, Aug. 25 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The race begins at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by USA and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.