After dominating much of the afternoon, Cole Custer used several restarts to rally from losing track position late and win the UNOH 175 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Custer becomes the youngest-ever winner of a NASCAR national series race at 16 years, seven months, 28 days. He also claims his first Truck Series win in just his seventh career series start.
The teenager had been flawless from the pole position, but after a caution came out with 30 laps left, Custer went in and took on four tires instead of two like the rest of the leaders that pitted with him.
That left him seventh for the restart with 23 laps remaining. However, two more cautions with 15 to go and nine to go gave Custer enough opportunities to make headway.
Then, on the final restart with four laps left, Custer took advantage of Matt Crafton spinning his tires and re-claimed the lead heading into Turn 1.
He would go on to win by 1.1 seconds over Darrell Wallace Jr., with Crafton slipping to third. Johnny Sauter and John Hunter Nemechek completed the Top 5.
“I was really worried [after taking four tires] – it was so hard to pass even lapped cars, so I couldn’t believe we got through all of those guys,” Custer told Fox Sports. “The air affects it so much. We had some great restarts, which helped us a lot.
“I just can’t believe this is happening right now…I’ve been coming to these races since I was real young and I’ve looked up to this series and everybody that races in this series. I could’ve never imagined being here racing and even winning a race. I can’t even explain how amazing this is.”
Cameron Hayley, Erik Jones, Tyler Reddick, Joey Coulter, and Ryan Blaney made up Positions 6-10. Before today, Jones had been the previous youngest-ever winner in NASCAR national series competition after winning in the Trucks last fall at Phoenix (17 years, five months, nine days).
As for the championship picture, Crafton’s charge from dead last on the grid to third enabled him to not only keep his lead in the standings but extend it to seven markers over teammate Sauter going into next Saturday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Blaney did well to recover from a late spin and claim a Top-10 finish, but he did lose ground to Crafton. He’s now 24 points behind in third position as the series heads for Sin City. Wallace is at 35 points back after his runner-up performance today.