Cole Custer pulls away late to win Xfinity race, deny Kyle Busch his 200th victory – Orange County Register

FONTANA>> History will have to wait for Kyle Busch.

Cole Custer passed Christopher Bell coming out of Turn 2 with 19 laps to go on Saturday at Auto Club Speedway and steadily pulled away from the field in the closing laps of the Production Alliance Group 300, stalling Busch’s run to the 200th NASCAR national touring series victory of his iconic career.

Custer resident won for the third time in Xfinity Series career, beating Busch to the finish by 1.927 seconds.It was an historic victory for the Ladera Ranch native, marking his first triumph at his home track and the only time he has beat a field containing Cup Series drivers. His two previous victories have come during the playoffs, and Cup Series drivers can’t enter those.

“This means a lot. I grew up racing at Orange Show and Irwindale, and both are about 20 minutes from here. We had tons of people here taking pictures,” Custer said. “Every driver wants to win here because of how cool the track is. I mean come on. It means a ton to beat him (Busch). He is one of the legends of the sport and will be in the hall of fame. It means a ton to keep him at 199.”

To celebrate he said he was going to cruise through the campground in the infield in the track.

“And I can drink this year,” said Custer, who turned 21 on Jan. 23.

Busch appeared to be cruising toward 200, winning the first two 35-lap segments and leading 98 of the 150 laps, sometimes by more than three seconds. At the end of the first 35 laps, Noah Gragson was in fifth place 22 seconds behind Busch.

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