Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) has proven to be successful at the mile-and-a-half track in the past, in both the Truck Series and the Nationwide Series.
MOORESVILLE, N.C. - Coming off a strong run at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City last week, Parker Kligerman and his No. 77 Toyota Racing team enter the Dollar General 300 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway confident that they can run up front and compete for the win again this week.
Last week at Kansas, Kligerman spent over half of the race running inside the top three - including seven laps at the front- and appeared poised to compete for his first career Nationwide Series win until a dropped lug nut on the 'money stop' placed him deep in the field with just 50 laps remaining. The talented youngster was able to work his way back into the top 10, but ran out of time and was forced to settle for a hard-fought seventh-place finish. It marked the No. 77 team's second consecutive seventh-place result and the third finish of eighth or better over the last four events.
The May race at Charlotte was a similar story and result to that of Kansas last week. The Connecticut native qualified fifth and was running inside the top 10 before coming down pit road on lap 40. As he was exiting his pit stall after a four-tire stop, the jack got stuck underneath his Camry and before it came loose had crossed the boundary line.After serving a stop-and-go, the young driver returned to the track at the tail end of the field in the 25th position. He remained in the middle half of the field while experiencing a loose wheel in the middle stages of the race. Once that was fixed, he was able to work his way back inside the top 10 and ended the day with a ninth-place finish.
Kligerman's top-10 finish was the third in as many starts for KBM in the Nationwide Series at Charlotte. Last year with owner-driver Kyle Busch behind the wheel for both events at the North Carolina track, the team posted a pair of top-five finishes. In addition to being successful in the Nationwide Series, the team has been near dominant in the Truck Series at the 1.5-mile Quad-oval. Busch's win in the May race this year was the third for the team in four seasons since coming onto the scene in 2010.
Kyle Busch Motorsports' single-car Nationwide Series team, with the up-and-coming Kligerman behind the wheel, showed last week once again that they are capable of running up front amongst the multi-car powerhouse teams. This week the team will look to continue to rattle the chain of the 'Big Dogs' while looking to tame the 'Beast of the Southeast'.
Parker Kligerman, driver of the No. 77 Toyota Camry:
Can you carry the momentum of a strong run at Kansas last week into another one this week? "We showed a lot of speed at Kansas and I'm proud of everyone on this No. 77 team -- just had an issue on that last pit stop and it cost us a shot at the win. Hopefully, we can carry that same speed over the next couple of weeks and if we minimize our mistakes, I feel like we can continue to run up front. Charlotte is a home race for a lot of the guys on the race team and everyone involved in this sport, so it's a weekend you always want to go out and do well. I love Charlotte. It's the 'Beast of the Southeast' and I love going and trying to tame it."
Is Charlotte one of your favorite tracks? "Charlotte is one of my favorite tracks -- it's a unique 1.5-mile track and you don't really see anything else like it on our circuit in terms of how fast it is and how different the corners are on each end. It lends itself to a different kind of racing -- you'll see a lot of two and three-wide racing in the corners and then it gets back to single file on the straightaways. It is a difficult place --its nickname is 'The Beast of the Southeast' -- and it's definitely one of those places that if you don't treat it with respect you can definitely get yourself into trouble. With the high speeds and the tire that Goodyear brings -- a stiffer tire that is a little bit tougher to control -- it puts a premium on having a good-handling car and being at the front."
Eric Phillips, crew chief of the No. 77 Toyota Camry:
How will the track conditions change from the race in May? "The spring race is in the day, it's hot -- typically high 80's or low 90's -- and the track is very slick, so you find yourself searching for grip and the speeds are slower. The rear end of the car wants to slide and the challenge is to find ways to keep it in the race track. This time around, we race at night and it will be a lot cooler -- probably in the 60's --, the race track will have a lot of grip and the speeds will be faster. Since you already have a lot of rear grip, the challenge is to find front grip and ways to make the car turn better."
Kyle Busch Motorsports