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Parker Kligerman to make 100th Xfinity career start at Darlington

In his third full-time season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Parker Kligerman is primed to achieve a milestone start. By competing in this weekend’s Xfinity event at Darlington Raceway, the driver of the No. 48 Big Machine Racing Chevrolet Camaro will make his 100th career start in the Xfinity circuit. 

A native of Westport, Connecticut, Kligerman made his inaugural presence in the Xfinity Series at Kansas Speedway in October 2009. By then, he was competing on a full-time basis in the ARCA Racing Series for Cunningham Motorsports, where he would achieve nine victories and a runner-up result in the final standings, and was a development competitor for Team Penske. Driving the No. 22 Penske Dodge, Kligerman notched his first career pole position after posting a pole-winning lap at 172.778 mph in 31.254 seconds and would lead the first seven laps before settling in 16th place in the final running order. He returned for the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November, where he piloted the No. 42 Team 42 Racing Dodge to a 25th-place finish. 

In 2010, Kligerman made a total of 12 starts in the Xfinity Series between Team Penske and Team 42, with his first start occurring at Auto Club Speedway in February and finishing 22nd despite failing to qualify for the season opener at Daytona International Speedway. After notching his first career top-10 result at Bristol Motor Speedway in August by finishing ninth, the Connecticut native then notched a season-best eighth-place result at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal during the following event. Ultimately, he recorded a total of six top-15 results between his two part-time rides. He would make a total of four Xfinity starts for Team Penske between 2011 and 2012, where he would notch three top-10 results and finish as high as seventh, which occurred at Chicagoland Speedway in July 2012. 

In 2013, Kligerman, who had scored his first Craftsman Truck Series victory at Talladega in October 2012 while driving for Red Horse Racing, joined Kyle Busch Motorsports to pilot the No. 77 Toyota Camry on a full-time basis. Commencing the season by finishing fifth at Daytona while dodging a harrowing multi-car wreck on the frontstretch, Kligerman would record a total of three top-five results, 13 top-10 results, 45 laps led and an average-finishing result of 14.1 throughout the 33-race schedule before settling in ninth place in the final standings. By then, he notched a career-best third-place result at Road America in June and a fourth-place finish at Auto Club Speedway in March. At Michigan International Speedway in June, Kligerman led 13 laps and was in the position of achieving his first career victory amid a late pit strategy and gamble before pitting for fuel with 14 laps remaining and ending up in 25th place while two laps down. 

With Kyle Busch Motorsports ceasing its Xfinity Series program after the 2013 season, Kligerman would move up to the NASCAR Cup Series to compete for Swan Racing and contend for the 2014 Rookie-of-the-Year title. The driver, however, would be released by Swan Racing after the team sold its operations to Xxxtreme Motorsport following the first eight scheduled events. A year later and after he joined NBC Sports Network as an analyst, he made a single Xfinity start for Obaika Racing at Darlington Raceway, where he finished 21st. Another two years later, he competed at Road America for Precision Performance Motorsports, where he finished 10th. 

In 2022, Kligerman made a total of three starts in the Xfinity Series, with his first start occurring at Circuit of the Americas for Emerling-Gase Motorsports, where he finished 12th. He remained with the team as he competed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, where he ended up 37th after being eliminated in an early incident. His third and final start of the season occurred at Talladega Superspeedway during the Xfinity Series Playoffs, where he piloted the No. 48 Big Machine Racing Chevrolet Camaro to a sixth-place finish. 

In late October 2022, Big Machine Racing announced that Kligerman will be driving the team’s No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro on a full-time basis for the 2023 Xfinity season. He commenced the season with a 23rd-place finish at Daytona after being involved in a final lap wreck amid an overtime shootout. After finishing 10th, 11th and 15th, respectively, during his next three starts, Kligerman was in contention of achieving his first victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway until he got turned approaching the finish line and wrecked, but managing a fourth-place finish. Kligerman and the No. 48 Big Machine Racing team would proceed to notch six top-five results and 12 top-10 results during the remaining 21 regular-season events, with their best result being a runner-up finish at Road America in late July.

By virtue of the results and the consistency, including a seven-race consecutive streak of top-nine results between July and August and a fourth-place finish during the regular-season finale at Kansas Speedway in September, Kligerman managed to claim the 12th and final berth to the 2023 Xfinity Series Playoffs over Stewart-Haas Racing’s Riley Herbst.

Commencing the 2023 Playoffs with a 31st-place result at Bristol Motor Speedway, Kligerman rallied during the following two events at Texas Motor Speedway and at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course by finishing second and sixth, respectively. The results, however, were enough for the Connecticut native to not transfer into the Round of 8 by four points. Nabbing two top-10 results during the final four events on the schedule, Kligerman settled in a career-best 10th place in the final driver’s standings. By then, he had achieved career-high stats in top fives (8), top 10s (18) and an average-finishing result of 13.2 as a full-time competitor. 

Remaining at Big Machine Racing for the 2024 season, Kligerman has achieved three top-10 results through the first 10 events on the schedule. He is currently ranked in ninth place in the current 2024 driver’s standings and trails the series points lead by 133 points. 

Through 99 previous starts in the Xfinity Series, Kligerman has achieved one pole, 12 top-five results, 41 top-10 results, 107 laps led and an average-finishing result of 14.9 as he continues his pursuit for both his first Xfinity race victory and championship. 

Parker Kligerman is scheduled to make his 100th Xfinity Series career start at Darlington Raceway for the Crown Royal Purple Bag Project 200 on Saturday, May 11, with the event’s broadcast time to commence at 1 p.m. ET on FS1.  

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


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