NASCAR Xfinity: Jeff Meendering named Cole Custer’s new crew chief
By AMANDA VINCENT
Jeff Meendering will be Cole Custer’s crew chief on the No. 00 Ford team in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2017. It will be Custer’s first full season of Xfinity Series competition, as well as Stewart-Haas Racing’s first season in the series.
Meendering’s recent hiring to be Custer’s crew chief next season is Meendering’s second stint with Stewart-Haas Racing. He joined SHR in 2009, the organization’s debut season, as car chief on the No. 14 team of team co-owner and driver Tony Stewart in the Sprint Cup Series. He was a member of the team when it won the 2011 Sprint Cup.
More recently, Meendering was a car chief on the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team of driver Matt Kenseth at the Sprint Cup level. Early in his career, Meendering worked at Hendrick Motorsports, eventually being promoted to a car chief position, there, with the No. 24 Chevrolet team that, then, had Jeff Gordon as its driver. While with the No. 24 team, he served as a fill-in crew chief in 2007 while regular crew chief, Steve Letarte, served a NASCAR suspension. Meendering later was named the regular crew chief on the No. 43 Ford at Richard Petty Motorsports for then-driver Bobby Labonte.
Custer, meanwhile, moves to the Xfinity Series from the Camping World Truck Series, where he has 42-career finishes. He has two-career wins in the Truck Series, one coming at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon in 2014 and at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill., in 2015.
Custer made five starts in the Xfinity Series in 2016, driving for JR Motorsports. In those races, he posted a top-five and two top-10 finishes.