MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Jan. 18, 2016) – Fresh off a 10-race schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) with JR Motorsports (JRM), Cole Custer will embark on a full 23-race slate in JRM’s No. 00 Chevy Silverado in 2016. The soon-to-be-18-year-old California native has 19 career starts in parts of two seasons in the series, all with Haas Automation sponsorship.
Last season, Custer showed flashes of brilliance from the start, qualifying second at Martinsville in his debut before finishing 16th. His third start of the season, at Gateway International Raceway, saw Custer lead 19 laps on the way to victory after a tense battle with Tyler Reddick over the final six. In his 10 starts, Custer won once, added two top-five and four top-10 finishes and led 317 laps.
In 2014, Custer won the pole and the race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, leading 148 of the 175 laps. He won the pole at Gateway in his third career start and finished third at Phoenix International Raceway to close the season.
“I’m looking forward to seeing Cole run the full season,” said team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. “He and the team showed they have great speed and the ability to run up front in their limited schedule last year. We have great people and partners in place to make this a top-notch effort and give them the opportunity to go out and learn, win races, and compete for the championship.”
Custer is eager to build upon the success of the 2015 season and take the next step up the NASCAR ladder with JRM.
“We are all pretty confident heading into the season,” said Custer. “Joe (crew chief Joe Shear Jr.) and I have been together for three years and we have a great relationship. We’ve shown a lot of speed in our time together, and we need to build a little more consistency. I can help that with the way I drive. Last year, we were running to win races and get experience; this year, it’s going to be all about the points.
“I think we’ll still have the speed we had last year, and I think we’re going to be contenders for the championship.”
NCWTS crew chief Joe Shear Jr. sees definite possibilities in 2016 with Custer behind the wheel and additional personnel in the shop.
“We’ve had a good year and a half to prep for this, so I think we’re going to go in full-throttle,” Shear said. “I think that we can win any place, any time with Cole. He’s young, but he’s adapted really well. We showed we can win even at some of the places he’s never been to. He’s a remarkable kid. I expect that we can win everywhere we go.
“I think we’re strong as a team. We have good equipment and we keep working on it every day. I see us getting stronger and stronger as the year goes along. I’m hoping that we can win that first championship for JR Motorsports in the NCWTS.”
Custer’s first action will be at Daytona International Speedway next month, in what will be his first start on a superspeedway in the NCWTS. He will also compete in the ARCA Racing Series event the week prior to the NCWTS kickoff.