Kligerman Finishes 8th in His 2012 Nationwide Debut
May 20, 2012NEWTON, Iowa (May 20, 2012) – Parker Kligerman, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger, finished in the eighth position after Sunday afternoon’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) Pioneer Hi-Bred 250 at Iowa Speedway. This marked Kilgerman’s first NNS race of the 2012 season and his first of multiple appearances in the Discount Tire/Snap-On Dodge Challenger.
Kligerman began the afternoon from the fifth row, in the tenth position on the grid, by turning a lap of 23.875 seconds or 131.937 mph around the seven-eighths mile track.
The No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger quickly found a rhythm and fell into place with the rest of the field during the opening laps of the event. On lap 19, Kligerman radioed in to his Penske Racing crew that the car felt tight going into Turns 3 and 4. While waiting for the first caution flag to wave, the team made the decision to address his handling issue by adjusting the air pressure of the front tires, along with making a wedge adjustment. When the first caution of the race came on lap 72, the Discount Tire team did just that along with changing all four tires and filling the car with fuel.
After restarting in the 15th position, Kligerman was able to maintain his position, as well as gain valuable track experience as he logged laps around the Iowa oval. With the handling of the car still not improving, crew chief Jeremy Bullins called Kligerman down pit road again when the yellow flag waved for the second time of the afternoon on lap 115. The Discount Tire crew quickly went to work, changing all four tires, filing the car with fuel as well as making the necessary adjustments in hopes that this would fix the car’s tight handling conditions.
As the sun started to poke through the clouds, the Discount Tire Dodge Challenger continued to make progress by moving into the top 10 with a little over 100 laps to go. As the race reached lap 180, the yellow flag waved once more and Kligerman piloted his Dodge Challenger down pit road for a track bar adjustment.
With the laps beginning to wind down, Kilgerman continued to work his way through the field. Racing his way into the eighth position with only a few laps remaining, he found himself in a battle with Penske Racing teammate Sam Hornish Jr. By cleanly passing his teammate, Kligerman was able to maintain his position and bring the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge home in the eighth position in his first appearance in the NNS for the 2012 season.
“A solid day for the Discount Tire Dodge Challenger,” said Kligerman. “Not exactly the day I was hoping for other than we had a clean car at the end. We ran solid all day and brought home a top-10 finish. In the first run, the car was tight and it looked like we corded the right-front tire. We got lucky that it didn’t blow out. We fought hard all day. We just couldn’t get ahead of the track. None of us anticipated that the track would get that tight. The biggest thing for me driving this car with crew chief Jeremy Bullins for the first time is that we improved the car every pit stop of the race. We’ll have a few more chances this year to go out and get these guys a win.”
The result marked the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger team’s sixth top-ten result of the season. With this result the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge maintains the eighth position in the NASCAR Nationwide Owners point standings.
The next NASCAR Nationwide Series event will be on May 26 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The History 300 will air at 2:30 p.m. ET on ABD and it will be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 90.
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