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NASCAR Xfinity: Cole Custer makes last-lap pass for Pocono win

LONG POND, PENNSYLVANIA – JUNE 01: Cole Custer, driver of the #00 FIMS Manufacturing Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Pocono Green 250 at Pocono Raceway on June 01, 2019 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Cole Custer passed Tyler Reddick in the third and final turn on the final lap at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., on Saturday to claim his third NASCAR Xfinity Series win of 2019 in the Pocono Green 250.

“We are hitting our stride,” Custer said. “We have really fast cars, and it is just a matter of doing it week in and week out, and we have been doing it. We just need to keep going out there and execute.”

Reddick finished second, 0.226 seconds behind Custer, after starting the race in the back because of a pre-race transmission change. Chase Briscoe was third after sharing the front row with Custer on the final restart with two laps remaining.

“That last restart, I thought I timed it really well, and I thought I was, maybe, going to be able to clear Cole but just didn’t quite have the push from behind,” Briscoe said. “We were too tight to get up there and mix it up with him and Reddick. Overall, a really strong day for our Nutri Chomps Ford guys and a good day for Stewart-Haas with Cole winning and us running third. A lot to build on. Still need to get a lot better. We will go to Michigan and see what we can do.”

Ryan Preece finished fourth after his car stalled and he fell to the back during the third caution of the race for a Christopher Bell spin on lap 17, and his car stalled, again, during a fuel-only pit stop during a green-flag cycle of stops with about 30 laps remaining.

Bell rounded out the top-five after his early-race spin.

Custer led 58 of the 103 laps that made up the race that was scheduled for 100 laps but extended into overtime by a three-car incident involving Justin Allgaier, Austin Cindric and Ray Black Jr. Custer was up front for the final restart but lost that lead to Reddick as soon as the race restarted.

“It was pretty unbelievable. Tyler gave me a real run for my money, there,” Custer said. “I have no idea how he made it stick on that restart on the bottom passing me, but he did. He was unbelievable on the brakes at the end. I was just able to kind of force a mistake a little bit trying to pack air on him. It was a fun end of the race. I wish I didn’t have to do it like that, but it probably made it exciting. I can’t thank everyone enough at FIMS. They are great people. Thanks for coming on board for this race. Hopefully, we get more wins for them in the future.”

Custer’s laps led included the entire 25-lap opening stage. Allgaier was up front at the end of the second 25-lap stage that concluded the first half of the race’s scheduled distance. By the end of the first stage, Reddick was up to third in the running order. He was second to Allgaier at the end of stage two.

Bell led early in the second stage after staying out during the caution between the first two stages, but on lap 39, Allgaier took the lead.

Cuater was back up front on lap 66, and after the race’s lone green-flag cycle of stops, he had an eight-second lead on Bell and grew that lead to more than 12 seconds by the time the yellow flag waved for the sixth time for an incident involving Cindric and Jeffrey Earnhardt on lap 94.

Preece and Reddick were among those who pitted during the caution and, as a result, restarted in the back of the top-10. Custer and Bell restarted up front, leading those who opted to stay out.

Finishing sixth through 10th were Noah Gragson, Cindric, Michael Annett, Justin Haley and Austin Dillon.

Below, is the finishing order of the Pocono Green 250 at Pocono Raceway:

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Posted by on June 2, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,NASCAR Xfinity. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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