Kligerman finishes 13th at Texas

"We had a solid race going, nothing really eventful in any way"

Kligerman finishes 13th at Texas

After starting from the 14th position and going a lap down in the first half of Saturday's O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Parker Kligerman 'rallied' back inside the top 10 late in the race as he tried to collect his fourth consecutive top-10 finish. Unfortunately, the No. 77 ToyotaDreamBuild.com Camry - which featured a retro Toyota Paint scheme similar to that on Kligerman's CamRally entry in the Toyota Dream Build Challenge -got knocked back several spots shortly after advancing from 10th to seventh on the final restart and ended the day with a 13th-place finish.

Parker Kligerman
Parker Kligerman

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

"We had a solid race going, nothing really eventful in any way," Kligerman said. "Good restarts, good pit stops, good strategy - everything was going in our direction to get a solid top-10, maybe even a sixth or seventh there and we came to that last restart and of course it's just been a running theme where that last restart we pick up all the rubber because we get a rash of cautions and then it goes flat to the floor and we're kind of a sitting duck a little bit. We have to just figure out a few things for the mile-and-a-halves there at the end of the race and see if we can retain our positions better. Overall, a good day for our ToyotaDreamBuild.com Camry. We wanted to beat that 32 (Kyle Larson) because we're racing pretty hard in points, but we had a solid top-10 day, just the 6 (Trevor Bayne) moved us on the last couple laps and I lost a couple positions."

Ten laps into the event Kligerman fell back to the 16th spot as he reported a tight-handling Camry. The Connecticut native advanced into the 15th spot on lap 40, where he remained when he was summoned to pit road for his first scheduled pit stop of the day on lap 47. Once inside his stall, the Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) over-the-wall crew administered a four-tire and fuel stop with a trackbar adjustment.

Following a fast stop by his crew, Kligerman was scored in the 12th spot when all of the lead lap cars had made their first stop on lap 53. Unfortunately, race leader Brad Keselwoski was setting a blistering pace and worked his way around the No. 77 Toyota on lap 68. Just two laps later, debris brought out the first caution of the day and the ToyotaDreamBuild.com Camry was awarded the "Lucky Dog" and returned to the lead lap.

Before coming down pit road, Kligerman reported that his handling had improved, but still needed help. The over-the-wall crew put four fresh tires on his Camry, filled it with fuel and made another trackbar adjustment.

The field went back to green on lap 75 and Kligerman's Camry came to life during the next run. After starting at the back of the field, per the Lucky Dog rules, the talented youngster maneuvered his way into the top 10 for the first time on lap 80. By lap 90 the No. 77 Camry had advanced into the seventh position, where it remained when the next caution occurred on lap 110.

Crew chief Eric Phillips summoned his driver to pit road for four tires and fuel. Kligerman slid the tires entering his box, causing a slight hesitation by the crew and costing them two spots when the stop was completed. The No. 77 Camry was scored in the ninth spot for the ensuing restart on lap 116.

Over the next long green-flag run KBM's colorful Camry ran between the ninth and 11th spots. Kligerman surrendered the ninth position on lap 166 to make his final stop of the day. After getting four fresh tires and a full tank of fuel, he returned to the track scored 10th when a two-car accident brought out the fourth caution of the day.

Kligerman remained 10th after another quick caution and ensuing restart on lap 182. A strong restart propelled the No. 77 Camry up to the seventh spot with 15 laps remaining, but five laps later it had fallen back to the 10th spot. In the closing laps, some contact from Bayne cost the team more spots and the night ended with a 13th-place finish.

Keselowski picked up his ninth Nationwide Series victory this season and the 26th of his career in NASCAR's second division. Denny Hamlin finished 0.980 seconds behind Keselwoski in the runner-up spot. Sam Hornish Jr. and Matt Kenseth finished third and fourth, respectively, and Austin Dillon rounded out the top-five finishers.

There were four caution periods totaling 19 laps. Six drivers led a lap, exchanging the lead 15 times. Nine drivers failed to finish the 200-lap event.

Kligerman remains 10th in the Nationwide Series championship standings with 31 of 33 races complete, 183 points behind series points leader Austin Dillon. The Kyle Busch owned No. 77 team ranks 13th in the owner's championship standings, 306 points behind the series-leading No. 22 team.

The No. 77 Toyota Racing team heads to Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway next Saturday, Nov. 9, for the ServiceMaster 200. Live television coverage of the 200-lap event will begin with NASCAR Countdown at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.


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