Third Career K&N Pro Series East Win For Custer

cole-custer_vl_nknps-east_richmond_042614_1000Cole Custer made it look easy.

Sixteen-year-old Custer, of Ladera Ranch, Calif., won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East’s Blue Ox 100 on Saturday at Richmond International Raceway. He passed teammate and pole sitter Nick Drake on Lap 49 and led the rest of the way to collect his third series win in 16 starts. A pair of wins last season came at Iowa Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The driver of the No. 00 NAPA Auto Parts/Haas Automation Chevrolet also collected his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series West win in the 2014 season opener at Phoenix International Raceway in February.

Points leader Ben Rhodes finished second for his fourth top-five showing in five outings this season. Drake, who won the pole position in qualifying yesterday, battled to finish third. Austin Hill crossed the line in fourth followed by Ronnie Bassett Jr. in fifth.

Cameron Hayley, Brandon Jones, Brodie Kostecki, Jeremy Burns and Jesse Little rounded out the top-10 finishers on the day.

The race was originally scheduled to be run following the NASCAR Nationwide Series event, but a three-hour rain delay in getting that race underway pushed the Blue Ox 100 to Saturday morning.

Custer, along with Rhodes, Hill and Little, were introduced at 2014-15 members of the NASCAR Next class Friday. NASCAR Next is a program to spotlight the sport’s emerging stars.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East is back in action next on Saturday, May 17 for the Casey’s General Stores 150 at Iowa Speedway in Newton.

Postrace Interviews:

RACE STATISTICS
Fastest Qualifier: Nick Drake *, Time: 22.175 Seconds, Speed: 121.759 mph
Time of Race: 0 hrs., 59 mins, 33 secs
Average Speed: 75.567 mph
Margin of Victory: .178 Seconds
Caution Flags: Laps 27-33 (#55 Spin Turn 3 – FP #4); 35-39 (#96, #91, #07 Turn 3&4 – FP 4); 41-47 (#6, #63, #21, #1, #24, #2  – FP #4); 51-58 (#56 Spin Backstretch – No FP); 86-90 (#42 Turn 4 – FP #2).  5 for 32 laps.
Lap Leaders: Nick Drake * 1-48, Cole Custer 49-100.
Total Laps Led: Cole Custer 52, Nick Drake * 48.  1 changes involving 2 drivers.

Blue Ox 100 Results:

Pos. Car # Driver Laps Points-Bonus Points Status
1 00 Cole Custer 100 48-5 Running
2 41 Ben Rhodes * 100 42 Running
3 15 Nick Drake * 100 42-1 Running
4 22 Austin Hill * 100 40 Running
5 04 Ronnie Bassett, Jr. * 100 39 Running
6 98 Cameron Hayley 100 38 Running
7 33 Brandon Jones 100 37 Running
8 43 Brodie Kostecki * 100 36 Running
9 81 Jeremy Burns * 100 35 Running
10 97 Jesse Little 100 34 Running
11 20 Gray Gaulding 100 33 Running
12 29 Chad Finley * 100 32 Running
13 52 Matt Tifft 100 31 Running
14 31 Kaz Grala * 100 30 Running
15 21 Mackena Bell 100 29 Running
16 1 David Garbo, Jr. * 100 28 Running
17 45 Josh Berry * 100 27 Running
18 34 Scott Heckert 100 26 Running
19 46 Brandon Gdovic 100 25 Running
20 14 Trey Hutchens * 100 24 Running
21 11 Lee Pulliam * 100 23 Running
22 2 Ryan Gifford 100 22 Running
23 12 Beto Monteiro * 99 21 Running
24 63 John Salemi 99 20 Running
25 18 Sam Hunt 98 19 Running
26 24 Brennan Newberry 98 18 Running
27 71 Eddie MacDonald 89 17 Rear Seal
28 42 Jay Beasley * 86 16 Brakes
29 7 Michael McGuire * 83 15 Brakes
30 4 Sergio Pena 68 14 Accident
31 56 Akinori Ogata 50 13 Accident
32 6 Daniel Suarez 40 12 Electrical
33 91 Jordon Anderson 35 11 Accident
34 07 Clint King * 34 10 Accident
35 96 Kenzie Ruston 34 9 Accident
36 55 Jerry Dawson * 22 8 Overheating
37 19 Chuck Buchanan, Jr. * 18 7 Handling

* Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender

Top 10 Driver Points:

Pos. Driver Points Behind Starts Wins Top 5s Top 10s
1 Ben Rhodes * 202 Leaders 5 1 4 4
2 Gray Gaulding 184 -18 5 0 1 3
3 Cameron Hayley 180 -22 5 0 2 3
4 Daniel Suarez 165 -37 5 2 3 3
5 Jesse Little 163 -39 5 0 1 2
6 Austin Hill * 160 -42 5 0 3 3
7 Kaz Grala * 160 -42 5 0 0 3
8 Brandon Jones 156 -46 5 0 1 3
9 Nick Drake * 154 -48 5 0 2 2
10 Brodie Kostecki * 154 -48 5 0 0 2

* Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender

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