(MRN) Cole Custer captured a home win in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Production Alliance Group 300 at Auto Club Speedway.
The Ladera Ranch, Calif. native led 29 laps to take his first win of the season, and third of his career, by 1.9 seconds over Kyle Busch.
“To win here, at home in Southern California – I grew up racing in San Bernardino and Irwindale. It means a ton,” Custer said. “It was such a huge race for us. Everybody, it is a home town race for our whole team.”
Custer’s previous wins came in the 2017 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway and race No. 31 of 33 in 2018 at Texas Motor Speedway.
“We always save it for the very end of the season,” Custer said. “I am pretty pumped up. I think it will be a little more relaxing and now we can focus on winning the rest of the year and probably build up some stage points and playoff points also.”
With the victory, Custer became the first non-Cup competitor to win at ACS since Scott Riggs in 2002.
Busch, who was looking to score his 200th NASCAR national series win, led 98 laps but could not get back to the lead after his team was issued a penalty on Lap 114 for an uncontrolled tire on a pit stop.
“I just wasn’t fast enough,” Busch said. “At the end there, he (Custer) was really good and really fast and had a good car. They got better throughout the day and got closer to our rear bumper there on that second-to-last run before we had our pit road problems and dropped us back in the pack.”
Christopher Bell, pole sitter Tyler Reddick and Chase Briscoe rounded out the top five.
Reddick leads the point standings by 7 points over Custer as the series takes a week off before returning to action at Texas Motor Speedway on March 30.
|5||6||98||Chase Briscoe #||Ford||150||33||Running||–|
|10||12||11||Justin Haley #||Chevrolet||150||27||Running||–|
2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series Standings
After Race 5: Auto Club Speedway
|Rank||Driver||Wins||Top 5s||Top 10s||Points||Leader||Race Wins||Playoff Points|
|8||Noah Gragson #||–||1||2||161||-59||0||0|
|10||John Hunter Nemechek #||–||1||3||149||-71||0||0|