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NEWTON, Iowa – Cole Custer didn’t just break records Friday night, he shattered them.
The Ladera Ranch, Calif., driver became the youngest winner in NASCAR K&N Pro Series history with his wire-to-wire win in the Pork Be Inspired 150 at Iowa Speedway. He became the first driver to lead every lap in the combination race between the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West.
At 15 years, 6 months, 10 days, he’s nearly six months younger than previous record holder Dylan Kwasniewski (16 years, 2 months, 6 days). Custer also eclipsed Darrell Wallace Jr.’s East record of 16 years, 5 months, 19 days.
It was a dominating day for Custer, the son of Joe Custer, an executive with Stewart-Haas Racing. Custer was fastest in the second practice in the No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet and won his first 21 Means 21 Pole Award presented by Coors Brewing Co.
“We had a very dominant car,” Custer said. “The car was perfect the whole race. Our guys put a lot of work into this car. We’ve been looking forward to this race for a long time. We came back here with a really strong car. It was just perfect the whole night.”
Custer was rarely challenged en route to a 2.679-second win over runner-up Eddie MacDonald, with Daniel Suarez in third.
Qualifying outside the top 15, MacDonald had to make a long charge to get to the second spot.
“We ended up starting 18th, which was a little tough to get from back there,” said the driver of the No. 71 Grimm Construction/MS Society Chevrolet. “The car was a little tight in traffic. So, we came in and adjusted on it during the (midway) break. It really straightened the car out.
“The guys did a great job on the car,” he said. “We really struggled in practice early on. We had a tire rub that was smoking and we kept getting black flagged during practice. Luckily, we were able to come in and after the first practice get that straightened out.”
Suarez, who was coming off his first career series win at Columbus, was also enthusiastic about his performance at Iowa.
“The momentum we have is what I’m really proud of with everybody on the No. 6 Acapulco Toyota,” Suarez said. “Everybody is doing a really good job in the last few races. My communication with my crew chief is getting better and better and I’m really happy about that.”
Greg Pursley was the highest finishing NASCAR K&N Pro Series West driver, finishing fourth overall. Jesse Little rounded out the top five. Cameron Hayley finished sixth, followed by Kenzie Ruston, Ryan Gifford, Brett Moffitt and Ben Rhodes.
It was Custer's fourth top 10 in his ninth career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East start. His previous best finishes were a third at Richmond in April and a fourth in the June combination race at Iowa.
Dylan Kwasniewski finished 12th overall to maintain his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East points lead of 21 over Moffitt and 32 over Ben Kennedy (14th) after nine of 15 races. NASCAR K&N Pro Series West points leader Derek Thorn finished 16th and is 12 points ahead of Michael Self (11th) and 15 ahead of Hayley after eight of 15 races.
The Pork Be Inspired 150 will air on Aug. 25 at 1 p.m. ET on FOXSports1 – the first NASCAR touring series race to air on the network, which will carry the touring series through next year.
The next event on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West schedule is the NAPA Auto Parts/Evergreen 150 presented by Toyota at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash., on Aug. 17. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, meanwhile, heads to Virginia International Raceway for the Biscuitville 125 on Saturday, Aug. 24. The event will be contested on VIR’s 2.25-mile North Course.
Cole Custer led every lap en route to winning the Pork Be Inspired 150 Friday night at Iowa Speedway. Justin Edmonds/Getty Images for NASCAR