Ford Performance NASCAR: Fontana (Cole Custer Media Breakout Session)

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes

Friday, March 15, 2019

EVENT: NASCAR Xfinity Series Driver Availability (Cole Custer)

COLE CUSTER, No. 00 Ford Mustang — LOOK AHEAD TO THE WEEKEND FOR US, THIS IS AN EASY PLACE TO GET CAUGHT UP IN AN ACCIDENT ISN’T IT? “Yeah, for sure. It is a tough track but it is one of the drivers favorite ones to go to because it is so wore out and old and so many bumps. It is one of the coolest tracks we go to. I am looking forward to it. I think every driver looks forward to it.”

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WHAT WILL MAKE IT UNIQUE HERE THIS TIME AROUND? “The cup package is a lot different so that will change things on that side. For us, it is kind of the same package and everything. It is just trying to perfect it. There will be a lot of guys competing for a win and it is just a matter of keeping the track position.”

WHERE DO YOU FEEL YOU AND YOUR TEAM ARE AT RIGHT NOW? “We are solid right now. We are running top-five and have top-five speed. It is just a matter of putting everything together. We have a new crew chief this year and a couple new people, so we are sorting through some things right now and trying to figure out what we need to do to get our cars a little better. We are right in the ballpark.”

YOU FINISHED IN THE TOP-10 LAST TIME HERE: “Yeah, we have always been fast here. It is just a matter of staying up front. You get in the back or middle part of the pack and you are slicing and dicing with all these guys. It is tough to keep your track position and momentum up. If we can stay up front that will help a ton.”

SHOULD THEY REPAVE THIS PLACE? “I don’t think they should ever repave it. It is one of the best tracks we go to. It is so worn out and you can run so many lanes. It is the perfect track right now. if they keep it the same it will put on great racing for a long time.”

YOU ARE THIRD IN POINTS COMING INTO TOMORROW, ARE YOU CONTENT WITH WHERE YOU ARE AT RIGHT NOW? “No. Not really. I think we want to win races and be leading the points and be the guy to beat. We might get better as the year goes on when we get our communication and what we want to bring to the racetrack a little better for my feel. Right now we are solid, it is just a matter of getting it a little better.”

HOW WOULD YOU SUMMARIZE YOUR NASCAR GOES WEST? “It has been crazy. We have stayed out in California because it is my home track. We have been doing interviews all around L.A. I am the president of the kids club at Auto Club Speedway this year. It has been crazy. It has been fun.”

HEARD YOU DID A DRIFTING THING YESTERDAY: “Yeah, it was a really cool experience to go out with those guys. I think they wanted to keep everything kind of quiet before they put an episode out but it was some really cool stuff. One of the coolest things I have done. I have never drifted before, so it was awesome.”

WHAT IS THE ART TO DRIFTING? “It is a lot about just staying in the gas and controlling your speed and everything with the brake. It is pretty interesting and a lot of fun. You are just burning the tires off it.”

YOU HAVE A NEW SPONSOR THIS WEEKEND: “Yeah, we have Thompson Pipe on the car this weekend. That is a really cool story because I kind of grew up racing with that family, the Thompsons, in the Southern California area. My quarter midget track shut down in Pomona when I was eight years old and we had nowhere to race and the Thompsons actually built a track that kept me and everybody racing in the Southern California area. I can’t thank them enough for everything they have done. Hopefully we can get them in victory lane.”

EVENT: NASCAR Xfinity Series Driver Availability (Cole Custer)

WHAT IS IT YOU THINK IDENTIFIES WHAT THE WEST COAST RACE FANS ARE LIKE? “It is different because there are so many different forms of motorsport out there in the L.A. area with dirt bike racing, off-road and then you have stock car and open-wheel stuff. There is a lot of racing going on, you just have to pick which one you want to be a fan of.”

YOU HAVE A LOT OF FANS THIS WEEKEND BEING THIS IS YOUR HOME TRACK? “Yeah, for sure. I think we have about six people going out to the race this weekend. It will be packed. Lots of fans out there cheering for me.”

HAVE YOU EVER COMPETED HERE WITH THE WIND LIKE IT IS THIS WEEKEND? “No, not here. This is insane. I don’t’ know what the wind gusts are, like 30 or 50 miles per hour. I don’t know what it will be like out there. It is pretty insane. I don’t know if it is the Santa Ana winds right now or what is going on.”

ANY RIVALRIES IN THE XFINITY SERIES RIGHT NOW? IS IT IMPORTANT FOR THAT SERIES TO HAVE RIVALRIES? “For sure. Right now, I think there are four of us, me, Tyler (Reddick), Justin Allgaier and Christopher Bell that are the regulars kind of going for it right now. It is a matter of beating each other. We all race hard and want to be the best. You just have to beat them.”

KYLE BUSCH. DOES HE HELP OR HURT THE SERIES BEING SO DOMINANT? “I like when he comes down and races. All the Cup guys. it is a good thing. It makes you better. It makes it so you know where you are as a driver. I think it is good how they restrict them. I think we put on better racing when we are by ourselves. I think NASCAR has it right letting them run five races. We get to learn from them.”

YOUR NEXT RACE IS AT TEXAS. WHAT DO YOU EXPECT THERE? “We won there last time so I am looking forward to going back. It has been a good track for us and we have had fast cars there. It is a tough race track because it is so fast and only one groove. We have been fast though and I am looking forward to going back.”

IS THE OFF-WEEKEND GOOD FOR YOU GUYS TO COLLECT THOUGHTS AND DECOMPRESS A LITTLE? “I think for our team for sure. The guys work extremely hard getting these cars out here for this west coast swing and it puts a lot of stress on the teams. After this weekend, we have been to every single type of track so now we can kind of look at our notebook and kind of perfect what we have been doing in each area. My first time working with a new crew chief, we are trying to work through what kind of feel I like and what to do with the car and everything. It will help us a lot trying to digest everything.”

ANYTHING FUN PLANNED? “Might be going down to Charleston with a group of friends but it will probably fall apart honestly.”

HOW ABOUT WORKING WITH CHASE BRISCOE, HOW HAS THAT BEEN? “It is always good having a second car out there and being able to bounce notes off each other, both driving wise and setup wise. Also having someone out there to help you on the track. It has been good. Nothing has been a negative. I think it will only get better as the year goes on.”

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