As the field entered Turn 1, Custer regained the momentum, went to the inside of Justin Allgaier and Nemechek in a three-wide move and came away with the lead. As Nemechek hit the wall on the final lap, Custer held off Sheldon Creed by 0.601 seconds to earn the win and claim the 2023 series title.
The win is the third of the season for Custer, who’s other two victories came on road courses at Portland and Chicago. It’s also the 13th win of the career for the 25-year-old native of Ladera Ranch, Calif.
After earning one win in three full-time seasons in the Cup series, Stewart-Haas Racing moved Custer back down to Xfinity Series this year. With Sunday’s Cup season finale remaining, Custer and his Xfinity teammate Riley Herbst are the only drivers to register wins for SHR this season.
“I thought it was over,” Custer said of the final restart. “I mean, went from first to third, and I was able to shift the car all night. And Doug Yates horsepower worked out, pulled me off the corner.
“I can’t believe we won that thing after going back to third on that restart. I can’t say enough about these guys. We started the year off and it was a struggle and we had to kind of dig deep with each other, really talk about how to get better and to see how much this group has grown through the year.”
Asked about what he had to prove moving to the Xfinity Series this season, Custer said, “I mean, you definitely get knocked down a little bit. You just want to prove that you can go out there and do it.
I think these guys have just really always believed in me all year, and I just can’t thank them enough for giving me really fast race cars and still believing in me when things weren’t going great.”
Allgaier ended up third, Herbst fourth and Sam Mayer rounded out the top five.
Completing the top-10 were Josh Berry, Austin Hill, Chandler Smith, Sammy Smith and Kaz Grala.
Nemechek passed Hill with 13 of 45 laps remaining to take the lead and easily held off Custer to take the Stage 1 win. Chandler Smith was third, Hill fourth and Mayer rounded out the top five.
Allgaier recovered from an early-race spin while racing Nemechek for position to finish seventh.
Custer took the Stage 2 win as he was leading when a caution was displayed when Derek Krause…