Kentucky Speedway has always been a place where NASCAR’s better drivers have tended to win. Rookies rarely do well there, so much so that a sixth-place finish was the best one had ever managed there. Cole Custer blew that statistic out of the water on Sunday when he charged to the win despite starting sixth on the final restart of the race with two to go.
Getting a great push from eventual third-place finisher Matt DiBenedetto, he was able to challenge for the lead. He took it four-wide at the end of the penultimate lap, completing the pass and running away from Martin Truex, Jr., the aforementioned DiBenedetto, Kevin Harvick, and Ryan Blaney when the checkers flew. Everyone knew Custer had talent, sure, but no one watching the race thought it was possible until those closing laps. The ‘W’ gets him into Wednesday night’s All-Star Race, where he’ll have a shot at $1 million with another win.