After earning his first NASCAR win in last year's Camping World Truck Series event at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Parker Kligerman planted the checkered flag in the infield grass to symbolize that he had conquered the 2.66-mile Tri-oval. The 22-year-old driver returns to the historic Alabama track for the first time since his milestone win, this time driving the No. 77 Camp Horsin' Around/ Bandit Chippers Camry in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series Aaron 312, ready to conquer the largest oval arena on the circuit at the next level.
Kligerman, who overcame a slow start in last week's ToyotaCare 250 to post a solid 11th-place finish, has registered five finishes of 12th or better in the first seven races of his first full-time season in the Nationwide Series. The Connecticut native enters this weekend's event sitting eighth in the Nationwide Series championship standings, a mere five points behind fifth-place Elliott Sadler and just 40 points behind series leader Sam Hornish Jr.
The No. 77 Toyota team sees this weekend's race as an opportunity to move up the standings, given the history of success of its primary chassis for this weekend's 117-lap event. Kligerman qualified third with KBM-10 for this year's season-opening race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and led 10 laps late in the race before settling for a fifth-place finish. The Camry is also the same car that Kyle Busch Motorsports owner Kyle Busch led 36 laps with in last year's Nationwide Series event at Talladega and had the victory in his grasp before being succumbed by a slingshot pass from Joey Logano coming to the stripe.
As he did for last year's Truck Series win, Kligerman will have Camp Horsin' Around - a non-profit camp facility in Kentucky specifically designed and equipped to enrich the lives of children with serious, chronic illness and physical difficulties - adorning the hood of his Toyota. After last year's historic occasion, the horse that encompassed the non-profit's logo on the hood was aptly named "Victory." The talented youngster and his new team are hoping that "Victory" can conquer Talladega once again on Saturday and help them gallop their way up the point standings.