Cole Custer is the NASCAR Cup Series’ reigning rookie of the year. He’s already got one Cup Series victory under his belt, he’s driving for one of NASCAR’s most accomplished teams and he’s got as bright a future as anyone in the sport.
Think of 2021 as Custer’s first stand – expectations will be higher with Custer having a year of Cup Series experience, but there’s plenty of reason to believe the results will top last year’s effort of one win and seven top-10 finishes.
“Not having practice, not having testing and not having qualifying definitely meant it wasn’t easier to be a rookie (last season),” Custer said. “From our standpoint, to have a race win and to make the playoffs, I think we can call that a success. Did we want to run better a lot of the time? Yeah, for sure, but we made huge strides in making more consistent runs. I think it’s just a matter of taking it to the next level and consistently making it to the next group of cars.”
Armed with tremendous equipment and more confidence than ever, Custer has the potential to deliver multiple wins this season. It doesn’t hurt that the second-year Custer and rookie teammate Chase Briscoe have Kevin Harvick – who won nine races last year – in the same shop.
“For me to get to learn more, I think it’s going to be huge,” Custer said. “Having more time and another year to run through all the races will definitely help out.”