Cole Custer
22-Year-Old Driver  
Stewart Haas Racing
2020 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
Wins Quaker State 400
NASCAR Cup
July 12, 2020
Custer won the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway Sunday afternoon.
ANALYSIS
A late caution would setup a restart with 2 laps to go and Custer would win an epic battle. At times the race for the lead would go four-wide. Custer would use the outside line to sail past Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Blaney. Custer would bring the No. 41 Ford to the white flag with the lead. He would hang on over the final circuit of the Kentucky oval to capture his first-career Cup Series win. Custer becomes the first rookie to win in NASCAR's top division since Chris Buescher last accomplished the feat in 2016.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2014
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
Fifth-Place at Indy
NASCAR Cup
July 5, 2020
Custer finished fifth in the Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday afternoon.
ANALYSIS
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Late push to rear
NASCAR Cup
June 7, 2020
Custer will start at the rear of the field for Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway due to unapproved adjustments, Jim Utter of Motorsport.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Pole position at North Wilkesboro
NASCAR Cup
May 9, 2020
Custer will start in the pole position for the Pro Invitational Series at North Wilkesboro through iRacing, Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports reports.
ANALYSIS
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Runner-up Finish at HMS
XFINITY Series
November 16, 2019
Custer finished second in the Ford EcoBoost 300 Xfinity Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway Saturday.
ANALYSIS
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Moving to SHR No. 41 Next Season
NASCAR Cup
November 15, 2019
Custer will replace Daniel Suarez in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Ford for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season, NASCAR.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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