By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
Despite two years out of a NASCAR Xfinity Series car, Parker Kligerman returned to earn a top-10 finish at Road America. Kligerman started in the back but ran up front for the bulk of the day.
Different pit strategies served to jumble the field often in the Johnsonville 180. It was the difference in strategies that helped Kligerman earn a 10th-place finish in a wild race. He pitted early in the final stage of the race. As those ahead on an alternate strategy peeled off to pit, Kligerman slowly moved up the leaderboard.
Kligerman ended up off strategy early as his Precision Performance Motorsports No. 46 ComServe Wireless Chevrolet Camaro had to be changed from a ‘wet setup’ to a ‘dry setup.’ A caution seven laps into the 45-lap race gave his team the opportunity to make the switch without losing valuable time.
Kligerman admitted that his team didn’t have the brakes to hang with the leaders,
“We had a couple of issues. We had issues with our brakes last, the longevity of them. Make some little things at the end of the straightaway. But that’s besides the point. It was an excellent job by Precision Performance Motorsports. I’m very thankful for the opportunity. We did almost everything right, just lacked that crucial little bit of speed exiting the corner to go run top-five. Everybody running in that top-five, I could see them that last run. I was running with them at times. I just couldn’t keep up with them, so it’s unfortunate. It was very fun to be out there.”
Kligerman started 39th after qualifying was cancelled due to weather. With teams only have two sets of rain tires each, and an ARCA race also scheduled at the 4.048-mile track, NASCAR elected to save the Goodyear rain tires for the race in case they were needed.
Kligerman said the most exciting part was the slickness of the track,
“If you got cars, especially in the pack, cars that off the track that put up all that mud and dust, it just made it really slick. You just could not go too far on the curbs or you would find yourself in the wall. The most exciting part was down in Canada Corner, we all rushed down there, myself, Elliott Sadler, Blake Koch, Justin Allgaier, and there was a rain storm and everyone went sliding. We just did arms and elbows in the air, swatting flies, but somehow we made it out.”
The 10th-place finish came in the first Xfinity Series start of 2017 for Kligerman, the first since the 2015 Darlington race. It is also his 19th career top-10 finish in 53 career starts.
Now Kligerman will look to carry his momentum into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.