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JR Motorsports’ Cole Custer graduates high school at Texas Motor Speedway before start of Rattlesnake 400

by Mike Haag | Posted on Friday, June 10th, 2016

FORT WORTH – NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Cole Custer missed the opportunity to celebrate his Tesoro (Calif.) High School graduation as a result of Friday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rattlesnake 400, but Texas Motor Speedway officials ensured the 18-year-old got to bask in the glory of his accomplishment.

hool diploma from Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage onstage prior to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rattlesnake 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 10, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

hool diploma from Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage onstage prior to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rattlesnake 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 10, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

Custer took part in a special graduation ceremony during pre-race activities prior to driver introductions. Dressed in his Tesoro High cap and gown, Custer made his way across the frontstretch stage to the music of “Pomp & Circumstance” and received his Tesoro High diploma from the Dean of Motorsports – Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage.

“It’s really awesome to be able to graduate here and obviously they did it here a couple years ago with Erik Jones,” Custer said. “It’s a really cool experience. I missed my high school graduation was yesterday, so it’s really cool that I get to receive it at Texas Motor Speedway.

“It was a little bit difficult because it’s a pretty big deal but definitely racing is always going to come first,” he added. “I don’t regret my decision.”

Despite being more than 1,400-miles away from Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. – home of the Tesoro High Titans – members from the school’s faculty and staff took part in the ceremony with a video tribute shown on “Big Hoss” – the World’s Largest TV.

Cole Custer, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, gets a kiss from the Great American Sweethearts after receiving his high school diploma from Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage onstage prior to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rattlesnake 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 10, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

Cole Custer, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, gets a kiss from the Great American Sweethearts after receiving his high school diploma from Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage onstage prior to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rattlesnake 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 10, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

With his parents, Joe, a Stewart-Haas Racing executive, and Cindy, watching from the stage, Custer moved his tassel to the other side of his cap as is a graduation tradition. Custer went from the graduation stage to center stage on Friday evening as he qualified 16th for Friday’s Rattlesnake 400 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.

It marks Custer’s first appearance at Texas Motor Speedway, as the JR Motorsports driver is in the midst of his first full season in the truck series. Custer has appeared in 25 races heading into the Rattlesnake 400.

A two-time Camping World Truck Series winner, he is currently 15th in the championship standings.

Story and photos courtesy of Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations and Getty Images

 

About the Author

Mike Haag has covered motorsports in San Antonio and South Texas for more than 33 years. In addition to covering motorsports for the San Antonio Express-News for nearly 28 years, Mike also has co-hosted TrackSmack with Dawn Murphy for 16 race seasons. In addition to being a writer, Mike taught high school English and Journalism for 30 years before retiring in May, 2020.