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Cole Custer to drive in five Xfinity races for JR Motorsports

Lucas Oil 150 - Qualifying

AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 07: Cole Custer, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 7, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

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JR Motorsports announced Tuesday that 18-year-old Cole Custer will make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut April 23 at Richmond International Raceway.

Custer is scheduled to drive in five Xfinity races this season for JR Motorsports. The other races will be May 28 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, July 8 at Kentucky Speedway, Oct. 7 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Nov. 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Haas Automation will sponsor Custer in four of the five races. Cessna will be the primary sponsor at Kentucky.

Custer, who will graduate from high school in May, drives for JR Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series. He was 24th at Daytona after he was in an accident and 17th at Atlanta. The Truck series races this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Custer won the pole there last fall and finished fourth. Custer scored one Truck win last year for the team and has two career Truck wins.

“Cole is a driver who has shown a lot of potential,” said team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a release. “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.”

Said Custer in a team release:“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. This is a great opportunity for me to get more laps, get used to the equipment, and compete at another level.”

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