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He said, he said: John Hunter Nemechek and Cole Custer tell their sides of last lap

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John Hunter Nemechek and Cole Custer beat and banged their way to the checkered flag Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, with Nemechek being declared the winner upon review.

Custer finished second but was unhappy with how Nemechek got to his back bumper and moved him out of the way. The two made contact in the final corner and then bounced off each other through the grass on their way to the finish line.

As Nemechek waited for NASCAR’s decision on the frontstretch, Custer jumped over pit wall and tackled him at full speed.

When he met the media later, the JR Motorsports driver still wasn’t happy.

“There’s no respect in this garage area right now,” Custer said. “We had another fight right outside of our truck that didn’t even involve us, but it’s just a joke right now, really. We’ll see what happens.”

Here is what Nemechek and Custer said afterward:

On the last lap:

Nemechek: “My guys gave me a great truck there at the end. Cole and I, we’re very competitive. Very competitive racers and we would have done anything in the same position to make sure we got that win.”

Custer: “Going into Turn 8, and going down the backstretch and into that corner, I had a car length or so on him and stayed about even. He might have closed up a little bit, and then going into the second-to-last corner, I drove pretty normal from what I had done the whole race, and guess he just drove in a little bit deeper and hit us in the back. That just got us off line and made me pinch the corner going into the last corner, and since I had to make a sharper corner, I had to slow down a little bit more, and he just decided to run into me again. That turned us into the wall, and then he hit me again in the door, and that sent us into the wall.”

On the frontstretch tackle:

Nemechek: “I didn’t know he was going to come over there and do that but there’s a lot of tempers that fly. It’s an emotional sport; it’s a competitive sport; that’s just how it goes sometimes.”

Custer: “I played freshman football, but that was definitely my biggest problem, I would not get low enough. I wasn’t expecting him to duck at the last second.”

On whether the feud is over and what NASCAR had said:

Nemechek: “I can’t really comment on (the conversation). It was good. We’re always looking forward to the next race, getting to the next race. We’re just going to take it one race at a time and do our best and if circumstances happen, they happen, but we’re looking forward to taking this momentum to Chicago and being good there and then taking it into the Chase and being in the final four at Homestead.”

Custer: “We talked to NASCAR, just talked to them for about 20 minutes in there, and it’s up in their hands, and it’s what they want to do, what they want to accept, I guess, what’s right in this sport. Ball’s in their court, can’t do much now. For retaliation, I’m not looking at that now.”

On what he means by “right in this sport” in the context of past truck races at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park featuring similarly controversial finishes:

Custer: “I think the last few years it has been (OK). This year, I don’t think it was. When you don’t give a guy a chance, what’s the point of racing? I couldn’t do anything else. He gave me no choice, no chance to do anything, so it’s not racing in my book. But he’s shown time and again throughout the year that he doesn’t have much respect, just through different situations when he’s under people. Instead of spinning himself out when it’s his fault, he’ll correct into them and ruin their day when it should have been his day ruined.”

On whether Sunday will change the way he races Nemechek going forward:

Custer: “I’m just not going to give him any breaks, really. If he decides to do anything or if he makes my day any harder than it has to be, I’m going to voice my opinion, I guess, but that’s about it.”

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