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NASCAR Xfinity: Cole Custer takes Texas win with last-lap pass

during the NASCAR Xfinity Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 3, 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas.

By AMANDA VINCENT

Cole Custer secured his spot among the four NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers to race for the 2018 series championship later this month at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a win Saturday in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.

“I can’t believe it,” Custer said. “The 1 [Elliott Sadler] is the best pusher in the series, and I hated that I didn’t have him behind me. We did all we could. I drove it in deeper than I have all weekend, and it worked out. I am pumped for Autodesk, their first time on the car. Gene Haas [team co-owner], I wouldn’t be here without him and Haas Automation. I am pumped. We are going to Homestead, and I think we have a great shot of winning.”

Custer took his race-winning lead on the final lap by passing Tyler Reddick. Reddick finished second after leading a race-high 54 of the 200 laps that made up the race.

“I knew I had to make it happen in turns one and two, because it was just hard to pass in three and four all day,” Custer said. “I drove it into turn one probably five car lengths deeper than I had all day, and it worked out somehow. I was able to get him [Reddick] loose on his bumper and get to his inside, and we were side drafting on the back stretch and got together, and it worked out in our favor, I guess.”

Austin Cindric finished third, John Hunter Nemechek was fourth, and Justin Allgaier fifth.

Daniel Hemric and Custer were stage winners, with Hemric winning the first 45-lap stage and Custer the second in the race that was marred by a record-13 cautions. Pole-sitter Christopher Bell was involved in a lap-one caution and retired from the race after hitting the wall and bringing out the ninth caution on lap 133.

Reddick led early in the opening stage before Hemric took the top spot on a restart following a lap 21 caution.

Reddick retook the lead on the restart at the beginning of the second stage, but Custer was up front after staying out during a lap-81 caution. After failing to lead laps when he started from the pole, Bell took the lead by staying out after stage two completed, but he lost the position on pit road during a lap 125 caution when Brandon Jones got out first by taking fuel only during a lap-125 yellow flag.

Hemric took the race lead on the restart, and he and Allgaier each led laps before Custer and Reddick were among drivers who stayed out during the penultimate caution on lap 188 to restart on the front row.

Jones finished sixth, Matt Tifft was seventh, Elliott Sadler eighth, Spencer Gallagher ninth, and Hemric 10th. Bell was the only playoff driver outside the top-10 at the checkered flag. His early retirement resulted in a 32nd-place finish.

“I won six races this year,” Bell said. “I’ve had a great season. We had a solid GameStop Camry today. We got a chance to win two more.”

Below, is the complete finishing order for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway:

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Posted by on November 5, 2018. 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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