Avondale, AZ — In the midst of a fight for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship, Parker Kligerman and the No. 7 Red Horse Racing team traveled to Phoenix International Raceway on Friday night for the Lucas Oil 150 with hopes to capitalize in the second to last race of 2012. Putting together a fast Tundra during both practice sessions and qualifying, a loose handling condition in his No. 7 Toyota Tundra surfaced during the race and sent Kligerman spinning on lap 55, resulting in significant damage and a 27th place finish.
Showcasing his speed during first and final practice on Thursday afternoon, Kligerman and his No. 7 Red Horse Racing crew had confidence on their side heading into Friday’s qualifying session. Though they had shown the speed during practice, crew chief Chad Kendrick and his crew made adjustments to their Tundra that would hopefully build upon the speed and handling they already achieved. Those adjustments proved to be too much for Kligerman’s liking, but the 22-year old driver was still able to grab the seventh starting spot for the 150-lap main event.
Just after the drop of the green flag, Kligerman slid back to the 12th position where he radioed to Kendrick and his team that he was too loose on entry and was fighting to keep his Tundra from spinning out. His first opportunity to come down pit road for adjustments came on lap 38 under the first caution of the night. Kligerman and Kendrick agreed to go for track position, taking two right side tires and adjustments to tighten him up on entry.
Kligerman battled with the leaders on the restart and settled into the third spot after retaking the green in fourth. Another caution quickly followed on lap 45, setting up another restart. As the field went back to green flag competition, Kligerman was in the midst of a battle for the third position when his Tundra broke loose coming off of turn two. Unable to regain control of his Tundra, Kligerman nosed into the backstretch wall and sustained heavy front end damage.
Deep in the battle for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship, Kligerman’s No. 7 Red Horse Racing team quickly responded to the incident and pulled him down pit road, where they began to assess the damage. Realizing there was too much damage to repair on pit road; the crew pulled their truck into the garage area and began repairs. Though their diligent work gave Kligerman the chance to return to competition in hopes to gain as many valuable points as possible, they ended the night in the 27th position.
“Our Toyota Tundra was really loose all night and I was trying everything I could inside the truck to tighten it up, but it just wasn’t enough. On that last restart, I thought we were going to be ok, but when another truck passed by us it just changed the air and being so loose, just sent me spinning and into the wall. At the end of the day, it was a mistake on my part because I couldn’t catch it, but that’s racing. We’re going to Homestead with a brand new Tundra and just one goal in mind, and that’s to win,” Kligerman said.