By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
CONCORD, N.C. – Entering the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Parker Kligerman only had one start in the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. After a DNQ at Daytona International Speedway and a bad fuel pump at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kligerman was looking to turn his luck around.
Off of the hauler, Kligerman’s No. 75 FoodCountryUSA / LopezWealthMgt Toyota Tundra seemed as if it would be a dark horse for the race. He was 16th in the first practice, and fourth fastest in the final practice. Kligerman and his Henderson Motorsports team, led by crew chief Chris Carrier, were impressive in qualifying, ending up ninth on the starting grid.
From the start the race was a roller coaster ride for Kligerman. He would spend time up front and buried mid-pack as the laps clicked off.
Pit strategy put Kligerman in position to take the lead for several laps as he got off sequence with the rest of the field.
Just as pit road put Kligerman up front, it also nearly locked him in the rear. NASCAR officials penalized him for an uncontrolled tire, sending Kligerman to the rear of the field.
Another gutsy call by Carrier won Kligerman the race off pit road late in the race. Unfortunately for Kligerman, a bad restart dropped him from the race lead. He slid back to seventh just before the final caution.
On the restart, Kligerman was in the middle of a mad-scramble for position. When he took the checkered flag, he found himself in 10th. This is Kligerman’s 29th career Top 10 finish in 63 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts. The last time he led laps was in 2013 at Talladega Superspeedway. This was also Henderson Motorsports’ third Top 10 in the Truck Series.
Kligerman was thankful for the opportunity to compete,
“We had a pretty good FoodCountryUSA truck. I’m proud of Chris Carrier, all of these guys, it’s a small team, everyone from Henderson Motorsports. Thank you for this opportunity. Where we lost everything tonight was restarts. We could not get going, it didn’t matter if we were in second or 22nd. For whatever reason, I don’t want to make excuses, I only get to do this every couple months.”
“I don’t have the reps that these guys have, but I pride myself on being a decent restarter. We were out of the ballpark tonight, we couldn’t get close. It’s tough for a small team like ours, we just don’t have the resources. We have to think about that for Dover, and especially the next mile and a half we do which is Kentucky.”
When asked about this being Henderson’s third Top 10 Kligerman was surprised,
“That’s cool, I did not know that. I wish it was the first top five, maybe even the first win. But, we’re building a program here and everyone on board with us is understanding with what we’re trying to do. We’re not going to go up there and challenge KBM the first year in this, but you never know what can happen in two, three, or four years while we build this program. We have smart people like Chris and Caleb (Holman), and a somewhat decent wheel-monkey like myself and maybe we can get some restarts done and go far.”
Kligerman and Carrier will now look to hold on to their momentum as they prepare for the Bar Harbor 200 at Dover International Speedway in two weeks.