Parker Kligerman makes his first Xfinity start since 2017 at COTA

Parker Kligerman is gearing up for a busy Saturday at Circuit of the Americas. In addition to performing the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race for Henderson Motorsports, he will make his first Xfinity Series start since 2017 later today. The latter will come with Emerling Gase Motorsports in the #35 Toyota GR Supra.

“Yesterday @JoeyGaseRacing & @PatrickEmerling called me to ask if I would be interested in starting the @NASCAR_Xfinity series again,” Kligerman tweeted on Wednesday. “Very humble, they thought of me for that and I hope we can get them a great result!”

After sporadic competition from 2009 to 2012, Kligerman ran his only full season in the Xfinity Series in 2013, finishing ninth in points for Kyle Busch Motorsports. KBM, a current truck team, closed its Xfinity program at the end of the season, and Kligerman has since only raced two Xfinity races: a twenty-first at Darlington in 2015 for Obaïka Race and tenth at Road America two years later with Precision Performance Motorsports. In fifty-three career Xfinity starts, he has three top-fives, nineteen top-tens, one pole in his series debut, and a best third-place finish at Road America in 2013.

Upon KBM’s Xfinity release and a drop out Cup Series rookie campaign, he has mainly focused on trucks with part-time schedules since 2016 with a few Cup starts dotted around. He joined Henderson in 2017 and won his second career truck race with the team at the Talladega event that year (his first series victory also came at full-time superspeedway in 2012). Kligerman finished fifth in the 2022 season opener at Daytona and will race twelve more races with the team, including the three road courses at COTA, Sonoma and Mid-Ohio.

Although he hasn’t made an Xfinity start in almost five years, the 31-year-old is a reasonable choice as a road course ringer. He is a IMSA booth reporter for NBC Sports and owns a minority stake in Lime Rock Park, an IMSA road course he commented on in a Reddit AMA earlier in the week as the one he “worked” on to show the trucks around. Kligerman also has an FIA Silver license, although he has spent the last six years in the Gold class.

Emerling-Gase Motorsports, a joint venture between drivers Joey Gaze and Patrick Emerlingis in its first Xfinity season. Shane Lee and Gase have two starts each in #35 while Jeffrey Earnhardt ran at Phoenix, with Lee holding the team’s best finish to date of seventeenth at Atlanta last Saturday. The team also fielded a part-time No. 53 which Gase drove at Daytona. The No. 35 is currently thirty-first in owner points.

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