Race Weekend Central

‘He Tried to Kill Me on the Backstretch’: Cole Custer Furious After Austin Hill Dumps Him

CONCORD, N.C. — Austin Hill didn’t make any friends at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday (May 25).

With the laps ticking down in the running of the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ BetMGM 300, Cole Custer and Hill were locked in a fierce battle in the top five. The two traded paint on the frontstretch, and contact blew a right front tire on the No. 21 car.

The No. 21 crashed in turn 1 and collected Custer. Hill, showing his displeasure for how he was raced, locked bumpers with No. 00 car and left-reared Custer’s damaged car on the backstretch, which sent him into the inside wall.

Hill finished 25th, two laps down after repairs. Custer was knocked out of the race, and he went scorched Earth on Hill when he was interviewed at the infield care center.

“[Hill] put me in the fence off [turn] 4, and then we hit on the frontstretch because I was gonna go pinch him down, and he decided to try and go up and side draft me, and then we hit again,” Custer said. 

“And then I don’t know if he blew a tire into [turn] 1 or what happened into 1, but then he tried to kill me on the backstretch and just held it full throttle until he wrecked our car and killed the rear clip. I slapped my head against the back of the headrest. 

“I don’t know. 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 our race car. It’s just ridiculous. If he wants to drive like a pissed off teenager, it’s just ridiculous. I’ve said enough.”

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Hill was mad about a door slam from Custer on the frontstretch after the pair made contact in turn 4 on the restart.

“I just came off of [turn] 4, everybody’s on old tires, scuffs when we came in and pitted, and I slide, trying to stay off of [Custer], and his right rear barely might’ve skimmed the wall,” Hill said. “Didn’t hurt his car any and then he completely lost his mind down the frontstretch, doored me so hard it cut the right front down.”

He apologized for turning Custer on the backstretch after both of them were wrecked, but he did not apologize for the hard racing up to that point.

“Got into him, I probably got a little too carried away down the backstretch,” Hill said. “I didn’t let him go, so that part I apologize about. But I don’t apologize for racing him off of 4, and I do not know what he’s mad about. …

“I guess he’s going to need to go back and watch it, because I don’t get it. It was very uncalled for to door us as hard as he did down the frontstretch.”

Custer wasn’t the only driver to have a run-in with Hill at Charlotte, as Hill also clashed with Sammy Smith — who finished third — in the final stage.

“I feel like I try to pass [Hill] clean every week and not try to be a dirty racer,” Smith said. “I feel like I was trying to pass him, and he was blocking me and packing [me] full of air, I was clearly a little bit faster than him. It’s part of racing, and it’s hard to pass in these Xfinity cars, so every position really matters.”

For Hill and Custer, will this beef continue? They are first and third in regular season points, respectively. They will likely duke it out in October and November for the title, and neither of them will forget this incident for a long, long time, if ever.

About the author

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Stephen Stumpf is the NASCAR Content Director for Frontstretch and is a three-year veteran of the site. His weekly columns include “Stat Sheet” and “4 Burning Questions.” He also writes commentary, contributes to podcasts, edits articles and is frequently at the track for on-site coverage.

Can find on Twitter @stephen_stumpf.

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4 Comments
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Christopher

NASCAR should have immediately radioed RCR and ejected Hill from the race. Hill is a revolting bully who physically assaulted Myatt Snider, wrecked his own teammate last year preventing both from getting into the Xfinity championship final, routinely wrecks people and then cries about how he’s the real victim. He’s scum.

old fan

If NASCAR had any guts, they should suspend Hill for a race. Then since he’s missed a race, not give him a waiver, disqualifying him from making the playoffs. But they won’t do anything except use the wreck in their next promotional commercial. One day, Hill will go too far and they’ll have to get the blue tarp out as they pull a dead driver from their car. Then we can listen to NASCAR explain how safety is their number one concern.

Shayne

Welcome to the new NASCAR where clicks and ads have replaced actual fans.

Steve

They can’t suspend someone a week after letting Kyle Busch off scot free, so good luck with that one.

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