NASCAR Cup rookie Cole Custer wins in upset at Kentucky

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SPARTA, KENTUCKY – JULY 12: Cole Custer, driver of the #41 HaasTooling.com Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning 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)

SPARTA, Ky. (AP) — Cole Custer became the first rookie winner in the NASCAR Cup Series in nearly four years, surging to the lead in a four-wide, final-lap scramble Sunday at Kentucky Speedway.

Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. were dueling side by side for the lead on the final restart when Custer — with a push from Matt DiBenedetto on the outside in the backstretch — made his move in the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. As the leaders bunched in Turn 1, Custer slid ahead and outlasted Truex’s Toyota.

The victory was the first by a series rookie since Chris Buescher at Pocono on Aug. 1, 2016. Making his 20th series start, the 22-year-old Custer celebrated with a frontstretch burnout as his crew happily ran to greet him. DiBenedetto was third, and Harvick fourth.

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