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JR Motorsports driver scored first 21 Means 21 Pole Award there in 2014 LONG POND, Pa. -- Rewind the clock back to a year ago: Cole Custer had made two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts that resulted in two top-15 finishes. In his third race, the NASCAR Next product really turned heads at Gateway Motorsports Park, site of Saturday night's American Ethanol presents the Drivin' for Linemen 200 brought to you by Ameren (8:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). Custer scored his first 21 Means 21 Pole Award for the event last year as well as his first top-10 finish (a sixth-place result) in a NASCAR national series event. "I'm really looking forward to it just because we were so fast there last year," Custer told NASCAR.com at Pocono Raceway , where he ran in the Pocono ARCA 200 last weekend. "I think we are going to bring a real great truck and we are going to have a lot of speed. We are really looking forward to that one. We have it circled on our calendar." The 17-year-old California native ran a nine-race slate last year with Haas Racing Development. That includes a victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last fall, where he led 148 of 175 laps en route to becoming the youngest winner in NASCAR national series history. This season, Custer is helping to build the foundation for the truck operation at JR Motorsports, the Dale Earnhardt Jr .-owned racing team. "It's such a great organization," he said. "It's one of the top ones in NASCAR. It definitely helps us on the truck side trying to bring fast race cars to the track." Gateway will be the third of 10 planned races Custer will run for JRM this season, and part of a stretch that sees him run three races (Dover, Gateway and Iowa) in four weeks. Custer is not of age to run at tracks under 1.25-miles per the NASCAR rulebook. "You got to be good in (Turn) 1," Custer said of what he considers a key at Gateway. "You got to get your car turning. You are probably not going to be able to be perfect in both ends because the corners are different. Just being able to turn through Turn 1 and then being a little on the loose side in Turns 3 and 4. It's different a tricky track." To fill the gaps in his schedule, Custer is running a handful of ARCA events as well as some NASCAR K&N Pro Series races this summer. Moving between different series and cars is a bit of an adjustment for the young driver. "It's a little bit difficult," Custer said. "It usually takes you about half a practice session or so to get used to the different cars. Once you get used to it, it's just like anything else with driving. I think it makes you a better driver just from getting different feels and everything." That track time in other series could pay off big for Custer when the Truck Series hits Iowa for his fourth start of the season on June 19 for the American Ethanol 200 (8:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). Custer finished eighth in the Truck Series race there last year. "I'm looking forward to Iowa, too , just because I won there in the past (2013) in the K&N Pro Series. I really like that track and I feel like we were pretty good there last year. We weren't dominant, but I feel like we got a real good package this year and I think we are going to be strong there." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
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See where drivers finished in the race at Gateway Motorsports Park NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race - American Ethanol presents the Drivin' for Linemen 200 brought to you by Ameren Gateway Motorsports Park Madison, Illinois Saturday, June 13, 2015 1. (2) Cole Custer , Chevrolet, 160 2. (14) Spencer Gallagher #, Chevrolet, 160 3. (4) Johnny Sauter , Toyota, 160 4. (12) John H. Nemechek #, Chevrolet, 160 5. (9) Cameron Hayley #, Toyota, 160 6. (13) Timothy Peters , Toyota, 160 7. (15) Ben Kennedy , Toyota, 160 8. (6) Tyler Reddick , Ford, 160 9. (7) Daniel Hemric #, Chevrolet, 160 10. (10) Austin Theriault #, Ford, 160 11. (11) John Wes Townley , Chevrolet, 160 12. (5) Brandon Jones #, Chevrolet, 160 13. (18) Ray Black Jr . #, Chevrolet, 160 14. (20) Travis Kvapil , Chevrolet, 160 15. (17) Tyler Young , Chevrolet, 160 16. (21) Tyler Tanner , Chevrolet, 159 17. (28) Ryan Ellis , Chevrolet, 157 18. (23) Timmy Hill , Chevrolet, 157 19. (27) Jordan Anderson , Chevrolet, 156 20. (25) Jennifer Jo Cobb , Chevrolet, 156 21. (3) Matt Crafton , Toyota, Accident, 151 22. (24) Korbin Forrister #, Chevrolet, 148 23. (1) Erik Jones #, Toyota, Electrical, 145 24. (26) Tommy Regan , Chevrolet, Electrical, 108 25. (8) Matt Tifft , Toyota, Accident, 92 26. (29) Norm Benning , Chevrolet, Brakes, 56 27. (19) Justin Boston #, Toyota, Accident, 51 28. (16) Mason Mingus , Chevrolet, Accident, 51 29. (22) Justin Jennings , Chevrolet, Brakes, 26 30. (31) Michael Affarano (i), Chevrolet, Brakes, 13 31. (30) Adam Edwards , Chevrolet, Brakes, 6 32. (32) Joey Gattina, Chevrolet, Engine, 0 Average Speed of Race Winner: 96.97 mph. Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 03 Mins, 45 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.871 Seconds. Caution Flags: 6 for 35 laps. Lead Changes: 9 among 5 drivers. Lap Leaders: E. Jones # 1-55; M. Crafton 56-62; E. Jones # 63-82; M. Crafton 83-93; J. Sauter 94-97; C. Custer 98-110; E. Jones # 111-119; M. Crafton 120-150; T. Reddick 151-154; C. Custer 155-160. Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): E. Jones # 3 times for 84 laps; M. Crafton 3 times for 49 laps; C. Custer 2 times for 19 laps; T. Reddick 1 time for 4 laps; J. Sauter 1 time for 4 laps. Top 10 in Points: M. Crafton - 329; T. Reddick - 317; J. Sauter - 299; E. Jones # - 296; J. Townley - 260; C. Hayley # - 254; S. Gallagher # - 251; D. Hemric # - 246; T. Peters - 245; B. Kennedy - 238.
18-year-old will take full control of No. 8 Chevrolet in Truck Series One day following his 18th birthday (June 11), John Hunter Nemechek will settle back in the driver's seat of the No. 8 NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet for good. Nemechek, who has been sharing seat time with his father Joe in the No. 8 truck, will grow old enough to be eligible to finish the remainder of the NCWTS schedule beginning in Saturday’s American Ethanol presents the Drivin’ for Linemen 200 brought to you by Ameren at Gateway Motorsports Park (8:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). The NASCAR Next member will spend his first day as a legal adult, not celebrating, but doing what he does every day – improving himself as a race car driver. "I'll be here at the race shop working on my birthday," Nemechek said. "We're non-stop working, trying to get these trucks done, trying to make everything better, so we can go out and contend for wins." If Nemechek races as well at Gateway on Saturday as he did last season, he has a very good chance at visiting Victory Lane. He led 53 laps before a late spin relegated him to 15th. In the process he drew praise on Twitter from NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars Tony Stewart , Dale Earnhardt Jr . and Danica Patrick . "How cool is it watching @JohnNemechek leading at Gateway in the @CampingWorld Truck Series race! Go get 'em kid!", Stewart tweeted. Nemechek, who will be competing in his third race this season feels ready to attack the 1.25-mile track. "Last year at Gateway we ran very well," he said. "We made huge improvements from hitting the fence in the first lap of practice to contending for a win. We had an unfortunate event that happened at the end of the race that put us out of contention, but I'm really looking forward to going back this year. It's a very fun place. Both corners are different so you have to get you're truck handling in both. "It's more of a driver’s track. You'll see some guys struggle and some guys will prevail. I'm really looking forward to going back." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule