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Aug 01, 2013 - 07:06 AM
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2013 Iowa II: Parker Kligerman NASCAR Nationwide Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Aug 01, 2013 - 07:01 AM
NASCAR News
2013 Iowa II: Parker Kligerman NASCAR Nationwide Race Preview


With both driver Parker Kligerman and crew chief Eric Phillips competing in their first full-time season in the Nationwide Series and Kyle Busch Motorsports' (KBM) Nationwide Series program in just its sophomore campaign, the first half of the 2013 season was spent trying to improve the teams fleet of Camrys while building a notebook that will help the team excel in the second half of the season. Now that the NASCAR Nationwide Series will be heading to many tracks for the second time, including Iowa Speedway in Newton this weekend, Kligerman and Phillips will be looking to use the notes that they have compiled over the first half of the season to have a better direction for preparing the No. 77 Camry during practice for what they will experience during the race in an effort to begin competing for wins on a regular basis.

 

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Despite having a limited notebook and basically being rookies in the Nationwide Series, Kilgerman and Phillips have held their own over the first 19 races of the season. In KBM's inaugural season with Kyle and Kurt Busch sharing the driving duties and crew chief Mike Beam - who had led Carl Edwards to eight Nationwide Series wins in 2011 - calling the shots, the team had posted an average finish of 13.3, an average starting position of 12.7 and ranked 11th in owner's points with 597 after 19 races. This year's numbers practically mirror those of last year, with Kligerman posting an average finish of 13.2, an average starting spot of 12.0 and the team currently ranks 12th in owner's points with 589.

In their first trip to Iowa together, Kligerman and Phillips had a fast Toyota Camry in final practice - finishing the session third quick. After qualifying 12th on Saturday afternoon, the rain set in and forced the postponement of the race until Sunday morning. During the race the talented youngster had an average running position of ninth, spent 247 of the 250 laps in the top 15 and was scored in the 10th position with 25 laps to go before running out of gas on the final lap and finishing 14th.

Now, with a notebook in place and 19 races of experience working together under their belts, Kligerman and Phillips head to the Hawkeye State looking to improve upon their run in the first race. The duo is confident that they can continue to make improvements to KBM's Nationwide Series program and climb their way back up both the driver's and owner's point standings. There would be no better way to start that climb then by adding a win to their notebook on Saturday.

Parker Kligerman, driver of the No. 77 Toyota Camry:

How beneficial will it be as a young driver with a young team to be going to tracks for a second time?
"I think the nice thing about going to a track for the second time is that the first time around you discover what you need to work on. So, Eric Phillips (crew chief) and myself will focus on some of the things that we discovered in the first race that held us back from being a contender for the win. I felt like we were probably a seventh-place car in the first race and we probably didn't have some of the best things setup wise based on how the bumps have developed at Iowa as well as some things for the exit of the corners. Also, we were supposed to race at night and with the rain we ended up racing during the day and that threw us off a little bit. As we come back, we will look to improve on those things to find a better setup and hopefully use the track time from the first race to our advantage."

What will it take for your team to go from running in the top 10 to running in the top five week in and week out?
"It is one of those things where for our race team it has to be a concentrated effort to explore and develop. Eric, myself, and our race team need to have the ability to hopefully be better at some of the things we've done well and also develop some new things going into the second half. Additionally, we've built some new cars and I think we've shown at Chicago and Indianapolis with those new cars that they have more speed in them. They might not look much different to the naked eye, but I think they are definitely a step in the right direction as we look to continue to develop the Nationwide Series program at Kyle Busch Motorsports and stay on pace with the rest of the series."

Eric Phillips, crew chief of the No. 77 Toyota Camry:

At the beginning of the season you discussed the lack of a notebook for these cars and having to build that during the first half of the season. How will that help as we begin going back to tracks for the second time?
"It's obviously going to help going back to race tracks for the second time and this weekend Iowa will be the first place other than Daytona that we are going back to. We had a decent car in practice the first time -- we just missed on our adjustments for the race. Going back this time, we will have a better idea of what we need to have for the race versus practice. I think that is the biggest thing that we've struggled with all year is knowing what direction we need to go from practice to the race, adjustment wise, to have our Camrys as good as they need to be when the green flag drops."

Parker Kligerman's No. 77 Toyota Camry:

KBM-11: KBM-11 will make its fourth start of the 2013 season in Saturday's US Cellular 250. In its first start of 2013, Kligerman posted a series-best fourth-place finish with the Camry in March at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. and since posted a 15th-place finish at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway in May and led 13 laps before finishing 25th at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn in June. The Toyota raced four times in 2012, capturing the pole in its debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga. last September and posting two top-five and three top-10 finishes.

