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Custer Battles Back For Top-Five Finish At Watkins Glen

• First Of 2 K&N Pro Series East Road Course Events

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 7, 2015) – Cole Custer recovered from an early incident to score a top-five finish in the Bully Hill Vineyards 125 at Watkins Glen (New York) International on Friday.

The 17-year-old Bill McAnally Racing driver had the No. 00 Carlyle Tools/HAAS Automation Toyota out front for the first 17 laps of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race on the historic 2.45-mile road course, before an incident left him to charge from the back of the pack.

Custer’s BMR teammate, Nick Drake, also had to battle back from racing contact early in the event. He made his way back up to 11th in the No. 15 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota.

Custer had captured the pole for the event during qualifying earlier in the day – marking the first pole on a road course for the Ladera Ranch, California teen and his fifth career pole overall in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. Drake lined up sixth on the starting grid.

While Custer paced the field in the early stages of the event, Drake was running ninth. Contact with another car and a subsequent pit stop left Drake to negotiate his way from the back of the pack.

Custer experienced a similar fate on a Lap 17 restart following the third caution of the race. Custer steadily worked his way through the field – getting to 20th by Lap 19, 12th by Lap 24, and ninth by Lap 30. He managed to get to sixth by Lap 41 and then cracked the top five in the final laps to finish fifth.

Friday’s race, the first of two road course events on series schedule, marked the only K&N Pro Series East race on Custer’s schedule this year.

Drake, 19, of Mooresville, North Carolina nearly matched the 10th-place-finish he registered a year ago at the Glen. He comes away ninth in the championship standings, one of four drivers separated by just six points in a very tight battle for positions. The second-year driver has one top five and five top 10 finishes in 10 starts this season.

The Bully Hill Vineyards 125, won by Scott Heckert, will be televised on NBCSN on Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. ET. It was the 10th event on a 14-race series schedule.

The next event on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule will be at Motordrome Speedway in In Smithton, Pennsylvania on Aug. 15.