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No. 96 Fast Checkout Toyota: Parker Kligerman Kansas Advance

PARKER KLIGERMAN
Kansas Advance
No. 96 Fast Checkout Toyota Camry

Event Overview
● Event: Hollywood Casino 400 (Round 34 of 36)
● Time/Date: 3 p.m. EDT on Sunday, Oct. 24
● Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City
● Layout: 1.5-mile oval
● Laps/Miles: 267 laps/400 miles
● Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 80 laps / Stage 2: 80 laps / Final Stage: 107 laps
● TV/Radio: NBCSN / MRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Notes of Interest

● Veteran NASCAR driver and current NASCAR on NBC pit reporter Parker Kligerman returns to Gaunt Brothers Racing (GBR) and the cockpit of the No. 96 Fast Checkout Toyota Camry for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. It will be Kligerman’s first NASCAR Cup Series start since Nov. 3, 2019 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, which culminated a 14-race season for Kligerman in GBR’s No. 96 Toyota.

● As part of the NASCAR on NBC broadcast team, Kligerman will serve as the in-race analyst during the Hollywood Casino 400, providing periodic updates from the cockpit of the No. 96 Fast Checkout Toyota. He will also pull double duty this weekend by working Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race in his regular role as a pit reporter during the NBC broadcast.

● Making its first Cup Series appearance as a primary partner this weekend is San Francisco-based tech company Fast, whose headless checkout solution allows consumers to find and buy online with one click – without the hassle of navigating through multiple sites and payment fields. The No. 96 Fast Checkout Toyota Camry Kligerman will race Sunday at Kansas will feature a QR code on its hood and quarterpanels. Fans at the track, watching on NBCSN, or following on social media can scan the QR code (or enter the URL fast.co/hoodie) to purchase a Fast hoodie for $1. Fast made its NASCAR debut as a primary partner earlier this year with Kligerman when he raced the No. 75 Henderson Motorsports entry in the Camping World Truck Series race June 18 at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway. Fast also joined Kligerman and the No. 75 Truck for the road-course race Aug. 7 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, earning a strong fifth-place finish.

● Fast’s mission is to make buying online faster, safer and easier for everyone. Its Fast Login and Fast Checkout products enable a one-click sign-in and purchasing experience that makes it easier for people to buy and merchants to sell. The company’s products work on any browser, device or platform for consistent, stress-free purchasing, either on a merchant’s own domain or through headless checkout on any other website. Fast invests heavily in its user privacy and security, with a Zero Fraud Guarantee on chargebacks for sellers. Headquartered in San Francisco, Fast is a privately held company founded by Domm Holland and Allison Barr Allen and funded by Stripe, Addition, Index Ventures, Susa Ventures and Sugar Capital. To learn more, visit fast.co.

● The Hollywood Casino 400 will be the 29th Cup Series start of Kligerman’s career and his 19th with GBR. The 31-year-old from Westport, Connecticut, drove four races in the No. 96 Toyota in 2018 before his 14-race run the following year. He’s amassed 178 overall starts across NASCAR’s top-three series, including 53 in the Xfinity Series and 178 in the Camping World Truck Series. Since his last Cup Series race in November 2019 at Texas, Kligerman has competed in 18 Truck Series races in the No. 75 Henderson Motorsports entry.

● Best among Kligerman’s 18 previous races in the No. 96 GBR Toyota was a pair of 15th-place finishes – the 2019 Daytona 500 and the October 2019 race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

● Sunday marks Kligerman’s second career Cup Series start at Kansas and his 10th overall at the 1.5-mile oval. He has four Camping World Truck Series starts, three Xfinity Series starts and one start apiece in the ARCA Menards Series and Cup Series. Kligerman qualified on the pole in his very first Xfinity Series race there in October 2009, leading seven laps en route to a 16th-place finish. In his only ARCA race there just two days prior, Kligerman scored his seventh of a series-high nine victories that year after starting second and leading a race-high 75 laps. His best Xfinity Series result at Kansas was seventh in October 2013 and his best Truck Series effort was eighth in April 2012. His lone Cup Series outing at Kansas netted a 29th-place finish in October 2019.

● The No. 96 Fast Checkout Toyota Camry will be making GBR’s 81st Cup Series start since the outfit joined the top echelon of NASCAR as a part-time team in 2017. Team owner Marty Gaunt’s almost two-decades-long relationship with Toyota dates back to his ownership of Toyota-powered Clean Line Racing in the Truck Series, which became Red Horse Racing, as well as his executive role in the formation of Red Bull’s nascent Toyota-powered Cup Series team. Gaunt’s Toyota ties strengthened after the 2008 season, when he purchased Triad Racing Development, which leased Toyota engines across NASCAR’s Cup, Xfinity and Truck Series and continues to be NASCAR’s exclusive distributor of Toyota parts as Triad Racing. Gaunt founded GBR in 2010, with his eponymous team starting out in the Canada-based NASCAR Pinty’s Series and the U.S.-based NASCAR K&N Pro Series. Its first driver, Jason Bowles, scored GBR’s maiden victory in the 2011 Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway, with the precursor to that win being the pole position in track-record time at the 2011 Streets of Toronto 100. After seven years competing in NASCAR’s development divisions, Gaunt stepped up to the NASCAR Cup Series in 2017.

Parker Kligerman, Driver of the No. 96 Fast Checkout Toyota Camry for Gaunt Brothers Racing

You’re back with Gaunt Brother Racing for the first time since running 14 races with the team two seasons ago. What are your thoughts as you head to Kansas this weekend?

