PHOENIX, Ariz. - The third time was the charm for Cole Custer, who won his first series championship after finished second in his previous two attempts. This marks the seventh NXS championship for Ford and second in the last four years after Austin Cindric won in 2020. Ford’s other champions include: Greg Biffle (2002), Carl Edwards (2007), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2011-12), and Chris Buescher (2015). This marks the second time Stewart-Haas has won an NXS championship with Ford after Custer delivered the owner’s title in 2018. This continues a streak that has seen Mustang win a driver’s or owner’s championship in all but three seasons since coming to the series full-time in 2011.
UNOFFICIAL FORD FINISHING RESULTS
1st – Cole Custer
4th – Riley Herbst
15th – Brett Moffitt
18th – Ryan Sieg
27th – Joey Gase
30th – Timmy Hill
31st – Joe Graf Jr.
36th – JJ Yeley
38th – Kyle Sieg
COLE CUSTER, No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang – CHAMPIONSHIP VICTORY LANE INTERVIEWS:
THREE-WIDE OFF OF TURN ONE ON THE WHITE FLAG LAP AND YOU WON IT. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING WHEN IT LOOKED LIKE THE RESTART WASN’T GOING TO GO YOUR WAY?
“I thought it was over. I mean, I went from first to third and I was able to shift the car all night and the Doug Yates horsepower worked out and pulled me off the corner. I can’t believe we won that thing after going back to third on that restart, but I can’t say enough about these guys. I mean, we started the year off and it was a struggle and we kind of had to dig deep with each other and really talk about how to get better. To see how much this group has grown through the year and to be a part of something, I knew I wanted to work with JT. I knew that he was the guy that could make it happen and I wouldn’t want to do it with anybody else. I just can’t thank Gene Haas enough. He’s given me opportunities and I wouldn’t be here without him. I can’t thank him enough, and Ford Performance, Haas Automation, everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing. It’s awesome to bring one back to Stewart-Haas right now. Man, I’m gonna enjoy this. I’ve been waiting to hear Wayne on the radio for a few times now, so I’m pumped.”
WHAT DID YOU HAVE TO PROVE PERSONALLY WITH COMING BACK TO XFINITY IN THIS CHAMPIONSHIP RUN?
“You get knocked down a little bit and you just want to prove that you can go out there and do it. I think these guys have just really always believed in me all year and I just can’t thank them enough for giving me really fast race cars and still believing in me when things weren’t going great.”
HOW ABOUT THAT FINISH?
“That was crazy. Having it three-wide there at the end. I can’t believe we went from third to first there when we dropped back. Man, it was such a fast car. JT and all the guys did such a great job. I can’t thank everybody at the team. When things weren’t going good the last few years and them still believing in me coming back, I just can’t thank everybody enough. It’s a very proud moment winning this championship with these guys. I wouldn’t want to do it with anybody else.”
WHAT ABOUT THAT FINAL RESTART WITH ALL FOUR CONTENDERS BATTLING?
“I thought I lost it on the frontstretch. I thought it was over, but just how it worked out I was able to downshift it pulling up off the corner and get a good angle going into three and I can’t believe it all worked out. I wouldn’t have it any other way. We’ve been so close here a few times and to have it all work out is just amazing.”
YOU CAME BACK TO THE XFINITY SERIES TO RUN FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP AND YOU’VE DONE IT.
“It means the world. Being so close a couple times at this and how the last few years have gone, I mean, these guys still believe in me and have given me really fast race cars and just digging all year. We did such a great job just getting better and better every week. These guys just brought a rocket ship tonight and I’m so proud of everybody.”