Cole Custer will replace Daniel Suarez in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Ford for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season, the team announced Friday morning.
NEWS: Stewart-Haas Racing will promote @ColeCuster from its #NASCAR Xfinity Series team to the NASCAR Cup Series in 2020. The nine-time Xfinity Series race winner will drive the No. 41 @Haas_Automation Ford Mustang. #SHRacing https://t.co/AalwcpM4M1
â Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) November 15, 2019
Custer has spent the past three seasons running full time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, winning nine races over that stretch, including seven victories this season. He reached the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship 4 the past two seasons and also made his Cup debut in 2018, running three races with Rick Ware Racing.
âI was asked last year about this time what Cole needed to do to earn his place in the NASCAR Cup Series, and I said he needed to win,â said Gene Haas, co-owner of SHR with three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart. âWell, Cole has done that â a lot. He showed that heâs ready to compete at the next level and weâre giving him that opportunity.â
RELATED: Key players in Silly SeasonÂ
Suarez came to SHR for the 2019 season after running two Cup Series seasons at Joe Gibbs Racing. The 2016 Xfinity Series champion sits 17th in the 2019 Cup standings â highest among the non-playoff field.
The driver confirmed the news on Twitter on Thursday evening.
MORE: Suarez confirms SHR exit
Over the past month, SHR has inked deals to keep Aric Almirola (No. 10) and Clint Bowyer (No. 14) in the fold for the 2020 season. Kevin Harvick, the 2014 champion and a driver in the Championship 4, will pilot the No. 4 Ford.
âThis is the moment Iâve worked for ever since I first started racing,â said Custer, who began racing quarter midgets at age five. âIâve learned a lot in these last three years in the Xfinity Series, and to be able to stay within Stewart-Haas Racing will make a steep learning curve a little less steep. I know the people, the culture and whatâs expected of me. Iâm ready for this challenge.â