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Custer Speeds To Another Win

Rookie Pulls Away For K&N Pro East Victory At New Hampshire
By Jason Christley, NASCAR
September 21, 2013 - 4:32pm

LOUDON, N.H. -- A month after becoming the youngest winner in NASCAR K&N Pro Series history, 15-year-old Cole Custer from Ladera Ranch, Calif., returned to Victory Lane Saturday in the North American Power 150 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Custer, the son of Stewart-Haas Racing executive Joe Custer, was making just his 12th career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East start and had a dominating weekend. He was fastest in Friday practice, won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award presented by Coors Brewing, and led a race-high 60 laps.

He also won from the pole Aug. 2 at Iowa Speedway.

Daniel Suarez finished second for his fifth top three finish in his last six races, while Cale Conley was third. Rookie Ben Rhodes crossed the line fourth and Dylan Presnell finished a career-best fifth. Rookie Jesse Little took home sixth.

Brett Moffitt finished seventh and cut Dylan Kwasniewski's points lead to 23 with two races remaining. Kwasniewski was involved in a Lap 34 wreck after a spin battling Custer for the lead and finished a season-worst 24th.

Rookies Gray Gaulding, Mackena Bell and Ronnie Bassett Jr. rounded out the top 10.

Custer has four top-five finishes through those first 12 K&N Pro Series East outings, and all four have come at national series tracks. In addition to a pair of top fives at Iowa, he also finished on the podium at Richmond International Raceway.

1 Cole Custer
2 Daniel Suarez
3 Cale Conley
4 Ben Rhodes
5 Dylan Presnell

The Iowa victory made Custer the youngest winner in K&N Pro Series East history overall. On Saturday, he etched his name in the record book as the series’ youngest winner at the “Magic Mile,” a place that the K&N East has visited more times than any other facility in its history.

“The guys bring a great car to the track,” Custer said. “I have to thank Gene Haas and Haas Automation. All of the guys did a great job. The car was perfect.”

The New Hampshire win came in a much different fashion for Custer than Iowa, where he ran at the front mostly unchallenged from start to finish. On Saturday he had a number of challengers and had to hold off Suarez on a green-white-checkered flag finish.

“This one was a lot more hectic,” Custer said of the New Hampshire win compared to Iowa. “A lot of the guys are from up here so we really wanted to win this race. It feels really good, all of my guys are really excited.”

The race featured a season-high six lead changes among five drivers and was slowed by eight cautions and one red flag for the multi-car accident that collected two of the top three in the standings in Kwasniewski and Ben Kennedy.

The North American Power 100 will air on Fox Sports 1 on Friday, Oct. 4.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will next race in the Drive Sober 150 at Dover International Speedway on Friday, Sept. 27.



Cole Custer smokes the tires as his team celebrates after winning the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Getty Images for NASCAR