Cole Custer – NextGen Car is “extremely durable.”

By: Ashley McCubbin

With each team only expected to have a single car for Daytona Speedweeks, there are a lot of nerves entering the Bluegreen Vacation Duels on Thursday night.

Though if we learned anything from the Busch Light Clash, there are some positives to the NextGen package.

For me, it was extremely durable, especially when you beat and bang – especially front to rear,” Cole Custer told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “If you hit somebody in the back of their car, you wouldn’t cave the nose in like the last car and knock your radiator out, so they’re really durable in that sense.  Also, just to feel the tire and how much drive we had and, honestly, how much grip we had at that small of a racetrack was pretty surprising.

“I think they knocked it out of the park, like I said before.  The car performed good.  The racetrack was good.  The event was good, so I can’t give you any negatives right now.”

The move to the L.A. Coliseum saw the event take place before a sold out crowd, with 40% of those in attendance for their first ever NASCAR stock car event. With the positive energy surrounding the music, atmosphere, and even competitive close racing on-track, it has created conversation about possible more stadium events in the future.

“I could definitely see them doing more because it was such a success,” Custer said.” Honestly, I think the drivers liked it, so I think a race like that would be good to keep for like an All-Star Race or a non-points race just because when points are on the line it can get a little bit outrageous I guess you could say.

“In the future, I don’t know.  I think soccer stadiums are cool – even overseas.  I think a race overseas would be pretty crazy.  Logistically, it would be pretty hard, but it would be pretty cool.”

For now, though, the focus is on tonight and getting ready for the Daytona 500 on Sunday. Despite knowing they are tight on inventory, don’t expect Custer to hold back.

“It’s one of those things that I think you’re gonna have to go out there and race,” he commented. “You can’t just go out there and ride around because that’s not what we do.  I think you have to be smart in certain circumstances.  If you know it’s getting crazy coming down to the end and you don’t have a great shot at starting good anyways, you might as well just drop back and make sure you don’t get wrecked.  It’s one of those things that if you find yourself in a bad spot, you’re probably gonna have to get out of it because you don’t want to risk wrecking your primary car.”

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