Cole Custer scores second straight Dash 4 Cash win in Xfinity race at Dover
DOVER, Del. — Cole Custer escaped the clutches of the “Monster Mile” a cool $100,000 richer on Saturday afternoon.
A seventh-place finish at Dover Motor Speedway netted Custer his second consecutive triumph in the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ Dash 4 Cash bonus program, backing up his success from a week ago at Talladega Superspeedway.
MORE: Race results | At-track photos: Dover
“It’s huge. I mean, winning $200,000 in the last two weeks is huge for our team and it’s a big accomplishment,” Custer said. “We’ve been solid the last few weeks and we’ve been starting to put it together. Obviously, we want more. We want to go win and I think we’re capable of that. It’s just a matter of having everything come together, but we’ll enjoy this.
“It’s awesome to have that bonus and it’s really cool that Xfinity does that and lets us race it out for $100,000. I mean, that’s pretty incredible.”
To score the extra cash, Custer had to best Sheldon Creed, Jeb Burton and pole-sitter Parker Kligerman. Creed made Custer sweat as the checkers neared, leading 17 laps while trying to stretch his fuel mileage before finally pitting at Lap 189 of 200. At Lap 101, Creed’s No. 2 Chevrolet went for a long slide through Turn 3 as the field somehow avoided him, the car spinning sideways after entering the corner in the middle of a three-wide sandwich with Justin Allgaier high and Sammy Smith low.
Ultimately, Creed rallied to finish 11th, the final car on the lead lap after the yellow flag he needed to cycle to the front of the field never flew.
“When we put tires on and freed it up, best race car I’ve ever had since I’ve been in Xfinity,” Creed told NASCAR.com. “Like, just drove good all day long. I thought we freed it up enough, and I was super good on the long run there. And yeah, that would have been really cool if the caution would have come out. With like 20 to go, they were saying we’re staying out. So I thought we were gonna run it all the way to the checkered. And I was ready to do that, but I guess we wouldn’t have made it on fuel.”
Burton, last week’s race winner at Talladega, finished 18th while Kligerman was credited with a last-place finish in 38th.
Kligerman’s efforts came to an early end at Lap 63 on Saturday. Despite starting on pole thanks to a washed-out and canceled qualifying, Kligerman backslid through the field during the early portions of Saturday’s event. The No. 48 Chevrolet was running just inside the top 20 and pushing high through the exit of Turn 2 when Xfinity Series debut driver Corey Heim contacted his left-rear, sending Kligerman hard nose-first into the inside wall.
MORE: Kligerman’s day ends early
“It hurts because of what was on the offer, the opportunity here today,” Kligerman told FS1. “We weren’t good. I think we were in that position because we were going backwards. We were struggling. But (crew chief) Patrick Donahue and everyone was going to work on this thing, and it seemed like one of those days where we were really gonna have to find a way to get better and keep working on our Spiked Coolers Camaro and go for this opportunity at $100,000 because I looked and none of our competitors are having that good of a day either. It wasn’t like they were lights out. So we could’ve worked on it and been there at the end and hopefully, we could’ve had a big day.
“And obviously in the points, this hurts a ton. But I just hate it because where we were hurting, the driver that got into us, like, you could see we’re struggling. Give me a corner. Give me a corner and we’ll gather it up, you can go by. Just wasn’t the case. We’ll be better next time. That’s the best thing you can do.”