(Cover Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
By Adam Carabine
In case you missed it, StatChat is counting down the days ‘til the 2023 Daytona 500. Every two days, we will have a new article featuring one of the 36 charters of 2022.
25th Place – Cole Custer – 638 pts
STEWART-HAAS RACING – FORD
1 Pole in 2022 – Cole Custer earned the pole at Bristol Dirt in April this year. It was his only pole of the year, and unfortunately it didn’t translate to a win. Custer earned 0 stage points, and finished 13th on the day.
-509 Pass Differential in 2022 – Ranking dead last of all 36 Cup Series charters, Cole Custer had the worst pass differential in 2022. This means that Custer was passed 509 more times than he passed others. When you consider that the best pass differential this year belonged to Denny Hamlin, at +431, that’s a difference of almost 1,000 passes. In 2021, Custer’s PD was only -97.
3 Top-10s in 2022 – Cole Custer’s rookie year (3 seasons ago now) remains his best average finish in a full-time Cup Series season. That year he scored 7 Top-10s. With only 3 this year (one 8th, and two 9ths), that’s a trend heading in the wrong direction. His best finish came at the Bristol Night Race in the later half of the year.
89.63% Miles Completed in 2022 – While Cole Custer might be the first to tell you that this season was a bit disappointing for the young driver, there were also some positives. Custer finished more miles than both Kyle Busch and Tyler Reddick, amounting to just under 90% of the miles run in 2022.
11.50 Career Average Finish @ Dover – 3rd best of all Cup Series charters, Cole Custer seems to have a knack for Dover. Earlier in 2022, Custer earned a 15th place finish. While it wasn’t the best finish of his year, the fact that he still remains in the Top-5 of drivers at Dover after a P15 shows how well he performs there. His one Cup Series win came at Kentucky, which is no longer on the schedule, so his best current track is now Dover.
Shortly after the end of this season, Stewart-Haas Racing announced that Cole Custer would not be returning to the Cup Series in 2023. Ryan Preece has been moved to the #41 Ford for next year’s Cup season. Custer will move to the Xfinity Series, where he will pilot the #00, also for Stewart-Haas Racing.
Coming up next in the Countdown to Daytona series – Michael McDowell!