Ford Performance NASCAR: Custer Wins NXS Owner’s Championship for SHR

Ford Notes and Quotes
Ford EcoBoost 300 (Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, FL.)
Saturday, November 17, 2018

Ford Finishing Order:
2nd — Cole Custer
5th — Austin Cindric
12th — Ryan Reed
13th — Chase Briscoe
18th — Kaz Grala

COLE CUSTER, No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang — WHAT HAPPENED IN THE LAST STAGE AND TOWARD THE END? “First off, congrats to Tyler. I’m happy for him. He could run the wall better than I could at the end there and we were so far back from our pit stop with their strategy that once I got to him it seemed like our tires kind of equalled out and then he started running the top and I couldn’t keep up with him. It is what it is. It was a solid day. We had a fast car, we just didn’t have it play out right at the end.”

HOW MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE DID THE PIT STRATEGY MAKE A DIFFERENCE TODAY? “I don’t know if looking back on it that was the right thing to do, but I think if I could have run the top better we would have won also. We got so far behind and then once I caught him our tires kind of equalled out and started running the top and I couldn’t keep up with him. Congrats to Tyler. I’m happy for him. It’s frustrating, but I’ve just got to thank everybody at Haas Automation, Gene Haas, Tony Stewart, everybody that’s been behind us all year. We were really close it’s just sucks to be second.”

HOW HARD IS IT TO GO TO THE WALL WHEN YOU HADN’T REALLY DONE THAT ALL RACE? “I couldn’t do it. I don’t know. I guess it’s just something I need to practice.”

HOW VALUABLE WAS THIS EXPERIENCE? “It means a lot being through this scenario. I thought we kept our calm all day. We did a great job it’s just that it didn’t play out right at the end. We still have something to hang our hats on. We still won the owner’s championship, which is really awesome, but I still wanted the driver’s one too.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE STRATEGY WITH THE PIT STOP? “The strategy wasn’t all of it. Tyler could just run the top better than I could at the end, but looking back on it I don’t know if the call that we made, I think we would have rethought things, but you don’t want to be caught a lap down. There’s a lot of risk involved with pitting early, so it is what it is. If I could have run the top better, we probably would have won also.”

WERE YOUR TIRES JUST DONE WHEN YOU CAUGHT HIM? “They weren’t done, it’s just that you reach a certain point on tires where everything just starts to level out and once I caught him I feel like everything just kind of leveled out and then he could run the top better than I could.”

DO YOU FEEL YOU DID ALL YOU COULD FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT? “Within my means I did as good as I could do as a driver at this point in my career. Maybe down the road if I could drive the top better we would have probably been better, but I couldn’t run the top.”

WHAT WAS IT LIKE THOSE LAST LAPS DOING ALL YOU COULD? “I don’t know. It is what it is. You run consistent and you do what you can and it just didn’t play out.”

ARE YOU ABLE TO LOOK AT THIS SEASON AND FEEL HOW YOU HAVE GAINED AS A COMPETITOR OVERALL? “I think I got way better as a driver this year just because I think I got way better at racing, so now it’’s just a matter of kind of closing it out. That’s the biggest thing for me, but we’re really close. We’re one step away.”

THIS TEAM DIDN’T EXIST TWO YEARS AGO AND NOW YOU’VE WON AN OWNER’S CHAMPIONSHIP. HOW DOES THAT FEEL? “We’ve come a long ways and everybody has worked really hard. It means a lot, but it’s still bittersweet when you finish second.”

AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 MoneyLion Ford Mustang — HOW DOES IT FEEL TO END THE SEASON THIS WAY AND LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT YEAR? “I was thinking about it, this is the first off-season ever in my career that I’ve been able to go into the next year knowing what I’m doing for every race. It’s such a blessing to be able to do that because everyone has to work hard and this is a dream come true to work with Team Penske, MoneyLion, Ford Performance and everyone that makes this possible. I’m the luckiest guy in the world.”

A TOP-FIVE FINISH TO END THE YEAR. HOW WAS YOUR RACE TODAY? “It was a quiet night and I haven’t enough of those this year, so I wanted to keep it that way. I was balancing learning stuff that’s gonna make me competitive and dangerous here next year with getting another solid finish and build more momentum to next year, and building on my weaknesses and perform our strengths. I think we were able to build off of it tonight and I think next year is gonna be a really great year.”

RYAN REED, No. 16 Drive Down A1C Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang — “Overall, it was an uneventful weekend here at Homestead. We had moments of where the car was really good in like the second practice, we were really good at firing off and put it top of the board there, but we just couldn’t ever get it to turn across the center like we needed in our Ford Mustang to be competitive and compete up in the top 10 and top five all night. I’m really proud to have worked with Roush Fenway for the last five years. I’m not sure what my future holds next, but hopefully I can stay in the Ford family and go contend for wins and championships with whatever I do next.”

CHASE BRISCOE, No. 60 Nutri Chomps Ford Mustang — “I think we did a really good job all weekend long and just continuing to build on it. Even in qualifying I felt like we made really good gains round to round and then at the start of the race we weren’t necessarily great and we continued to make it better and better We still weren’t quite where we needed to be, but from the start of the weekend to the end of the weekend it was a lot better, so hopefully we can come back next year and be a little bit better.”


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