Accident Ends Rookie’s Day Prematurely
Date: May 31, 2020
Event: Food City presents the Supermarket Heroes 500 (Round 9 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (.533-mile oval)
Format: 500 laps, broken into three stages (125 laps/125 laps/250 laps)
Start/Finish: 22nd/35th (Accident, completed 228 of 500 laps)
Point Standing: 24th with 140 points, 230 out of first
Race Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsport (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsport (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-125):
● Cole Custer started 22nd and finished 26th.
● Throughout the first two cautions, Custer remained on the track in his HaasTooling.com Mustang even though he was tight to the center and off of the turns. He restarted 13th on lap 29.
● At the lap-62 competition caution, Custer pitted from 20th for fuel, four tires and adjustments to help with his tight handling condition. He restarted 24th.
● During the Stage 1 break, the 22-year-old pitted from 26th for fuel, four tires and adjustments to help with his tight-handling HaasTooling.com Mustang.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 126-250):
● Custer started 20th and finished 35th.
● The caution was thrown on lap 198 and the California native reported his car was improving and would like more of the previous adjustment. After visiting pit road, he restarted 21st on lap 207.
● Next caution was displayed on lap 211 with Custer in the 19th spot. He didn’t visit pit road and restarted 18th on lap 216.
● On lap 217, the caution was once again displayed with Custer in 17th.
● Custer restarted 17th on lap 221 after not pitting.
● On lap 228, Custer was collected in a multi-car accident, which ultimately ended his day and relegated him to a 35th-place finish.
● Custer made his 12th career NASCAR Cup Series start and his first at Bristol.
● Brad Keselowski won the Food City presents the Supermarket Heroes 500 to score his 32nd career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his third at Bristol. His margin of victory over second-place Bowyer was .471 of a second.
● This was Ford’s series-best fifth win of the season and its 691st all-time NASCAR Cup Series victory.
● This was Ford’s 38th NASCAR Cup Series victory at Bristol. The last Ford driver to win at Bristol was Kurt Busch in August 2018 while a member of SHR.
● There were 17 caution periods for a total of 102 laps.
● Only 22 of the 40 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Harvick remains the championship leader after Bristol with a 24-point advantage over second-place Joey Logano.
Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Well, that stinks. We were getting our car a lot better and then caught up in the wreck. Just so little time to react so you get caught up in them pretty easily here at Bristol. That’s just how it is here. I thought our HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang was getting a lot better. I felt like we could’ve run in the top-10. We were a lot better than where we were running. We were going forward, but our pit stall wasn’t helping us either. We were getting blocked in about every time and that hurt us too. We’ll move on to the next one, but man, I thought we were going to have a good day here.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Folds of Honor 500 on Sunday, June 7 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.