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Cole Custer bests Joey Logano for Chicagoland Xfinity win

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Cole Custer bests Joey Logano for Chicagoland Xfinity win
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Jun 29, 2019, 10:23 PM

Cole Custer continues to match Christopher Bell win-for-win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Race Winner Cole Custer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Haas Automation
Race Winner Cole Custer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Haas Automation
Race Winner Cole Custer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Haas Automation

Bell’s reign alone at the top with a series-leading four wins didn’t last long as Custer added a dominating victory in Saturday’s Camping World 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Custer, who led 151 of 200 laps, easily held off reigning Cup series champion Joey Logano to pick up his fourth win of the season and the sixth of his career.

Bell ended up third, but was later disqualified. Michael Annett was inherited third, Brandon Jones fourth and Austin Cindric fifth. 

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“I think you can see we’re going to hit it hard this summer,” Custer said after the race. “We’ve got some great cars. The guys did an awesome job with the car this weekend – I don’t how you could get the car any better than in that last run.

“This is a great track. I love it. I’ve been wanting to win here for a long time.”

Asked if he and his team came into the race hoping what they did here would also work in the season finale at Homestead, Custer said, “For sure. I want to be good running (against) the wall and I think I got a lot better at that throughout the day. I think we can compare this to Homestead for sure.”

With 75 laps remaining, Custer had built up a 1.5-second lead over Bell while Logano ran third. Tyler Reddick ran fourth and Ross Chastain fifth.

After 140 laps, Custer’s lead over Bell had increased to more than 3 seconds. Logano continued to run third, 4.5 seconds behind the leader.

With 49 laps to go, Logano was the first among the contenders to make his green-flag pit stop. Custer made his stop with 47 laps remaining.

With 28 laps to go, two lead-lap cars still had not pit but B.J. McLeod hit the wall to bring out a caution. Custer had made his way back to third at the time.

Once again, the lead-lap cars – including Annett and Noah Gragson who had not yet pit – headed down pit road for fresh tires. Annett was the first off pit road and led the way on the restart with 21 laps remaining. He was followed by Gragson, Custer and Logano.

Custer went three-wide on the restart and reclaimed the lead by the exit of Turn 2.

With 10 laps remaining, Custer maintained a more than 2-second lead over Logano while Bell had moved into third.

Stage 2

Logano took the Stage 2 win over Bell just as caution flew for Chase Briscoe, who spun on the last lap of the 45-lap segment.

Custer finished third, Jones was fourth and Reddick completed the top-five. Custer had pit for new tires late in the stage but could not make it back to the lead before its conclusion.

Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, all of the lead-lap cars elected to pit with Custer the first off pit road. On the restart on Lap 52, Custer led the way followed by Reddick, Bell and Logano.

By the next lap, Logano had already made his way into the second position.

With 30 laps remaining in the second stage, Custer maintained about a 1 second lead over Logano with Jones running in third.

After 70 laps, Custer had opened up a more than 1.5-second lead over Logano. Jones was third, Bell fourth and Reddick had dropped to fifth and was complaining of the handling of his car.

On Lap 76, Ryan Sieg spun in Turn 2 to bring out a caution. Several lead-lap cars elected to pit under the caution but Logano stayed out and took over the race lead.

The race restarted on Lap 85 with Logano out front followed by Bell, Allgaier and Cindric. Custer lined up 10th.

With two laps left in the stage, Logano continued to hold a small lead over Bell with Cindric in third.

Stage 1 

Custer held off Reddick for the Stage 1 victory, his sixth stage win of the 2019 season.

Bell finished third, Jones was fourth and Logano rounded out the top-five.

Logano, who started on the pole, grabbed the early lead in the race but Custer went to the inside of Logano in Turn 2 and came out in Turn 3 with the lead on Lap 3.

Allgaier spun while running in second on Lap 11 to bring out the first caution of the race. The race returned to green on Lap 16 with Custer in the lead followed by Logano and Bell.

 

Logano quickly got around Custer on the restart to reclaim the lead as Custer dropped to second and Jones moved to third.

Custer and Logano swapped the lead on Lap 21 before Logano was able to get back around Custer for the top spot on Lap 22.

After 25 laps, Custer maintained a small advantage over Logano as Reddick had moved up to third. With 15 laps to go in the stage, Reddick had taken over the runner-up position behind Custer.

After 35 laps, Reddick had cut Custer’s lead to under a second as Bell had moved up to third.

With five laps remaining in the stage, Reddick continued to hound Custer for the lead but couldn’t get close enough to attempt a pass for the lead.

Six drivers had to move to the rear of the field to start the race – Chase Briscoe and Vinnie Miller for unapproved adjustments; Shane Lee for an engine change; Josh Bilicki for driver change; Jeff Green for missing the drivers meeting; and Chad Finchum because his crew chief missed the drivers meeting.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Laps Led
1 00 United States Cole Custer  Ford 200   151
2 12 United States Joey Logano  Ford 200 2.917 20
3 20 United States Christopher Bell  Toyota 200 3.592  
4 1 United States Michael Annett  Chevrolet 200 6.562 25
5 19 United States Brandon Jones  Toyota 200 7.345  
6 22 United States Austin Cindric  Ford 200 7.405  
7 9 United States Noah Gragson  Chevrolet 200 9.266  
8 11 United States Justin Haley  Chevrolet 200 11.316  
9 10 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 200 13.057  
10 2 United States Tyler Reddick  Chevrolet 200 13.645  
11 18 Riley Herbst  Toyota 200 13.985  
12 23 United States John Hunter Nemechek  Chevrolet 200 18.309  
13 39 United States Ryan Sieg  Chevrolet 200 19.456  
14 51 United States Jeremy Clements  Chevrolet 200 21.372  
15 08 United States Gray Gaulding  Chevrolet 200 23.477  
16 98 United States Chase Briscoe  Ford 199 1 lap  
17 81 United States Jeffrey Earnhardt  Toyota 199 1 lap 1
18 8 Zane Smith  Chevrolet 199 1 lap 3
19 28 United States Shane Lee  Toyota 199 1 lap  
20 4 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
21 07 United States Ray Black Jr.  Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
22 01 United States Stephen Leicht  Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
23 86 United States Brandon Brown  Chevrolet 198 2 laps  
24 15 United States B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 196 4 laps  
25 42 United States Chad Finchum  Toyota 195 5 laps  
26   United States Garrett Smithley  Chevrolet 195 5 laps  
27 36 United States Josh Williams  Chevrolet 195 5 laps  
28 5 United States Matt Mills  Toyota 195 5 laps  
29 99 United States Tommy Joe Martins  Toyota 194 6 laps  
30 78 United States Vinnie Miller  Toyota 194 6 laps  
31 90 United States Ronnie Bassett Jr.  Chevrolet 193 7 laps  
32 74 United States Camden Murphy  Chevrolet 192 8 laps  
33 7 United States Justin Allgaier  Chevrolet 127 73 laps  
34 35 United States Joey Gase  Toyota 111 89 laps  
35 66 United States Timmy Hill  Toyota 71 129 laps  
36 17 United States Bayley Currey  Chevrolet 55 145 laps  
37 52 United States David Starr  Chevrolet 52 148 laps  
38 38 United States Jeff Green  Chevrolet 11 189 laps  

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Christopher Bell disqualified from Saturday's NASCAR Xfinity race

Christopher Bell disqualified from Saturday's NASCAR Xfinity race
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About this article

Series NASCAR XFINITY
Event Chicagoland
Drivers Cole Custer
Teams Stewart-Haas Racing
Author Jim Utter