“My last Cup race was Texas 2019 with Marty and we’ve always been friendly and kept in touch. I’ve obviously been racing in the Truck Series the last two years, but when this opportunity came about with Fast, it made total sense to come back together and go racing. Marty and I always talked about doing more racing together – when we got done in 2019, he told me, ‘This isn’t goodbye, it’s ‘I’ll see you later.’ Looking forward to it. We’ve always had a lot of fun racing together. I’ve always enjoyed everybody at Gaunt Brothers Racing, I’m still friends with everyone there, I keep in touch all the time. Although it’s been since 2019, it doesn’t feel that way at all. It kind of feels like we’re picking up right where we left off.”

What have you done to prepare for your first time behind the wheel of a Cup Series car in two years?

“I haven’t been able to get on the Toyota sim, but I’ve gotten very adept at using iRacing and correlating it to the real stuff pretty well. Also, just using SMT data and all the information from GBR, and a lot of my notes from past years and that sort of thing. Preparation-wise, I think there’s a little bit more involved because there always is at the Cup level compared to a Truck Series race and that sort of thing. I think from just having done what I have the last couple of years, and the way I was doing it back in 2019, it all worked pretty well.”

How far back does your relationship with Marty Gaunt go?

“The first time I raced in the Cup Series, I drove for Swan Racing and he was owner of Triad. I didn’t actually meet him until a little after that, but we’ve always joked that, until we raced together with a TRD motor in 2019, I’d actually never raced in Cup without one of his motors. We’ve had a history together and been successful and, when I look back at what we’ve done together in the Cup Series, we had a lot of success for the situation we’d been in – taking one of the smaller teams and really overachieving. We’ve always found a way to do that and I’ve enjoyed it.”

Would you consider Kansas Speedway a good place to race to make your Cup Series return?

“I love this track, it’s one of my favorites, by far. I love the city – I tell people all the time Kansas City is one of the most underrated places in the country. For one reason or another, I’ve always loved going to this racetrack. In 2009, my first Xfinity Series start, I sat on the pole, which was something very cool. Ever since, it’s just been very kind to me and I’ve had a lot of great runs, a lot of great races there. I’ve always enjoyed going to this racetrack and, since they repaved it, it keeps getting better with age and it’s one of my favorite weekends of the year. I couldn’t think of a better place to be going in this situation. We’ll pick up where we left off and go out there and try and have an excellent run.”

Considering it’s the middle race in the Round of 8 of the NASCAR Playoffs, how does that affect your approach this weekend?

“I’ve done this so often in Trucks over the years, racing against playoff contenders. I think the way to approach it is that it’s honestly something you’re conscious of, but you don’t let it affect your decision-making. You just race people the way you want to be raced and the conscious side of it leads you to be just a little bit more careful around those guys, knowing they have such a big thing they’re racing for. But, you also owe it to your partners, your team, everyone involved, to honestly put the best effort forward that you possibly can when you go to the racetrack. So, it’s there and it isn’t, as I like to say, and it’s something that at this level you just have to be very cognizant of. For us, what we’re looking to do is to have a great run and, for me, I look back at what our last run was in 2019 at Texas – I felt like that was one of the best Cup races we had, ever, as a group. Maybe the final result wasn’t the highest, but it was one of the most excellent weekends, we executed the race perfectly, and it was an overall great weekend. And although it was back in 2019, I think of it as yesterday and we’ll build on that. I have all the notes and that sort of thing, so for me, it’s, ‘OK, how can we go and do that same level of performance and have a better result.’”

How did your relationship with Fast Checkout come about?

“I actually met the CEO, Domm Holland, a little over a year ago on Twitter. Basically, I’ve always been a part of what’s called ‘Tech Twitter,’ which is sort of the startup tech world niche on Twitter and I followed it because I was fascinated by that world and consider myself to be someone who’s very interested in tech. I saw Fast pop up among a bunch of people I followed and I thought the name was obviously pretty awesome. I thought, ‘What do they do?’ And then I saw that they facilitate one-click checkout. It sounds crazy, but I’ve talked to so many people that are close to me about shopping online and they always would say they would get frustrated having to fill in the same information all the time, the process was too long, so often they just wouldn’t shop online. So when I saw what Fast was trying to facilitate, I thought it was awesome and I reached out one day and asked them if they’d be interested in promoting what they’re doing in motorsports. We first talked, myself and Domm and the other co-founder Allison (Barr Allen), and we kept in touch. This summer, Domm reached out to me and said they were ready to do it, let’s go racing. We started with the Truck Series race at Nashville and had a great time, and then we did Watkins Glen, and the one-dollar hoodie promotion happened and that was awesome for getting a top-five, which I promised all week that I would get done – it was amazing to call my own shot for the situation. And now, we’re doing our first Cup race together at Kansas. It’s been an incredible couple of months working with them. I’ve gotten to hang out with so many of the employees and team members at Fast and it’s an incredibly talented group. Every time I hang out with them, I’m just so inspired to do big things. So, I’m hoping we can take that energy into the race and have a great run – and go fast, obviously.”

How would you view the company’s response, as well as the motorsports community’s response, to Fast Checkout’s involvement with you at Nashville and Watkins Glen?

“Domm came to the first one at Nashville and I think he had a great time. The race fans have been awesome about getting involved with the hoodie promotions. We did the five-dollar one at Nashville, and we did the one-dollar hoodie promotion at Watkins Glen and now, every racetrack I go to across America, I’m signing Fast hoodies, which is awesome. People actually just scream ‘Fast’ to me while walking around racetracks and things, so I love it, it’s really cool. I think it’s awesome to see the fans so into it, so involved, and for Fast, it’s just a great way for them to continue to promote what they’re doing in terms of Fast Checkout across the entire internet. The more sites they’re on and the more people see them, the more they start to identify what we’re trying to do on the motorsports side, it all connects. It’s been really cool to see the reception and it’s been fun to be a part of.”



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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