After finishing in second place five times over the past two seasons, Parker Kligerman finally came up with a breakthrough victory by winning the fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway.
Kligerman’s first career victory came when he used a push from Johnny Sauter to pass James Buescher and Ty Dillon coming through the trioval with one lap to go. Sauter finished second, followed by Buescher in third and Dillon fourth.
“I knew it was just a matter of time before we got that first win, but I never dreamed it would happen here,” Kligerman said. “I’m proud to have my first win happen here at Talladega.”
Kligerman is the eighth first-time winner on the Camping World Truck Series this year, a series record. But for much of the race it did not appear that he would be able to break his winless streak. Kligerman’s truck continually dropped to the back of the field because of a variety of issues, including a bad pit stop, a vibration, a weak battery and a malfunctioning alternator.
“We fought every single possible thing you could fight today,” Kligerman said. “At one point the dashboard looked like a Christmas tree for about 20 laps because all the gauges were going out.”
As a result of the all the problems, Kligerman found himself in 19th place with only 14 laps to go. But he quickly worked his way toward the front, and then took the lead when slight contact between Dillon and Buescher caused Buescher’s car to wobble just enough that Kligerman and Sauter were able to make the pass heading toward turn one.
“We had it working, then it all kind of fell apart,” Buescher said. “(Kligerman and Sauter) came with a strong run on the outside. I was trying to back up to Ty, but I got really loose in the trioval and thought I was going to spin. I was able to hang onto it, but I couldn’t keep the lead.”
Timothy Peters finished fifth followed by Ryan Blaney in sixth, Kurt Busch seventh, German Quiroga eighth, Tim George Jr. ninth and Mobile native Cale Gale 10th.
The victory was especially enjoyable for Kligerman because he had to change teams midway through this season and joined Red Horse Racing less than two months ago.
“It’s been a long road to get to this first victory,” Kligerman said. “Two different teams, a lot of adversity. But I’ve been put with some of the best people I’ve ever worked with and raced with. It starts at the top with (team owner) Tom DeLoach and his whole Red Horse Racing team.”
The victory was the 10th all-time for Red Horse Racing and came in the team’s 300th start. It also gave Toyota 11 victories in the past 12 Camping World Truck Series races at either Talladega or Daytona International Speedway.
“To win on the 300th (start) makes it really special,” DeLoach said. “This is just a really special day for all of us.”