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Cole Custer takes Pocono Xfinity win with last-lap pass

It was a thrilling finish to Saturday's NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Pocono Raceway with Cole Custer taking the checkered flag for Stewart-Haas Racing.

Cole Custer takes Pocono Xfinity win with last-lap pass
Race Winner Cole Custer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang FIMS Manufacturing
Race Winner Cole Custer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang FIMS Manufacturing
Race Winner Cole Custer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang FIMS Manufacturing
 Tyler Reddick, Richard Childress Racing, Chevrolet Camaro TAME the BEAST

In NASCAR Overtime, Cole Custer and Tyler Reddick traded the lead twice in the final two laps in a tense battle for the Xfinity Series win. 

Reddick was able to cut under Custer and steal away the lead entering Turn 1 on the restart, holding the position until the white flag. While serpentining down the frontstretch, the RCR driver actually touched the outside wall while trying to hold back Custer.

Although it appeared the win was nearly in hand, Reddick overdrove the final corner and slipped up the track. Custer was able to slide underneath him and reclaim the lead just shy of the finish line, taking his third win of the season and fifth of his career.

"It was pretty unbelievable," said Custer. Tyler (Reddick) gave me a real run for my money there. I have no idea how he made it stick on that restart on the bottom passing me but he did. He was unbelievable on the brakes at the end. I was just able to kind of force a mistake a little bit trying to pack air on him. It was a fun end of the race. I wish I didn’t have to do it like that, but it probably made it exciting."

Custer's Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Chase Briscoe finished third. Ryan Preece and Christopher Bell rounded out the top-five.

"We were so good at the beginning of this race," said Reddick. "Even out front in clean air, I was just too tight to really hold the bottom that well.I probably could have held the bottom better -- I'm not going to lie to you -- just thought it was going to be really tight going into three so I put some rear brake into it and I just got loose and pretty much gave it right back to him there."

The final stage began on Lap 56 with Austin Cindric out front before being quickly overtaken by Custer and Justin Allgaier. Custer was able to solidify his position in the lead through a late round of green-flag pit stops where Allgaier overshot his pit stall and Reddick was penalized for a tire violation. As the laps ticked away, Custer's lead rose to over nine seconds until contact between Cindric and Jeffrey Earnhardt forced a caution with seven laps to go.

The race resumed with three laps to go only to quickly return to yellow when Allgaier spun in front of the pack in Turn 1. This, the seventh and final yellow of the event forced the race into overtime and set-up the two-lap shootout.

Stage 1

Custer led the race from the get-go and remained unchallenged through the early portion. Brandon Jones was the first incident of the race, spinning into the Turn 2 wall while running fourth, ending his day. Another incident followed the ensuing restart with Chad Finchum, Joey Gase and Todd Peck involved.

With ten laps remaining in the stage, Bell went spinning but narrowly avoided impacting the inside wall on the backstretch. Despite the early yellows and multiple hectic restarts, Custer was able to come away with the Stage 1 win ahead of Allgaier, Reddick, Austin Dillon, Cindric, Justin Haley, Ross Chastain, Ryan Sieg, John-Hunter Nemechek and Noah Gragson.

Stage 2

Nemechek and Earnhardt were the front row at the start of the second stage, as they and several others stayed out. Custer now found himself back in eighth but quickly made his way through the field. Bell took the lead on the restart with a three-wide move to the outside of Nemechek and Earnhardt.

Eventually, Allgaier and Reddick would find their way to the front and battle for the stage win with Allgaier prevailing. Bell placed third, followed by Custer and Annett.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Laps Led
1 00 United States Cole Custer  Ford 103 - 59
2 2 United States Tyler Reddick  Chevrolet 103 0.226 1
3 98 United States Chase Briscoe  Ford 103 0.805  
4 8 United States Ryan Preece  Chevrolet 103 1.178  
5 20 United States Christopher Bell  Toyota 103 1.637 7
6 9 United States Noah Gragson  Chevrolet 103 2.141  
7 22 United States Austin Cindric  Ford 103 2.408 6
8 1 United States Michael Annett  Chevrolet 103 3.342  
9 11 United States Justin Haley  Chevrolet 103 3.983  
10 10 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 103 4.272  
11 7 United States Justin Allgaier  Chevrolet 103 4.781 27
12 23 United States John Hunter Nemechek  Chevrolet 103 4.944 4
13 86 United States Brandon Brown  Chevrolet 103 5.081  
14 4 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 103 5.243  
15 36 United States Josh Williams  Chevrolet 103 6.381  
16 51 United States Jeremy Clements  Chevrolet 102 1 lap  
17 15 United States B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 102 1 lap  
18 07 United States Ray Black Jr.  Chevrolet 102 1 lap  
19 66 United States Timmy Hill  Toyota 102 1 lap  
20 08 United States Gray Gaulding  Chevrolet 102 1 lap  
21 90 United States Ronnie Bassett Jr.  Chevrolet 102 1 lap  
22 18 United States Jeffrey Earnhardt  Toyota 102 1 lap  
23 01 United States Stephen Leicht  Chevrolet 102 1 lap  
24 52 United States David Starr  Chevrolet 101 2 laps  
25 78 United States Vinnie Miller  Toyota 101 2 laps  
26 39 United States Ryan Sieg  Chevrolet 100 3 laps  
27 99 Todd Peck  Toyota 100 3 laps  
28 74 United States Mike Harmon  Chevrolet 99 4 laps  
29   United States Garrett Smithley  Chevrolet 86 17 laps  
30 5 United States Matt Mills  Toyota 65 38 laps  
31 13 John Jackson  Toyota 36 67 laps  
32 17 United States Camden Murphy  Chevrolet 36 67 laps  
33 35 United States Joey Gase  Toyota 34 69 laps  
34 93 United States Josh Bilicki  Chevrolet 33 70 laps  
35 89 United States Morgan Shepherd  Chevrolet 31 72 laps  
36 38 United States Jeff Green  Chevrolet 22 81 laps  
37 42 United States Chad Finchum  Toyota 10 93 laps  
38 19 United States Brandon Jones  Toyota 6 97 laps  
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Event Pocono
Author Nick DeGroot