Parker Kligerman has ‘Kickass Day’ in Top-Five Run at Chicago

By Seth Eggert, Associate Editor

Big Machine Racing’s Parker Kligerman was forced to overcome a post-qualifying engine change and starting from the rear of the field in The Loop 110 to score a top-five finish on the Chicago Street Course.

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(Photo by Matt Thacker/Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Despite the narrow confines of street course racing, Kligerman managed to climb through the field quickly. In the first Stage of the race the veteran driver moved from the rear of the field up to 10th. In part that movement through the field was because of the chaotically aggressive racing.

Not only were drivers bouncing off each other, but they were bouncing off the temporary walls as well. With each hit of the wall, it moved slightly. Ultimately that adjusted the racing line lap by lap as Kligerman noted.

“I love (the Chicago Street Course, man it’s cool,” Kligerman said. “I mean, everyone’s hitting walls, every corner. It’s absolute chaos out there. If you watched an onboard for a whole race, you would see every car hit the wall at some point and slam it, slam another car on the wall. But it’s just they’re stock cars so you get away with it. It’s awesome. Sometimes the walls move, then the corner is different. The next time there’s a dynamic to it. I’m so glad we do get to that point.” 

By the final restart of the race, Kligerman’s No. 48 Spiked Lite Tropical Coolers Chevrolet Camaro SS was just outside the top-five. As Austin Hill faded, the Westport, CT native moved into the top-five.

Kligerman battled with fellow NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Sheldon Creed for fourth place. Contact between him and Creed with two laps to go sent the Joe Gibbs Racing driver spinning. That left Kligerman largely uncontested for fourth as the field spread out on the 2.2-mile road course.

Parker kligerman climbed from the rear of the field to score a top-five finish in the nascar xfinity series at the chicago street course.
(Photo by Matt Thacker/Nigel Kinrade Photography)

“Off (Turn) 11 and I was like, ‘hey, did I do anything crazy there? Because to me the 18 stood out. He tried to go below the two, but I was there, and he just came across my nose,” Kligerman explained.

“I know Sheldon’s really angry, and rightfully so. He and I raced each other all day. He and I drove from the back. He was running into a lot of stuff. I think he was on tilt a lot of the race but there I think it’s just like when you watch it back, I think he’ll see like, hey, you came over, but no one told you I was there. Kyle had a front row seat to it.

“Solid day for Spike Coolers Chevy. We could have got some better track position there. I think we had something for at least the 19 and 17, but the 97, I don’t know another zip code I got work to do to try to be that good. But solid day for starting the back to get stage points in both stages. That was that was a kickass day.” 

In addition to the 10th-place in Stage 1, Kligerman finished Stage 2 in seventh. That earned the NASCAR on NBC pit road reporter in the Cup Series with an additional five points.

The fourth-place finish was Kligerman’s second top-five of the season, his first since Circuit of the Americas. It was also the 13th top-five of his Xfinity Series career.

The top-five finish combined with the stage points kept Kligerman ninth in the points standings. He’s 165-points behind leader and defending Xfinity champion Cole Custer. Kligerman is 40-points above the playoff cutline currently held by Sammy Smith.

Next for Kligerman is the Explore the Pocono Mountains 225 at Pocono Raceway. In one Xfinity start at ‘The Tricky Triangle’ Kligerman has one top-10 finish.

The Pocono Mountains 225 at Pocono Raceway is scheduled for Saturday, July 13 at 3:00 p.m. ET on USA Network. The race will also be broadcast on both the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

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