Parker Kligerman will test an Indy Lights car this weekend.
Parker Kligerman's foray into NASCAR was cut short by his team, Swan Racing, going under. The 24-year-old racer was impressive in his debut last year, but endured a tumultous 2014 season until he lost his ride after just eight races.
Why NASCAR needs him
Despite his struggles, the stats from those eight races are very deceiving. Parker, a winner at the Truck level and a solid driver in his Nationwide tenure, is currently ride-less and has been since April. Behind his rather lackluster Sprint Cup results, there is a talented racer who could run with the best of them in the right situation. His skill combined with his candid, engaging personality and positive attitude was a great addition to the sport and it was noticeable that the rookie was quickly gaining new fans.
Stewart, Keselowski and Penske saw his talent
His talents go beyond the cockpit though. Parker has his own blog and is a frequent guest analysis on NBC's NASCAR America. Stewart-Haas Racing had enough faith in him to let him help setup Kurt Busch's Charlotte car while Kurt was in Indy. Team Penske saw the talent in him too and had him testing Sprint Cup cars for their outfit. Brad Keselowski served as his owner in the Camping World Truck Series.
A future in IndyCar
This weekend, Parker will test an Indy Lights car for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports at IMS. He's no stranger to open-wheel racing either. In 2005, this versatile racer showed his single-seater prowess by going three-for-three in the Skip Barber Series. He was also crowned the 2006 Formula TR Pro Series champion, winning 11 of the 14 races on the schedule.
He's also wheeled USAC midget cars before he made the leap to stock cars. Like Kyle Larson, NASCAR was lucky these two chose stock cars. With no opportunities in the pinnacle of stock car racing though, Kligerman has shifted his focus to NASCAR's open-wheel cousins, IndyCar.
NASCAR's loss is IndyCar's gain
Parker Kligerman, like Colin Braun and Bryan Clauson, will become yet another promising NASCAR racer forced to choose another path due to no opportunities, and like the other two I just mentioned, he will enjoy success in whichever path he ultimately chooses.
A move into IndyCar will be a huge gain for that series and, as the title suggests, a monumental loss for NASCAR and their fans.