Cole Custer Gets Another Shot at Top-Level NASCAR Racing

NASCAR Xfinity Series regular Cole Custer returns to Rick Ware Racing's No. 51 for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono.

NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship Ford EcoBoost 300
Matt Sullivan—Getty Images

NASCAR Xfinity Series regular Cole Custer is slated to make his second-career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start Sunday in the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Like his first-career series start, the second will come from behind the wheel of the No. 51 Rick Ware Racing Ford.

Custer announced the news via Twitter on Wednesday.

Custer’s double-duty weekend will be begin with Saturday’s running of the Pocono Green 250 Xfinity Series race, also at Pocono Raceway.

Custer made his Cup Series debut at Las Vegas Speedway in March, finishing 25th after starting 30th in the Pennzoil 400. He was three laps down at the checkered flag of the 267-lap race.

Custer is in his second season of full-time Xfinity Series competition as driver of the No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. Through the first 11 of 33 races this season, he has two top-fives and eight top-10 finishes. In all, Custer has made 49 starts in the Xfinity Series, resulting in a win, 10 top-fives and 29 top-10 finishes. His first-career series win in the Xfinity Series came in the 2017 season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway last November.

Custer finished seventh in the Xfinity Series race at Pocono Raceway last year. He finished fifth in a truck fielded by JR Motorsports in the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Pocono. His lone ARCA Racing Series win in six series starts came at Pocono Raceway in 2015.

Other drivers including Timmy Hill, Justin Marks, B.J. McLeod, Harrison Rhodes and Cody Ware have driven the No. 51 RWR entry in the first 13 races this season. The best finish of the season, so far, was a 12th with Marks as driver in the season-opening Daytona 500 in February. The No. 51 was 38th, 27 laps down, at the finish of the most recent race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina May 27 with McLeod behind the wheel.

Rick Ware Racing has one previous NASCAR premier series start at Pocono, coming last year and resulting in a 39th-place after running only 35 of 160 laps with Ware as driver.