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Cole Custer to drive #00 in Xfinity for SHR
Cole Custer‘s time with #41 did not go as hoped, but he already has a track record with #00 that he will rekindle in 2023 when he returns to the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Stewart-Haas Racing revealed his number on Wednesday.
Despite winning Cup Series Rookie of the Year in 2020 and his father Joe being SHR’s president, Custer was dropped from SHR’s Cup programme after the 2022 season due to declining performance and the emergence of reserve driver Ryan Preece. After scoring a win at Kentucky and making the playoffs as a rookie, Custer finished twenty-sixth and twenty-fifth in points over the next two years with just five top tens combined.
Although a demotion is typically a low point in a driver’s career, Custer will get a chance to rediscover his winning ways in a series where he was a perennial contender. He won nine times as a full-time Xfinity driver in the #00 from 2017 to 2019, including a seven-win campaign during the final year, with back-to-back runner-up points finishes in 2018 and 2019. He made sporadic Xfinity starts after moving up to the Cup Series, and returned to Victory Lane in February at Fontana when he recorded SS-Green Light Racing‘s maiden triumph.
The #00 was shuttered after Custer’s graduation, and SHR only kept the #98 for Riley Herbst. The latter number was acquired via partnership with Biagi-DenBeste Racing, while #00 is a longtime brand of SHR co-owner Gene Haas. Due to his father’s ties to Haas, it has also become synonymous with Custer’s ascent through the NASCAR ladder, having used it in the regional tiers and Truck Series.
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