NASCAR at Kentucky 2020 Results: Cole Custer Surges Late for 1st Career Win

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 12, 2020

SPARTA, KENTUCKY - JULY 12: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, races Cole Custer, driver of the #41 HaasTooling.com Ford, during the NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart at Kentucky Speedway on July 12, 2020 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

How about a rookie winning at Kentucky?

After the literal tire smoke cleared from a wild finish, it was rookie Cole Custer who led the pack and won the Quaker State 400 at the Kentucky Speedway, holding off Martin Truex Jr., Matt DiBenedetto and Kevin Harvick. Custer stole the win after a late stretch that saw a number of restarts and a four-wide battle on the last lap.

It was Custer's first win in the Cup Series. 

That finish had the racing world both stunned by the result and impressed by Custer's performance:

"We were so good all day, our car was so good. ... That was the best car I've ever driven in my life," Custer said after the race on the FS1 broadcast.

"It's not easy. You kinda have to adapt as much as you can," he added of being a rookie in the Cup Series. "I think we've gotten better and better at that. But it's just unbelievable. I didn't think we were coming here to win. Now we're going to be in the All-Star race."

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

As for the rest of the race, Aric Almirola won the first stage while Brad Keselowski took the second. The race featured 13 lead changes, nine different leaders and eight cautions. Almirola led the most laps (128), followed by Truex Jr. (57). Custer led just five laps. 

The race also included the return of Jimmie Johnson, who was the first NASCAR driver to record a positive test case of COVID-19. He was cleared to return Sunday after two negative tests and finished 18th. 

Up next in the Cup Series is the NASCAR All-Star Race (Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. ET on FS1), followed by the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN). 

Related

    Morikawa Wins PGA Championship

    23-year-old Collin Morikawa shoots 6-under 64 on Sunday to take home first career major title

    Featured logo
    Featured

    Morikawa Wins PGA Championship

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report

    Astros-A's Brawl 🤬

    Oakland's Ramon Laureano charges at Astros players by the dugout and both teams fight 🎥

    Featured logo
    Featured

    Astros-A's Brawl 🤬

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report

    LaMelo's Landing Spots in NBA Draft

    The best and worst destinations for the youngest Ball brother

    Featured logo
    Featured

    LaMelo's Landing Spots in NBA Draft

    Jonathan Wasserman
    via Bleacher Report

    Fluke or the Real Deal? 🧐

    Breaking down the most stunning MLB starts to new season

    Featured logo
    Featured

    Fluke or the Real Deal? 🧐

    Jacob Shafer
    via Bleacher Report