Cole Custer: Will race John Hunter Nemechek ‘as hard as I can’ after Truck finish
Two days after a controversial finish to the Camping World Truck Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Cole Custer said he doesn’t plan to retaliate against John Hunter Nemechek, but if Nemechek “steps over the line” at any point in the final eight races “something’s going to happen.”
Custer made his comments during an interview on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “Tradin’ Paint.” Custer was discussing the race finish that saw Nemechek and Custer locked together, drag racing through the dirt under the flag stand as the checkered flag waved.
After the race, Custer charged and tackled Nemechek on the front stretch as the latter tried to retrieve the checkered flag from the flag stand.
“I feel like I’m just going to race him, not give him any breaks, race him as hard as I can,” said Custer, who finished second to Nemechek.
Custer said NASCAR would have been within its right to strip the win from Nemechek, who now has three Truck series wins in two seasons. Custer has two in three seasons.
“It’s just kind of a joke, I don’t know what else I could have done,” Custer said of the finish. “I didn’t block him, I didn’t run him dirty, I didn’t do anything to receive that. It was plain, he wanted to ruin our day. I don’t know what else I could have done.”
The JR Motorsports driver also takes issue with Nemechek’s aggressive driving style when he’s locked into the Chase and Custer is not.
“I’m fine with a little hitting and everything, but when it’s three times and putting you into the wall and off the track, that’s a different thing,” Custer said. “Especially in the position that he’s in in the points and the position that we’re in in points. It’s something that wasn’t called for.”
It's one thing to do something dirty, it's another thing to be proud of it and think it's ok...— Cole Custer (@ColeCuster) September 5, 2016
Custer said he got along with Nemechek prior to Sunday after getting to know the son of Joe Nemechek through the NASCAR Next program last year.
“But everybody throughout the garage and everybody from the start when (Nemechek) started racing the truck series has known that he doesn’t have much respect for people and that he’s going to be aggressive and if he takes you out, it is what it is,” Custer said. “I’ve got along with him before, but it’s not going to be like that now.”
NASCAR is expected to announce penalties from the race weekend on Wednesday, and Custer said he was accepting of any penalty for his on-track confrontation with Nemechek.
“We talked with Brad Moran (Truck series managing director) in the NASCAR hauler for 20 minutes or so and they seemed like they were on my side too, but they obviously didn’t like me going on the track,” Custer said. “I respect that. I understand having punishment for that. One of the reasons I did that, is in the past they’ve shown that they don’t really do anything. Somebody has to do something.”
The Camping World Truck Series’ next race is the Sept. 16 American Ethanol E15 225 at Chicagoland Speedway.