MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 2, 2013) - Parker Kligerman enters this weekend's Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City with three goals: raise awareness, raise money and raise the banner. Kligerman's No. 77 Camry will be outfitted with a special Kyle Busch Foundation "Project Pink: Protect Your Pair" paint scheme in an effort to raise awareness and money for Pretty In Pink - a Raleigh, N.C.- based foundation whose mission is to provide financial assistance to uninsured and underinsured breast cancer patients regardless of their ability to pay. The best way for the talented youngster to raise awareness for this great cause would be to pick up his first Nationwide Series victory and raise another banner inside Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM).
Although the track has been repaved since his last visit, Kligerman feels that the speed his KBM team showed at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, another freshly paved intermediate track, will translate to speed on Saturday. At Michigan, crew chief Eric Phillips saw rain approaching on the radar and elected to roll the dice for track position in the closing laps. The move allowed the No. 77 Camry to get to the front of the field, and once there his young driver pulled away and had a 1.5-second lead when the rain never came and he had to pit for fuel after leading 13 laps.
Kligerman, who has ranked inside the top 10 in the Nationwide Series championship standings for all but two weeks this season, enters this weekend's event with confidence from a track he has had success at, combined with the speed his No. 77 team has shown in recent weeks. Although he will already be a winner for the awareness and money his team will raise for Pretty In Pink by running a special paint scheme, the talented youngster will look to add to his already fond memories of Kansas Speedway on Saturday as he continues in his quest to raise his first banner inside the shop at KBM.
Parker Kligerman, driver of the No. 77 Kyle Busch Foundation "Project Pink" Camry:
What is the special pink paint scheme you are running this weekend? "We are running a special 'Project Pink' paint scheme this week to help the Kyle Busch Foundation raise awareness and money for the Pretty in Pink Foundation - a North Carolina group that helps women who are uninsured or underinsured pay their medical costs. I've never driven a pink car, so I'm really excited about that. Kyle and Samantha and their foundation have a lot going on during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to help raise money to help those people - they are hosting a fundraising dinner next week which I'll be attending and there will be a mobile mammogram screening unit out at KBM next Thursday from 1- 7 p.m. To find out more information or to donate to 'Project Pink' go to KyleBuschFoundation.org. As a NASCAR driver it is always rewarding to be a part of giving back to the community in projects like this and hopefully we can make a difference in these people's lives. Also, representing a cause like this always gives you that extra incentive and makes it that much cooler if you can get to victory lane. "
How special was that weekend back in 2009 when you won the ARCA race on Thursday and then captured the pole for your Nationwide Series debut on Saturday? "It was a big weekend for my career in terms of making a name for myself on the national stage in NASCAR. Winning the pole in my first-ever start -- only 10 other drivers have ever done that including Dale Earnhardt -- and to beat my current owner Kyle Busch to earn it, that was just a huge deal and at that time I didn't really realize the enormity of it. Ever since, Kansas is just a place I really enjoy racing at and seem to run well at -- it's one of my favorite mile-and-a-half tracks."
What are your expectations with the new surface at Kansas? "I haven't been on it yet. They repaved it after we went there in Trucks and I didn't get to race it last year, so I just don't know what to expect. It looks fast. It looks very much like Michigan was after it got repaved, or maybe like a new Vegas. It's got that variable banking, but you don't really use it -- it's kind of one groove right now. We'll figure it out. We'll be fine there. We were fast in Michigan. We've been fast at Vegas, so we'll be good at those surfaces and hopefully we get out first victory."
Eric Phillips, crew chief of the No. 77 Kyle Busch Foundation "Project Pink" Camry:
You had a strong run at Michigan, another recently repaved intermediate track, does that give you optimism for another strong run this weekend at Kansas? "I haven't been to Kansas yet since the repave, so it will be interesting to see what characteristics the new surface has. We did have a fast car at Michigan on that fast smooth surface, so hopefully that will translate into another strong run this weekend. It used to be before the repave Kansas was fairly similar to Chicago, so I think we'll see it have some characteristics of Chicago still but be faster because of the fresh surface. We'll be racing our newest chassis this weekend and it has showed a lot of speed so far. We qualified fifth with it at both Indy and Chicago and were fast during both races."