● Cole Custer and his No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will have four chances to be part of the prestigious NASCAR All-Star Race field for the second year in a row when he first takes to the 1.5-mile oval at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth during Sunday afternoon’s NASCAR Open. The 24-year-old from Ladera Ranch, California, is one of 16 drivers on the entry list for the non-points, 50-lap Open. He can join the field of 20 drivers already locked into the $1 million-to-win All-Star Race – including SHR teammates Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola and Chase Briscoe – by winning one of the Open’s three stages. He can also automatically advance to the non-points All-Star Race field by winning the NASCAR Fan Vote.
● A year ago, in the first All-Star Race weekend ever held at Texas Motor Speedway, Custer was locked into the main event by virtue of his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory in July 2020 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. It was his second career All-Star Race, and he qualified fourth and finished 14th. The July 2020 race win at Kentucky also locked Custer into the 2020 All-Star Race, which was held in August at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. He finished 16th in that event.
● Custer has three points-paying Cup Series outings at the 1.5-mile Texas oval. His best finish there was 14th in November 2020 after an accident ended his day prematurely in the July race. He finished 19th there last November.
● Custer was victorious at Texas in the November 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series race, one of his six outings there in that series. He has three other top-five finishes and an eighth-place result in his most recent Xfinity Series visit to Texas in November 2019.
● In NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition at Texas, Custer has a best finish of ninth in the November 2016 race, driving the No. 00 JR Motorsports entry.
● Riding along with Custer and his SHR Mustang is team co-owner Gene Haas’ newest holding, Haas Tooling, which was launched as a way for CNC machinists to purchase high-quality cutting tools at great prices. Haas cutting tools are sold exclusively online at HaasTooling.com and shipped directly to end users. HaasTooling.com products became available nationally in July 2020. Haas Automation, founded by Haas in 1983, is America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools. The company manufactures a complete line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers and rotary tables and indexers. All Haas products are constructed in the company’s 1.1-million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Oxnard, California, and distributed through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets.
|Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing|
| You’re attempting to make the NASCAR All-Star Race field for the third year in a row. What was your experience like in your first two outings?“It’s unbelievable to be a part of the All-Star Race and it’s something that you can never take for granted because you never know if you’re going to be in it every single year. So we’re going to go all out to make it for the third year in a row. The chance to go for a million dollars and the possibilities of winning that and how that would change your life is definitely huge. To have that chance is unreal, so we’re not going to hold anything back.”|
How do you think having the All-Star Race at Texas compares to when it was a staple at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway?“If you want to see some cars going really fast, then Texas is the place to go. I mean, it’s just a big track, a lot of grip, a lot of speed. We’re just going as hard as we can pretty much the whole lap and the whole race. I think from what we’ve seen this year with the NextGen you can expect exciting racing from the first lap through the last. These stages are short and there’s no time to hang around in the back.”
What is it about Texas that makes it that way?“Texas is just fast, wide open, and you’re trying to get as much speed as possible out of your car. It’s a place where you’re on the gas and on the throttle so much that it means a ton to have that car that can just make more speed than everybody else, and you’re going to see people trying to get there as soon as possible.”