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Cole Custer on Austin Hill: ‘He Wants to Drive Like a Pissed Off Teenager’

Cole Custer Austin Hill crash Charlotte Motor Speedway BetMGM 300 2024

Photo Credit: Craig White, TobyChristie.com

Anytime a driver’s day ends with a trip to the infield care center, it’s a bad day. But for Cole Custer, he was left seething about a late-race crash with Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Hill.

Custer says the incident, which resulted in his day ending on Lap 184, was the end of a dramtic lap of racing where the two drivers made contact four times. The final shot came from Hill after the two drivers went into the outside wall in Turns 1 and 2, and Hill made one final swipe, which sent Custer hard into the inside wall.

“Yeah, I mean, he put me in the fence in [Turn] 4. And then we hit on the frontstretch because I was going to pinch him down, and he decided to try and go up and sidedraft me and we hit again. And then, I don’t know if he blew a tire into [Turn] 1 or what happened in [Turn] 1. Then he tried to kill me on the backstretch, and just held it full-throttle until he wrecked our car. Killed the rear clip and slapped my head against the back of the head rest.”

Here is a replay of the crash between the two drivers, which left Custer very frustrated:

Custer continued, “I know it was hard racing, but at the end of the day, I don’t like getting intentionally wrecked, and killing the front and rear clip on a race car. It’s just ridiculous. If he wants to drive like a pissed off teenager, it’s just ridiculous. That’s why — I’ve said enough, I guess.”

While Custer was enraged with Hill, it was a completely different story from the driver of the No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.

After climbing from his racecar at the end of the day, Hill downplayed his initial contact with Custer in Turn 4, and says that at the most, Custer barely scrubbed the wall due to the contact.

“Just watching the replay, the replay isn’t the greatest. They did a good job showing everything that went on — not really. But when I was coming off of [Turn] 4, everybody is on old tires, and scuffs from when we pitted. And I’m in a slide, trying to stay off of him, and I mean his right rear barely might’ve skimmed the wall. It didn’t hurt the car any.

Hill says that after the Turn 4 situation, Custer, “lost his mind,” and roughed Hill up down the frontstretch, which cut Hill’s tire down.

“He completely lost his mind down the frontstretch, doored me so hard that it cut the right front [tire] down going into [Turn] 1,” Hill explained. “I didn’t really know the right front was down yet. I drive into 1 really deep, because I’m going to drive in with him. Right front was down, and it’s not going to turn, right? And I got into him.”

While Hill downplayed his role in the initial portions of the incident with Custer, he did admit that he probably took things too far on his final swipe at Custer, which sent the driver of the No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford into the inside wall.

“I probably got a little too carried away down the backstretch, I didn’t let him go. So that part, I apologize for,” Hill said. “I don’t apologize for racing him off of [Turn] 4. I do. not know what he’s mad about. It’s not like he slammed the wall really hard or messed his car up any. I guess he’s going to need to go back and watch it. It was very uncalled for.”

Hill says he was confused by the situation as he feels like he’s always had a decent on-track relationship with Custer.

“It is what it is. I’ve never had a problem with Cole. I don’t know if he has a problem with me,” Hill questioned.

If he didn’t have a problem with Hill heading into Saturday’s race, it seems he may have one now. We’ll have to keep an eye on Custer and Hill going forward and see if there is more to this situation than a random one-off spat at Charlotte Motor Speedway. But one thing is clear; both drivers didn’t see eye to eye on what happened on Saturday afternoon.

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