Parker Kligerman finds home with Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2013By Ashley McCubbin
In the midst of the off-season announcements, Kyle Busch Motorsports announced that they have signed 22-year-old Parker Kligerman to drive their No. 77 Camry in the Nationwide Series for 2013.
“When you think of Kyle Busch and Kyle Busch Motorsports, you think of an owner and a team that have established a tradition of winning and pride themselves on it, so I feel honored to be given the chance to come in and continue in that tradition,” Kligerman said. “I feel that running full-time in the Truck Series the last two seasons and coming close to a championship last season has prepared me to be able to do the same in the Nationwide Series next year. With the personnel that KBM has in place and what they were able to accomplish in their first year in the Nationwide Series combined with all the support they have from Toyota and TRD (Toyota Racing Development), I see no reason why we can’t compete for wins on a weekly basis and be a top-five team in the final point standings at the end of the season.”
The No. 77 brings back familiar territory as it was the same number that Kligerman ran as a rookie in the ARCA Racing Series in 2009 when he won Rookie of the Year and finished runner-up in points after winning nine races. It was that season that brought forth an opportunity with Brad Keselowski Racing full-time in 2011.
2012 looked to be the year that would see Kligerman showcase his talent and no doubt he did as he finished fifth in points with one win, eight top fives and 15 top 10s. However, it wasn’t an easy year for the young driver as he had to switch teams partway through the year.
Following Pocono, Keselowski let Kligerman go to put 18-year-old Ryan Blaney in the truck, despite the fact that Kligerman sat sixth in points with seven top 10s in 11 races so far in the season. Red Horse Racing picked up the young driver and put him in their truck for the rest of the season and found success, including a win at Talladega Superspeedway.
However, Red Horse Racing is suffering a problem that many teams are suffering – lack of sponsorship. They had already announced that Todd Bodine would not return in 2013 after his season and now Kligerman is next to jump ship, leaving Timothy Peters as their sole driver.
Though the move for Kligerman presents a good opportunity as KBM has found success in their short three year history. In 91 truck starts, they have 18 wins, 40 top fives and 58 top 10s.
KBM made their move to the Nationwide Series in 2012 with Kyle and Kurt Busch splitting the No. 54, finding sucess with a win, 15 top fives and 22 top 10s in 33 starts.
Kligerman will join Joey Coulter at KBM as it was announced in November that Coulter would be driving the KBM’s truck full-time in 2013.
“Once Parker got behind the wheel of a Toyota halfway through the season, he proved that he was capable of running up front week in and week out in the Truck Series and comes to us with a lot of confidence,” Busch said. “Since I started my Truck Series team in 2010, I’ve wanted the focus of our efforts to be on developing young talent and being able to create an identity for KBM without having to be behind the wheel myself.
“With the addition of Parker to our Nationwide Series program and Joey Coulter to our Truck Series program, we now have two of the sport’s most talented young drivers in our building.”