At just sixteen years, seven months, and 28 days, Cole Custer became the youngest winner in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history in the UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Starting from the pole position, Custer not only scored the win, he did so in dominating fashion leading 147 of 175 laps in the NO. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet. Additionally, he outdueled the defending series champion, Matt Crafton and Kyle Busch Motorsports driver, Darrell Wallace Jr, in the closing laps to get the win in only his seventh career start.
Custer commented on his win saying, “I’ve been coming to these races since I was really young,” Custer said. “I’ve looked up to this series and everybody who races in this series, and I couldn’t even imagine racing here and even winning a race. I can’t even explain how amazing this is.”
Custer’s competition was also complimentary of the youngster. Wallace was asked if he could have caught Custer if the race had been longer. Wallace replied, “No. I’m glad it was only like four laps (longer) because he would have checked out by a straightaway. Just four tires though. He was fast all race long. You wonder where you stack up on pit stops — he was so far out we wouldn’t see him until we cycled back around. He was just fast. Any more laps — we would have dropped. We did not have a short run truck at all. We had to make the most of it — couldn’t give up an inch, for sure.”
Crafton who had to start from the rear of the field had a fast truck all day. He worked his way through the field and led 20 laps en-route to his third place finish. A disappointed Crafton commented on his race, “We had a fast truck. It’s a damn shame that we finished third with it. I don’t know — that 00 (Cole Custer) was fast. He definitely was fast. He had four tires right there at the end — we were kind of sitting ducks with two tires. I didn’t think that four tires was going to pay off quite as much as it did. All the restarts we had right there at the end killed us.”
Crafton did manage to retain the points lead over teammate Johnny Sauter. Crafton now sits seven points ahead of Sauter and 24 points ahead of Ryan Blaney, who spun in the closing laps.
The series now heads to Las Vegas Speedway on September 27 for the Rhino Linings 350 at 10:00 pm EST.