Kligerman overcomes pit-road infraction to collect 12th place finish

"I guess we rolled a tire and we had to go back for a drive through and we got a lap down"

After starting from the eighth position in the ServiceMaster 200 at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway, Parker Kligerman was running 12th just before the halfway mark when his over-the-wall crew received a penalty for an uncontrolled tire during a green-flag stop. After serving a pass through penalty, the No. 77 Toyota returned to the track scored one lap down in the 21st position. After taking a wave around just past the halfway mark, Kligerman returned to the lead lap and then methodically maneuvered his way to a 12th-place finish.

Parker Kligerman
Parker Kligerman

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

"We probably passed a lot of cars," said Kligerman, who rallied for his first lead-lap finish in four career NASCAR National Series starts at the 1-mile tri-oval. "We had probably a 10th-place Camry there at the beginning of the race, and we fell back off the start from eighth to 10th or 11th. We ran there the whole run. I was right there with the 32 (Kyle Larson) and the 48 (Ryan Blaney) and the 12 (Sam Hornish Jr.), and it just got too tight. We did our green flag stop and I slid in the box a little bit, but that wasn't the big problem. I guess we rolled a tire and we had to go back for a drive through and we got a lap down. We came all the way back from a lap down and fought all the way back to 12th. Not a bad recovery. There was more to get. Would have liked to get out of here with a top-10, but I actually finished a race in Phoenix -- and that's a plus."

Kligerman lost two spots over the first 15 laps of the race while he communicated to crew chief Eric Phillips that his Camry "loses the nose of Turn 4." The No. 77 Camry had surrendered two more positions on lap 75 when he made his first visit to pit road under green-flag conditions. The Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) over-the-wall crew administered a four-tire and fuel stop with a trackbar adjustment. Unfortunately, while rolling a tire back to the wall, an official from two pit stalls down deemed that the carrier lost control of the tire and assessed a pass-through penalty. Phillips came off the pit box to argue the call, but was unsuccessful and his driver was forced to make a visit down pit road.

The No. 77 Toyota was scored one lap down in the 21st position when it returned to the track. Kligerman had gained one position when a debris caution occurred on lap 104. When all the lead-lap cars pitted, Phillips ordered his driver to remain on the track to take the wave around and return to the lead lap.

Kligerman took the lap-111 restart from the 19th position and slowly but surely began to maneuver his way back to where he was running before the penalty. He was scored in the 17th position when a one-car accident brought out the third caution of the day on lap 131. When pit road opened, the talented youngster visited pit road for fresh right side tires and a full tank of fuel and returned to the track scored in the 15th position for the ensuing restart on lap 136.

By the time the fourth caution occurred just one lap later, KBM's black machine had advanced two more positions. After another quick caution, the No. 77 Camry had maneuvered into the 11th spot, but lost one position during the next green-flag run. Kligerman took the final restart on lap 162 from the 12th position, where he remained as the race continued caution free until the checkered flag.

KBM owner Kyle Busch picked up his 12th Nationwide Series victory this season, the 63rd of his career in NASCAR's second division and his 125th NASCAR National Series win. Justin Allgaier finished 4.347 seconds behind Busch in the runner-up spot. Austin Dillon and Regan Smith finished third and fourth, respectively, and Sam Hornish Jr. rounded out the top-five finishers.

There were seven caution periods totaling 34 laps. Four drivers led a lap, exchanging the lead seven times. Eleven drivers failed to finish the 200-lap event.

Kligerman remains 10th in the Nationwide Series championship standings with 32 of 33 races complete, 192 points behind series points leader Austin Dillon. The Connecticut native is just one point behind Kyle Larson for the ninth position and 14 points behind Brian Vickers for the eighth spot. The Kyle Busch owned No. 77 team ranks 13th in the owner's championship standings, 300 points behind the series-leading No. 22 team.

The No. 77 Toyota Racing team heads to Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway next Saturday, Nov. 16, for the Nationwide Series finale. Live television coverage of the 200-lap event will begin with NASCAR Countdown at 4:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.


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About this article
Drivers Brian Vickers , Regan Smith , Justin Allgaier , Parker Kligerman , Austin Dillon , Sam Hornish Jr. , Kyle Busch , Kyle Larson , Ryan Blaney
Teams Toyota Racing , Kyle Busch Motorsports
Article type Race report
Tags kligerman, nns, pir, toyota