The 18-year-old Californian will make his debut in the No. 5 Chevrolet next month at Richmond International Raceway (April 23) in a fourth entry for JRM. Custer then transitions to the No. 88 Chevrolet at Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 28) and Kentucky Speedway (July 8). He’ll return to the seat of the No. 5 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Oct. 7) and Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 19).
“Cole is a driver who has shown a lot of potential,” said team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. “He is fast and tenacious, he leads laps and wins races; everything you want out of a driver no matter how much experience they have. We take a lot of pride in helping guys advance their careers towards their ultimate goal of racing in the Cup Series. Cole is on that path and I’m happy that we’re able to put him in our cars to help in that process.”
After spending 2015 competing part-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with JRM, Custer embarked on his first full-time season in 2016. In 12 starts for the team, Custer has amassed one win at Gateway Motorsports Park, two Top-5 and four Top-10 finishes.
“Seat time is critical to development as a driver, and the more I can get, especially with a team like JRM, the faster that development will go,” said Custer, who will graduate from high school in May. “This is a great opportunity for me to get more laps, get used to the equipment, and compete at another level.”
With two career NCWTS victories to his credit, Custer stands as the youngest winner in NASCAR national tour series history, accomplishing the feat in 2014 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. By virtue of a pole in the NCWTS race at Martinsville Speedway last fall with JRM, he became the youngest pole winner in the track’s history.