Notes of Interest:

Parker Kligerman 2013 Highlights:
• Has posted three top-five and seven top-10 finishes across 19 starts, including a series-best third-place finish at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc. (6/22/13), resulting in an average finish of 13.2
• Has been Running at the Finish of all 19 races this season
• Ranks 10th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) championship point standings - 67 markers behind points leader Austin Dillon - with 19 of 33 races completed
• Has qualified a season-best third twice this season - the Johnsonville Sausage 200 at Road America (6/22/13) and DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway (2/23/13)

Parker Kligerman @ Iowa:
• Started 12th and finished 14th in the 2013 June race (6/9/12)
• Started 10th, spent all 250 laps in the top 15 and finished eighth last May (5/20/12)
• Set a Truck Series track record in qualifying for last September's American Ethanol 200, posting a lap of 22.908 seconds at 137.507 mph (9/15/12), and went on to lead a race-high 107 laps before being relegated to a 23rd-place finish after a right front tire failure late in the race (9/15/12)
• Finished 10th in the July Truck Series Race in 2012 (7/14/12)

Parker Kligerman 2012 Highlights:
• Earned his first career NCWTS victory at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (10/6/12)
• Captured two pole awards (9/15/12 @ Iowa Speedway and 11/16/12 @ Homestead-Miami Speedway)
• Collected eight top-five and 15 top-10 finishes en route to a fifth-place finish in the final NCWTS point standings
• Posted two top-10 finishes in three NNS starts, including a then career-best seventh-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway

Parker Kligerman Career Highlights:
• 2011 - Registered four top-five and eight top-10 finishes en route to an 11th-place finish in the final NCWTS point standings
• 2010 - Recorded two top-10 finishes in 12 NNS starts
• 2009 - At the age of 19, captured the pole in his first-ever NNS start at Kansas Speedway, becoming the 10th driver in series history to accomplish the feat
• 2009 - Earned Rookie of the Year award in the ARCA Racing Series after winning a series-high nine races and finishing second in the final point standings

Kyle Busch Motorsports' NNS Program:
• Has collected three top-five and seven top-10 finishes, resulting in an average finish of 13.2 across 19 starts this season
• After 19 races ranks 12th in the 2013 NNS owner's point standings - 176 markers behind the series-leading No. 54 team
• Posted a season-best third-place finish in the Johnsonville Sausage 200 at Road America in Elkhart Lake Wisc. (6/22/13)
• Has earned a season-best third-place starting position twice - the Johnsonville Sausage 200 at Road America (6/22/13) and the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway (2/23/13)
• Registered 1 win (Kurt Busch at Richmond International Raceway 4/27/12), 3 poles, 4 runner-up finishes, 15 top-five and 22 top-10 finishes en route to an eighth-place finish in the owner's point standings last season in its inaugural NNS campaign

KBM NNS @ Iowa Speedway:
• Parker Kligerman started 12th and finished 14th in the 2013 June race (6/9/12)
• Kurt Busch collected finishes of fifth and 17th, respectively, in the 2012 races

Last NNS Event:
• After qualifying fifth and running inside the top 10 for the majority of the Indiana 250 at Indianapolis (Ind.) Motor Speedway (IMS), Parker Kligerman appeared to be in position for a strong finish, until getting loose after he was hit from behind and then pinned against the outside wall late in the race. After pitting to repair the damage and put on fresh tires, he came home with a disappointing 18th-place finish in his first career start at the historic speedway.
Kyle Busch Motorsports:
• Overall in three seasons of competition, KBM has registered 21 victories (20 NCWTS, 1 NNS) and 12 poles (9 NCWTS, 3 NNS)
• In 2010, KBM's No. 18 Tundra team became the first group since the Truck Series originated in 1995 to win the Owner's Championship in its inaugural season

The Phillips File:
Eric Phillips is in his first season as a crew chief in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and fourth atop the pit box for KBM. In three seasons as crew chief of KBM's flagship No. 18 Tundra, the Illinois native led the team to 17 victories and the 2010 Truck Series Owner's Championship. Phillips' 27 career Truck Series wins rank second on the all-time list, trailing only KBM General Manager Rick Ren (28).

Phillips' Truck Series drivers combined for 1 win, 1 pole, 1 top-five and 3 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 8.2 across eight starts in the Hawkeye State. Under Phillips guidance, Mike Skinner captured the pole and led 180 of 200 laps en route to victory in the inaugural Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway in 2009.




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