Custer to replace Suarez at SHR

Image by Rusty Jarrett/LAT

Custer to replace Suarez at SHR

NASCAR

Custer to replace Suarez at SHR

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Stewart-Haas Racing made it official Friday morning that Cole Custer will compete in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series beginning next season.

Custer will replace Daniel Suarez in the No. 41 Ford Mustang. Suarez confirmed late Thursday that he would not be back in 2020 after one season with the organization.

For the last three seasons, Custer has been a full-time competitor in the Xfinity Series for SHR, earning nine victories in 103 starts. Seven of those wins have come this season, which is second-most for drivers in the series.

Custer has also qualified for the Championship 4 the past two years, finishing second in points last season.

“I was asked last year about this time what Cole needed to do to earn his place in the NASCAR Cup Series, and I said he needed to win,” said team co-owner Gene Haas. “Well, Cole has done that — a lot. He showed that he’s ready to compete at the next level, and we’re giving him that opportunity.”

Added co-owner Tony Stewart, “Cole has certainly earned his spot in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2020. He’s consistently running up front, leading laps and winning races. The level of competition increases dramatically in the NASCAR Cup Series, but it’s where Cole belongs after having proven himself in the Xfinity Series.”

Custer made three starts in the Cup Series last year with Rick Ware Racing. A 25th-place finish in Las Vegas was his highest result.

“This is the moment I’ve worked for ever since I first started racing,” said Custer. “I’ve learned a lot in these last three years in the Xfinity Series, and to be able to stay within Stewart-Haas Racing will make a steep learning curve a little less steep. I know the people, the culture, and what’s expected of me. I’m ready for this challenge.”

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