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Notes: Custer Says His Truck Roll Custer Was Costly

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, May 19 2016

Camping World Trucks Series logoCONCORD, N.C. – A week after being black-flagged at Dover for jumping a restart in NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series, Cole Custer said Thursday he was told officials didn’t like the way he rolled ahead of the leader in the restart box.

“It was really close from what I was told and what I understood, but they said when I rolled about half a car length, that was what they didn’t like about it,” Custer said after meeting for approximately 30 minutes with series director Elton Sawyer. “It’s one of those that it’s always going to be a judgment deal. It’s going to be hard on them and hard on the drivers a little bit because it’s a little bit of a judgement call.”

Custer believes NASCAR will black-flag a driver if that person “rolls at all” ahead of the leader in the restart box.

“I think you just have to be conservative on that,” Custer said.

Custer, who was second on the restart, took the lead as the field headed into the first turn, but then lost it when NASCAR penalized him for jumping the restart. The 18-year-old Custer spent the rest of the race charging back through the field, eventually having to settle for fifth.  

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NASCAR continues to study the possibility of implementing a spec engine for the Camping World Truck Series, but series director Elton Sawyer said Thursday no timeline had been established for such a change.

Caleb Holman and his Henderson Motorsports team had skipped several races this spring in anticipation of NASCAR approving a spec engine for the series. A team spokesman says a spec engine would cost about half of the normal lease fee the organization pays each race.

“We can go to two races for what it would cost us to go to one,” Holman said. “It was supposed to be ready by Charlotte, but it’s not ready yet. We decided to go to Charlotte because if we’re gonna do this, we have to race.”

Holman’s only race this season was in February at Atlanta where he finished ninth. Last year, the Abingdon, Va., driver competed in seven truck races with his best finish coming at Martinsville in October where he placed eighth.

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The truck series has not yet reached the season’s mid-point and the inaugural Chase field is already half full. Four drivers – Matt Crafton, William Byron, John Hunter Nemechek and Johnny Sauter – have already solidified their positions in the eight-person field. Only four positions for the seven-race Chase remain and that has created a sense of urgency for a victory among drivers.

“To have four different Camping World Truck Series regulars win in the first five races is definitely putting up a baseline as to what you have to do in this series this year to be successful,” said Daniel Hemric, who was third in the standings entering Friday night’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“Obviously, there is that sense of urgency every race that goes by if you don’t win. Nobody, though, is losing sight of the ultimate goal which is to do the best we can do every week and get better every week. We’re all building for that seven-race Chase at the end of the year. Let’s say it comes down to nine or 10 guys that have one win. You still have to out-point them somewhere along the way. You still have to make the most of those bad days.”  

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, May 19 2016
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