E.A. Sports Today

Eye on the prize

Custer comes to town with axe to grind for better finish at Talladega in MonwyLion 300

From press reports

BIRMINGHAM – In a little over two weeks, Cole Custer will come to Talladega Superspeedway for the MoneyLion 300 looking to axe the competition and score his first ‘Dega victory.

He got a jump on it Tuesday, coming to Bessemer to compete again the media in an axe-throwing and go-kart racing competition. Not at the same time, of course.

“Today was so much fun,” said Custer, who drives the No. 00 Ford for Stewart Haas Racing. “I was in my element on the go-karts, but the axe throwing was new to me.

“It’s not easy for sure. It is sorta like what Talladega has been to me. It’s been really tough – not only at Talladega but the other ‘speedway’ track at Daytona that we compete on. I guess you can say I have an ‘axe to grind’ when we come back here in a few weeks.”

The California native, who is locked into the season-ending playoffs after his win last month in Fontana (CA), went head-to-head against local media and fans at the European style Autobahn Indoor Speedway go-karting facility. He also “unleashed his inner lumberjack” and tried his hand at axe throwing, where the goal is to hit the bullseye.

He has competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Talladega twice with finishes of 26th and ninth in last year’s MoneyLion 300. At the other restrictor plate track – Daytona – Custer has competed in five races with 14th being his best result. Luck hasn’t been on his side at either layout.

“No doubt, we have been in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said. “We have run much better than the results show. We have been caught up in some accidents that weren’t of our making. The ‘Big One’ can bite you in a second, or you can get caught out of the draft with the snap of a finger. We played our cards right last year and came home with a ninth-place finish, and feel we can improve on that in a couple of weeks.”

Custer is one of four drivers eligible for the Dash 4 Cash program this weekend at Richmond, and if he is one of the top four finishing full-time NXS drivers at the checkered flag, he will come to Talladega with yet another opportunity to claim the $100,000 bonus.

“It would be nice to come back with a little extra on the line and take home the trophy (Hammer & Anvil created by Sloss Furnaces) and the cash,” said Custer. “Listen, yeah we haven’t had some of our better runs at ‘Dega, but we love going there. Everyone has a good time there.”

The MoneyLion 300 is scheduled for a noon start April 27. The day also includes qualifying for the GEICO 500 for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The GEICO 500 is April 28, with the green flag at 1 p.m.

Cover photo by Hannah Kinderknecht (Talladega CM)

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