The team announced the news on October 29 ahead of the race at Martinsville Speedway. Team owner Scott Borchetta dropped a proverbial bombshell by revealing that the new full-time driver will be Parker Kligerman. The part-time Truck Series driver/NBC Sports analyst will make the move up to the Xfinity Series and pursue a championship.
Kligerman actually made his Big Machine Racing debut earlier in the 2022 season. He took over the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro at Talladega Superspeedway and qualified ninth overall. Kligerman then kept the stock car clean before finishing sixth overall.
Moving to the Xfinity Series does not mean that Kligerman will be done in the Truck Series. He intends to continue running part-time with Henderson Motorsports in 2023 while pulling double-duty.
Kligerman Actually Made This Partnership Possible During a Different Race
Kligerman has spent his 2022 season making part-time starts for multiple teams. He joined Big Machine Racing and Emerling-Gase Motorsports in the Xfinity Series; Rick Ware Racing in the Cup Series; and Henderson Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series.
It was with Henderson Motorsports that Kligerman put himself in a position to run full-time once again. He did so by winning the race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after a late battle with Zane Smith.
As Kligerman explained, Big Machine Racing GM Keith Barnwell called him the day after his second career win and discussed the potential start at Talladega Superspeedway. The talks progressed from there, to the point that Kligerman will now have the best opportunity of his NASCAR career.
“I feel like the coolest part about this actually was getting the call,” Kligerman said during the press conference. “So I win Mid-Ohio in the Truck Series earlier this year, and I go through Victory Lane, all this stuff, and I finally get my phone back And there’s a voicemail. It’s Keith Barnwell, GM of Big Machine Racing.
“I listen to it, and he’s like, ‘Hey, this is the call you’d like to get after winning. I know you’re in Victory Lane, but would you like to race Talladega?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah! Winning works. Awesome.'”
This Deal Achieves Another Goal for Big Machine Racing
There have been several drivers that have controlled the No. 48 in 2022. Jade Buford started as the full-time driver before Borchetta began bringing in a variety of guest competitors. As he explained, he thinks that Buford is a great racer. The chemistry just was not right.
The list of guest drivers also included Kaz Grala, Kligerman, Tyler Reddick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ty Dillon, Marco Andretti, Ross Chastain, Austin Dillon, and Nick Sanchez. Now there will only be one full-time driver as Kligerman attempts to take the company to Victory Lane during his full-time season.
Borchetta explained during the press conference that the goal has always been to have one full-time driver during the 2023 season. Big Machine Racing just needed to find the right person for the job.