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Oct 08, 2012 - 06:30 AM
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2012 Talladega: Parker Kligerman NASCAR Truck Race Recap
Posted by: newsla on Oct 08, 2012 - 06:25 AM
NASCAR News
2012 Talladega: Parker Kligerman NASCAR Truck Race Recap


Parker Kligerman
No. 7 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra
Start: 9th
Finish: 1st
Point Standings: 4th (-34)

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start number 300 for Red Horse Racing was the charm for driver Parker Kligerman and the No. 7 Toyota Tundra team at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday. Rebounding from an unscheduled pit stop to replace a faulty battery with less than 20 laps to go, Kligerman made a power move to charge back to the front with just a few short laps remaining to capture his first career series win in the fred's 250 powered by Coca-Cola.

 

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Practicing in the draft for most of the practice session on Friday afternoon, Kligerman reported that his Red Horse Racing Tundra was working well when he was either leading or pushed up behind another truck, and was pleased with the overall speed and handling. Crew chief Chad Kendrick and the No. 7 crew dialed in their machine for qualifying, helping Kligerman take the ninth starting position.

Staying clean and green for the first 15 laps of racing, teammates Parker Kligerman, Todd Bodine and Timothy Peters stayed lined up on the low line and maintained running positions in the top-10. Differing pit strategy on the first stop split up the threesome, as Kligerman and Peters stayed near the front with fuel only stops. The teammates continued to stick together, running nose to tail in the draft before the next caution on lap 33.

After coming down pit road under the caution to get two right side tires and fuel, Kligerman was shuffled to the back of the pack due to a hang up on the right front tire. He then found his other Red Horse Racing teammate, Bodine, who gave him a push back up into the pack. Another caution on lap 48 gave Kligerman a chance to get new left side tires to match the rights, restarting with 44 laps to go in the 14th position.

A collection of close calls followed the No. 7 team just shortly after the restart, as Kligerman jumped on the radio and reported a vibration underneath his Tundra. Fortunately, the fourth caution period of the evening came just 10 laps later, giving Kendrick and his crew time to diagnose the issue. After receiving four fresh tires from his crew, Kligerman returned to competition near the tail end of the field and worked his way up and into the top-10 before the next caution on lap 76. However, during his run back to the front, Kligerman also reported a battery issue that had shut down all of his gauges. The team was forced to bring their driver back down pit road once again for an unscheduled stop under the yellow to change the battery and give their Tundra enough power to make it to the finish.

Taking the restart from the tail of the field once again after the extended stop for the battery change, Kligerman took a chance and hooked up in a tandem draft with another competitor, pushing him straight to the front of the pack in just two short laps. The two trucks overtook the majority of the field in one fell swoop around the outside line and Kligerman held on to the runner up position until the caution came back out for a spin for the sixth time.

On the lap 88 restart Kligerman started on the outside of the front row and had teammate Timothy Peters lined up on his Tundra's back bumper, ready to push both of the Red Horse Racing machines to the lead. Kligerman held strong as he and Peters were split up as the laps wound down, staying within striking distance in the top five. With a push from behind, Kligerman pulled around the outside of the leaders just before the white flag was displayed. As an accident unfolded at the tail of the field behind him in the final turn, Kligerman stayed true and pulled across the finish line to claim his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory.

"It's been a long road to get to this victory. Driving for two different teams and going through a lot of adversity was hard, but I'm blessed to be at Red Horse Racing and working with the best people I've ever worked with and raced with. It starts at the top with Tom DeLoach and it just follows through with this entire team that we assembled mid-season to go after this championship. To come over here to Red Horse and have a reinvigoration of my career after what's happened at the beginning of this season, I just can't thank everyone there enough for giving me that confidence." Kligerman said as he praised his crew.

"It was just a matter of time before we'd get that first win and I probably never dreamed that it would happen here just because I haven't finished a superspeedway race without incident in a few years. I'm happy to have it happen here at Talladega and just proud of this whole Red Horse Racing team."

Kendrick was proud to be a part of his driver's first career victory, and foreshadowed plans of many wins in the future.

"Before today started, I kind of told a lot of people I didn't really like superspeedway racing, but right now I kind of like it a lot. I don't want to be known as the guy who just wins the superspeedways, I want to be known as the guy who can win anywhere. But I'm proud of this team and our driver has such a great talent. It's special to be a part of his first win. I think now that Parker has got that first win behind him we're going to really turn it on now, and I know we can win anywhere, so I'm looking forward to that."

Owner Tom DeLoach closed with thoughts about Kligerman's first win coming on a milestone night for Red Horse Racing.

"A win on the 300th start makes it really special. The other thing that's really special is every driver that we've had at Red Horse this year has won. We've got five wins among four drivers, so it's pretty special that everybody that comes here wins. The combination of a very good organization with very talented drivers is magic. This is also a magic superspeedway truck, it won Daytona with Timothy Peters in 2010, it won again at Daytona earlier this year with John King and it just won again with Parker."

Timothy Peters
No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra
Start: 8th
Finish: 5th
Point Standings: 3rd (-26)

Timothy Peters and the No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra team traveled to Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday afternoon to compete in the milestone 300th NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start for Red Horse Racing. By steering clear of all incidents and maintaining a position inside the top-10 all afternoon, Peters placed himself in contention for the win with just a few short laps remaining in the fred's 250 powered by Coca-Cola. Linking up with teammate Parker Kligerman on the final restart, Peters pushed his way into the top-five and maneuvered into the lead pack draft to claim a fifth place finish.

