In his third career start in the ARCA Racing Series, Cole Custer breezed to victory in Saturday’s ModSpace 125 at Pocono Raceway.
The 17-year-old Custer won the 50-lap event by 4.991 seconds over Grant Enfinger and becomes the ninth first-time ARCA winner in 14 races this season.
“It was just a great race for us today,” Custer, son of Stewart-Haas Racing executive Joe Custer, told Fox Sports 2. “I was just able to bide my time and keep things clean.”
Enfinger finished second, followed by Matt Kurzejewski, Austin Theriault and Josh Williams.
In addition to his first ARCA win, Custer also has career victories in the K&N Pro Series East and West and twice in the Camping World Trucks Series.
He becomes the ninth first-time winner in the ARCA Series this season, joining Blake Jones (Talladea), 15-year-old Todd Gilliland (son of NASCAR driver David Gilliland, at Toledo), Kyle Weatherman (New Jersey), Trevor Bayne (Pocono in June), Ross Kenseth (Michigan), Ryan Reed (Chicagoland), Austin Wayne Self (Winchester) and Travis Braden (Indianapolis).
Custer’s best prior ARCA finish was a fifth-place showing earlier this year at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
The race began in rather dubious fashion as, coming off the Tunnel Turn on Lap 1, Kyle Weatherman got loose, piled into the car of Frank Kimmel, and then a number of other cars were collected as a result.
The biggest victim of the incident was Tom Hessert, who suffered heavy damage to his car, ultimately finishing 25th in the 30-car field.
But Hessert suffered even greater damage in the ARCA point standings. He entered Saturday’s race 70 points behind series leader Enfinger.
Hessert leaves Pocono now tied for third place with Austin Wayne Self, both drivers 185 points behind Enfinger.