Success. Parker Kligerman proved to the NASCAR community on Sunday afternoon in Fort Worth, Texas that he deserves a spot in the business.
The 23-year-old NASCAR Nationwide Series rookie debuted in the Sprint Cup Series this weekend in Texas Motor Speedway with underfunded Swan Racing. Critics would’ve predicted a finish anywhere between 25th-30th, and Kligerman proved that wrong.
The Westport, Connecticut driver rolled off his No. 30 Chevrolet in the 23rd position after an outstanding qualifying run during Friday’s qualifying session. Kligerman was prepared for his first shot in the spotlight, as he prepared for his first 500-mile event in the AAA 500.
At the drop of the green flag Parker flew his way inside the top twenty and remained there for the first green flag run. The rookie soon experienced looseness off of each corner in his machine. Crew chief, Steve Lane, adjusted the issue for Parker on the pit stop.
Parker remained racing for a top twenty-five position before the 3rd caution of the race for debris. The No. 30 machine was placed back on the lead lap in 23rd. A long fatiguing green flag stretch would then set in, forcing many discomforts for the inexperienced driver.
Parker battled back and pushed his machine to limit grabbing an impressive finish of 18th in his debut. The finish is marked as the 3rd best finish in team history for Swan Racing; the other two finishes better than this were at Talladega and Bristol with David Stremme this year.
“Although, 18th doesn’t sound that great, for a rookie driver and for this team and how hard we work, it’s a great finish” Parker expressed on Facebook after the race.”
“It’s one of the best finishes of the year for these guys (Swan Racing) and obviously one of the best finishes for a rookie, so I’m obviously excited about that. But, it was a long tough race, we all persevered, the pit crew did a great job and we all fought really hard throughout the race”
Parker finished in front of his other NNS companions of Austin Dillion and Kyle Larson. Kligerman ended up the 2nd highest finishing rookie, right behind Ricky Stenhouse Junior who was 16th.