SPARTA, Ky. — Cole Custer was never really challenged down the stretch. He just acted like Christopher Bell was in his rearview mirror, an approach that motivated him to keep a safe distance.
Custer grabbed an Xfinity Series-high fifth victory Friday night with a win at Kentucky Speedway.
“He got a little close and I was definitely sweating a little bit,” said Custer, who fell backward off the No. 00 Ford during his victory lane celebration. “He was definitely our competition there at the end, but we had the better car. I was sweating after that green-flag pit stop because he closed in on me and I had trouble with [lapped drivers], but we had a good enough car to pull away.”
Custer, Bell and defending series champion Tyler Reddick have dominated all year and finished 1-2-3 at Kentucky. Bell, who has four wins, won the first two stages and led 72 laps. Reddick, the points leader and a three-time winner, didn’t lead a lap.
It was Custer who dominated by leading 88 of the 200 laps in a Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing. He took the lead for the final time on Lap 155 and beat Bell by 1.651 seconds.
Michael Annett and Chase Briscoe completed the top five. Only the top five cars finished on the lead lap.
Custer has won consecutive races on 1 1/2-mile tracks following his win at Joliet, Illinois, two weeks ago.
He’s won three of the last six races and has seven career wins in 88 starts.
Reddick leads the point standings by 67 over Bell.