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While the rest of the Tes0ro High School (Calif.) Class of 2016 walked the stage on Thursday, Cole Custer participated in two practice sessions at Texas Motor Speedway, more than 1,400 miles away. And though he missed his official graduation, TMS president Eddie Gossage made sure Custer still got the opportunity to wear the cap and gown while accepting his diploma.
In a special pre-race ceremony, Custer’s parents were on stage while Gossage presented the diploma and watched their son move his tassel from one side of his cap to the other.
“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.”
Custer qualified 16th and was running inside the top five when he tangled briefly with John Hunter Nemechek, nearly wrecking his No. 00 Chevrolet. The resulting loss in momentum saw him settle for a 14th-place finish.