By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
BRISTOL, Tenn – The ‘Super Bowl’ for hometown team Henderson Motorsports saw Parker Kligerman notch another top-five finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
The Abingdon, VA-based team ran inside the top-10 throughout the entirety of the Pinty’s Truck Race on Dirt. Veteran journeyman driver Kligerman battled with NASCAR Cup Series champions Chase Elliott and Joey Logano. Truck Series regulars like John Hunter Nemechek and Chandler Smith also challenged Kligerman. The small family-owned team was up against the powerhouses of David Gilliland Racing, Kyle Busch Motorsports, Spire Motorsports, and ThorSport Racing.
While most of his competitors raced against the cushion on the outside, Kligerman ripped along the inside of the track. Having his own lane allowed the Westport, CT native to keep much of his competition at bay during the Pinty’s Truck Race on Dirt. Though Kligerman did get slammed by Nemechek for sixth late in the race.
After avoiding a late-race accident between Smith and Buddy Kofoid, Kligerman found him No. 75 Bounty Chevrolet Silverado third on the final restart. However, poor grip on restarts left the team with one full-time employee, crew chief Chris Carrier, struggling for traction. Eventual race winner Ben Rhodes swept by on the outside on the restart, leaving Kligerman to fend off a charge from Christian Eckes. When the checkered flag waved, the 31-year-old driver was fourth.
“Chris Carrier is a magician,” joked Kligerman. “We have great help, though Chris may be the only full-time employee, but we’ve got a great crew of ex-cup car chiefs. All the people that help us do this and everyone executes a really high level. This whole team the culture from Don Henderson, Food Country USA, and Chris is that we’re here to win. We don’t see ourselves as an underdog.
“That might be a 10-year-old chassis, but we’re here to win because we believe that when we hit it right that we can be as good as anyone. That’s how we’re able to do it. If we keep clicking off top-fives we’ll get back to victory lane. I thought it was going to be. It would have been huge, but we just needed a green flag run and never got it. That was a badass racetrack and a badass show in terms of being able to use different lanes, moving around, getting into each other. That was a lot of fun.”
Kligerman started the race on the dirt at Bristol in fourth after earning 12 passing points in the Heat races. He translated that into top-10 finishes in both Stages. Non-competitive pit stops aided the small team in holding track position during the two Stage breaks.
The fourth-place finish is the second top-five for Kligerman this season and his best finish of 2022. The part-time driver now has 21 career top-five finishes.
Despite running a part-time schedule, Kligerman sits 14th in the championship points standings. Though ineligible for the playoffs, the points position shows the consistency the veteran driver and NASCAR on NBC pit reporter has had in four starts this season. Kligerman and Henderson Motorsports’ next scheduled race is the LiftKits4Less.com 200 at Darlington Raceway on May 6.
Featured Photo Credit: Photo by NKP / NKP Photo.