Cole Custer

Cole Custer

25-Year-Old Driver  
Stewart Haas Racing
Stewart Haas Racing
2023 Fantasy Outlook
Custer makes a full-time return to the Xfinity Series after a three-season cup of coffee in NASCAR's top division. Things didn't quite work out in SHR's Cup car, but he got a pretty favorable landing in the Xfinity Series and the No. 00 Ford entry. Custer is a 10-time winner in this division of NASCAR and finished runner-up in the championship chase in both 2018 and 2019, so he's no stranger to dominating in this series. The 25-year-old Californian made five starts last year in the Xfinity Series and turned some heads with his one victory and three Top-10 finishes in the under-equipped No. 07 Ford of SS-Green Light Racing. Custer is talented and will be eager to succeed in this really good team situation. Read Past Outlooks
Crew Chief Promoted
XFINITY Series
January 6, 2023
With Stewart Haas Racing expanding to a two-car effort in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Jonathan Toney has been promoted from engineer to crew chief for driver Custer and the No. 00 team.
ANALYSIS
SHR is expanding to two teams in the Xfinity Series this season by adding Custer to the lineup. The team has promoted engineer Jonathan Toney to serve as crew chief for Custer's No. 00 Ford team. "Jonathan has been a workhorse and his fingerprints are on a lot of the success this team has enjoyed," said Greg Zipadelli, chief competition officer. "He's been here since the very beginning and knows this place inside and out. Jonathan has definitely earned this opportunity and all of us are proud to see him take on this new role."
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2014
The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year was another greatly-affected Stewart Haas Racing driver last season. This team's power outage hit all four of their drivers, but Custer especially hard. After a 16th-place finish in the points and a win in his rookie season, Custer regressed to 26th-place in the points and logged only two Top-20 finishes in all of 2021. The lack of performance saw the young driver tumble precipitously down the driver standings. Custer and his team return intact for the upcoming season. They'll go to work immediately on a rebound performance closer to what Custer experienced in his rookie campaign. He was a nine-time winner in the Xfinity Series and finished runner-up in the championship twice in that division of NASCAR. Custer's talents are obvious, and it shouldn't be too difficult for him to rebound in 2022.
It was an incredibly successful first season of Cup Series racing for Custer. He waged a year-long battle with Tyler Reddick and finally prevailed to win 2020 Rookie of the Year. Custer's one win (Kentucky) and seven Top-10 performance was enough for him to finally pull away from Reddick and win that honor. He'll look to up the ante in 2021 as he and crew chief Mike Shiplett return for season 2 in NASCAR's top division. Custer is as the old cliché goes "the goods". The soon-to-be 23-year old driver is seasoned and skilled beyond his years, and proved to be a quick study behind the wheel in his first full season of Cup Series racing. Things went a bit lean for Custer in the final weeks of the season, but he should rebound nicely this season. If we see improvement and growth similar to other young drivers the past few years, Custer should likely steal another victory and push his Top 10 totals easily into the double digits.
The 21-year-old prospect is ascending to the Cup Series in 2020. Custer is coming off a seven-win Xfinity Series campaign and runner-up points finish last season. The Stewart Haas Racing prodigy has done nothing but win at every stage of his racing development, and now he'll take over the very capable No. 41 Ford team at SHR. Custer brings his Xfinity Series crew chief, Mike Shiplett, in the move up to NASCAR's top division. This is a great move, and that established chemistry should help ease this often difficult transition. Custer piled up eight victories, 31 Top-5 and 50 Top-10 finishes over his last two seasons of racing in the Xfinity Series, so he is ready to take this step up. He won't be ready to win right out of the gate, so development will take some time. We would expect Custer to post rookie season numbers that are modestly better than what Daniel Suarez achieved in the same car last season.
Custer was a little slow to start, but finished last season strong. He would end up with one victory and 26 Top-10 finishes. Custer would pilot the team's Ford in the season finale at Homestead and race for the championship. The SHR youngster put on an impressive show, winning the pole and leading 95 laps, but he would fall second to Tyler Reddick in the race and the championship. It was a great campaign for the 21-year-old and good development of his racing skill. Custer will return to the team and seek the championship again in 2019, although he'll have to do it with a new crew chief. Jeff Meendering moved to Joe Gibbs Racing during the off-season, so Custer will have a new face atop the tool box in the upcoming season.
One of the strongest performing and most impressive drivers of the stretch run last season was Custer. He earned more points (383) than any other driver over the final 10 races of last season. Custer also racked up one win and eight Top-10 finishes during that stretch run. His victory came in the season finale at Homestead and served as an exclamation point on this season, and a peek of the future. Custer wound up an impressive fifth in the final point standings, and that will be a mark to shoot past in 2018. This driver/team/operation gelled at the end of last season, now they're set to impress. We look for Custer to win multiple races in the upcoming season and to challenge for the championship.
This young driver was so talented that Dale Earnhardt Jr. basically started a truck series team from scratch just to give Custer a ride the last two seasons. He opened eyes when he became the youngster winner in NASCAR touring series history at age 16 and that made Earnhardt a believer in his skills. Custer's time in the truck series is now complete with two wins and 24 Top 10's spread across just 42 starts. He'll take over the initial entry into the Xfinity Series by Stewart Haas Racing. This new team and rookie driver will go head-to-head with William Byron for the ROTY honors in 2017. Custer will be teamed with talented crew chief, Jeff Meendering, in the No. 00 Ford team. New teams can be surprising or they can be underperforming. In the case of Custer, his talent should elevate this team quickly to overcome any growing pains.
This skilled young driver makes the jump from part-time competition to full-time competition in this racing series this season. Custer opened eyes in 2014 at the age of 16 when he became the youngest winner in Camping World Truck Series history with his big win at Loudon. Dale Earnhardt Jr. saw enough of the young Californian tearing up the K&N Pro Series in both the East and West to put together a part-time truck series team for him. Custer hasn’t disappointed since given the opportunity. In just 19-combined starts over the last two years, he’s claimed two wins, three poles and 10 Top-10 finishes in those 19 starts. It will be exciting to see what Custer can do in a full 23-race slate. The sky’s the limit for this young driver and strong race team.
More Fantasy News
Confirmed to the No. 00 Ford
XFINITY Series
November 25, 2022
Last week, Stewart-Haas Racing announced Cole Custer's return to the Xfinity Series. This week, the team announced he would drive the No. 00 Ford once again.
ANALYSIS
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Heading to Xfinity Series
XFINITY Series
November 16, 2022
With the promotion of Ryan Preece to the NASCAR Cup Series, Custer, who has driven the No. 41 Ford Mustang since his rookie year in 2020 when he delivered a victory at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta in just his 20th career Cup Series start, will remain with Stewart Haas Racing. Custer will head back to the Xfinity Series in 2023.
ANALYSIS
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Team issued penalty after Charlotte
NASCAR Cup
October 11, 2022
Custer and his No. 41 team have been penalized following the Charlotte Roval for slowing on the final lap, Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports reports.
ANALYSIS
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Fast Xfinity Practice
XFINITY Series
July 1, 2022
Custer was fastest in Happy Hour practice for the Henry 180 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Road America Friday afternoon. He turned a fast lap of 107.499 mph.
ANALYSIS
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Unapproved adjustments at Charlotte
NASCAR Cup
May 29, 2022
Custer will start at the rear of Sunday's Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway for unapproved adjustments, Jim Utter of Motorsport.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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