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NASCAR Cup rookie Cole Custer wins in upset at Kentucky

Making his 20th series start, the 22-year-old Custer celebrated with a frontstretch burnout as his crew happily ran to greet him.
Credit: AP
Cole Custer (41) celebrates after winning a NASCAR Cup Series auto race Sunday, July 12, 2020, in Sparta, Ky. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

SPARTA, Ky. — 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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