Cole Custer to make first Cup Series start at Las Vegas

<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nascar/sprint/drivers/3486/" data-ylk="slk:Cole Custer">Cole Custer</a> won the final Xfinity Series race of the 2017 season. (Getty)r&nbsp;
Cole Custer won the final Xfinity Series race of the 2017 season. (Getty)r 

Cole Custer’s first Cup start won’t come with Stewart-Haas Racing.

The Xfinity Series driver will make his Cup Series debut at Las Vegas on March 4. Custer will drive the No. 51 car for Rick Ware Racing, which fielded a car for Justin Marks at the Daytona 500. Harrison Rhodes is driving for RWR at Atlanta on Sunday.

RWR typically fields Chevrolets, but Custer’s car will be a Ford because Stewart-Haas Racing is a Ford team. You can expect that he’ll have some SHR support prepping that car. He’ll be sponsored by team co-owner Gene’ Haas’ CNC company.

“This is a dream come true to compete in the Cup Series,” Custer, 20, said in a statement. “I can’t thank Rick Ware Racing and Haas Automation enough for the opportunity to race at Las Vegas. It’s going to be a new experience for me, but I feel that we can have a productive day by completing all the laps and seeing the checkered flag.”

Custer, the son of Haas Formula 1 team CEO Joe Custer, won his first Xfinity Series race in the season-finale at Homestead. He had seven top-five finishes and 19 top tens while finishing fifth in the points standings. Custer won two Truck Series races in 42 starts over three seasons. He was 10th in the points standings in 2016.

Given his father’s longtime role with Haas’ race team — Custer was heavily involved when Tony Stewart joined as a co-owner — Stewart-Haas will likely be his permanent Cup Series destination. SHR added Aric Almirola in the offseason and Kurt Busch re-upped with the team over the offseason on a one-year deal. Kevin Harvick has been with the team since 2014 and Clint Bowyer is in his second year at SHR.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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