A two-hour practice session for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) competitors on Friday afternoon gave Peters and crew chief Butch Hylton the opportunity to find the best balance of speed and drafting ability with their No. 17 Tundra. Hard work from the entire Red Horse Racing organization showed off during qualifying, as the team put forth its best superspeedway qualifying efforts, with Peters starting from the eighth spot and teammates Todd Bodine and Parker Kligerman on either side.

The opening 15 laps of the 250-mile main event went caution free as Peters, Kligerman and Bodine took advantage of their solid qualifying efforts and lined up nose to tail to draft in the low line; single file and riding safely inside the top-10. Under the first caution on lap 16, crew chief Butch Hylton elected to bring Peters down pit road to top off with fuel and stay on sequence with the rest of the lead pack. Restarting the next segment still inside the top-10, Peters remained patient with the help of spotter Tony Hirschman until the next caution on lap 33. Hylton took the opportunity to bring Peters onto pit road for two right side tires and a minor adjustment.

Reporting his Toyota Tundra was able to suck up to the competitors in front of him well and push well, Peters continued to keep his patience and ride in line until the next opportunity for a pit stop under the third caution of the afternoon on lap 47. The No. 17 pit crew performed a fast fuel only pit stop and sent their driver back out for the restart in the second spot. This gave Peters the perfect opportunity to make a strong move to the outside on the restart and take over the lead coming off of turn two, receiving valuable bonus points for the NCWTS championship battle. He soon settled back into the second position, claiming his Tundra did better as the truck giving a push in the draft.

A late race caution set up a six lap dash to the finish, and a perfect scenario for teammates Kligerman and Peters on the restart as they lined up nose to tail in second and fourth. After retaking the green, Peters gave Kligerman a shove forward into the draft before getting disconnected with him and sliding into the low line to save his spot in the top-five. With the quick maneuver, Peters held his position as several trucks behind him began to wreck on the final lap, bringing out the caution and locking in a fifth place finish for the driver of the No. 17 Tundra.

"It was a typical, wild Talladega race. Parker and I were hooked up there on the last restart and we had a good plan worked out to link up and head to the lead, but my Tundra was just too tight to keep up with him and push. We got disconnected but I was able to duck back in line, and coming away with a top-five finish after having a fast Toyota Tundra all race long is nothing to hang our heads about for sure," Peters said.

"I'm happy for Parker and really proud of this Red Horse Racing team. That truck he drove has three superspeedway wins now and that just shows how prepared and how great this team really is."

Todd Bodine
No. 11 Toyota Care Toyota Tundra
Start: 7th
Finish: 33rd
Point Standings: 14th

Entering the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series fred's 250 powered by Coca-Cola on Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway, Todd Bodine was the only series regular with two wins at the 2.66-mile track. Utilizing that past experience, Bodine quickly showed his restrictor plate racing skill from his seventh starting position and lead his Red Horse Racing teammates in the draft through the first segment of the race. Unfortunately, an incident at the halfway point cut short his chances of mixing it up for the victory, as Bodine's No. 11 Toyota Care Tundra suffered significant damage due to contact from another competitor, ending his day in the garage with a 33rd place finish.

Throughout Friday's lone practice session, the two-time series champion and his team worked to find the best setup under their Toyota Care Tundra for the draft. Making only minor adjustments, the team was happy with the speed and stability of their Tundra, and showed it during qualifying. Scoring a seventh place starting position for Red Horse Racing's 300th NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start, Bodine began the afternoon by leading his two teammates in the draft through the first 15 laps of competition. Under the first caution on lap 16, crew chief Rick Gay brought Bodine down pit road for fresh tires and adjustments, a differing strategy from most of the field. The stop put Bodine near the tail of the field for the restart, away from his drafting partners.

With help from spotter Jimmy Kitchens, Bodine remained patient and cautiously worked his way forward one position at a time. Under the next caution 15 laps later, Gay and the No. 11 Red Horse Racing pit crew gave Bodine two more fresh tires and gained him a few spots up to the 18th spot for the restart. With teammate Kligerman taking tires on his stop as well, the two were able to link up and draft together to make progress for several laps before getting broken up in the mix.

Shortly after losing touch with Kligerman, Bodine was pushing his way up through the low line on lap 47 when he was hit hard on the right side of the Toyota Care Tundra from another contender who spun on the backstretch. Bodine's Red Horse Racing crew made every attempt to fix the damage over the next several laps, but deemed the damage too severe and finished the day in the garage with a disappointing 33rd place finish.

"I'm not really sure how we got damaged or who ran into me, but we had a miscue on an early pit stop that put us further back in the pack than what we wanted to be. Our Toyota Care Tundra was fast and I was happy with it, but it was hard to pass with the competitors I was around. I tried a couple moves and the guys back there were a little out of control, so I just tried to ride around the bottom until the perfect opportunity to move up. It's just really hard that far back in the pack with all the air moving around, so it's easy for something like that to happen," Bodine explained.

"We had a shot to get a good run, but we put together a solid qualifying effort and I'm happy for our teammate Parker Kligerman getting his first win on Red Horse Racing's 300th start. That's a cool ending to the day."

Championship Points Update: Kligerman's win placed him back in the fourth spot in the championship point standings, now 34 markers behind the lead. Teammate Timothy Peters' fifth place finish keeps him in the third spot in the standings, now 26 points out of the lead. Bodine's early ending at Talladega keeps him in the 14th spot in the NCWTS driver point standings.

Next on the Schedule: The NCWTS teams will take a few weeks off before traveling to Martinsville Speedway for the Kroger 200 on Saturday, October 27th. Coverage begins live on SPEED at 1:30 pm EST.

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