The NASCAR Cup Series playoffs continue with a trip to Kansas Speedway on October 24. Parker Kligerman will use the race as an opportunity to make his return to the top level, and he will partner with Gaunt Brothers Racing while making the start.
Joseph Srigley of TobyChristie.com first reported Kligerman’s addition to the lineup. He cited NASCAR’s roster portal and said that the part-time driver-turned-NBC Sports reporter will get behind the wheel of the No. 96 Gaunt Brothers Toyota Camry for the Hollywood Casino 400. He will be the fourth driver to join the team in 2021, following Harrison Burton, Landon Cassill, and Ty Dillon.
Kligerman has not competed in the Cup Series since the 2019 season when he ran 14 races for Gaunt Brothers. The Connecticut native drove the No. 96 Toyota while working with crew chief Mark Hillman. His best runs were a pair of 15th-place finishes in the Daytona 500 and the 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Kligerman has a total of 28 starts in the NASCAR Cup Series — 18 with Gaunt Brothers Racing. He also made a combined 10 starts for Swan Racing in 2013 and 2014, posting a best finish of 18th at Texas Motor Speedway during the 2013 season.
Kligerman Has Remained Active in NASCAR
While Kligerman has not started in the Cup Series since the 2019 season, he has remained active. He has continued to make limited starts in the Camping World Truck Series with Henderson Motorsports.
Kligerman has made 10 starts during the 2021 season and accumulated four top-10 finishes and two top-fives en route to an average finish of 15.4. His best runs in the No. 75 Chevrolet Silverado were a pair of fifth-place finishes at Watkins Glen International and Darlington Raceway.
Kligerman previously took Henderson Motorsports to Victory Lane. He climbed into the No. 75 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 14, 2017, for the Fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola, his seventh and final start of the season. He started 14th but took the lead on the final restart with two laps remaining.
Kligerman lined up on the outside line with Grant Enfinger behind him. Christopher Bell lined up at the front of the inside line as the green flag waved. Bell had the advantage as the drivers navigated the 2.66-mile superspeedway, but Enfinger pushed Kligerman to the lead. The driver of the No. 75 held his spot at the front of the pack until the white flag waved, at which point the majority of the field began to crash. The officials waved the caution flag to end the race and declared Kligerman the winner.
The Trip to Kansas Marks a Change for Gaunt Brothers
When Kligerman climbs into the No. 96 Toyota for the race at Kansas Speedway, he will mark a significant change for Gaunt Brothers Racing. The one-car operation has only competed on road courses and superspeedways during the 2021 season. This race at Kansas will be the first on a 1.5-mile oval.
Ty Dillon has made the most starts in the No. 96. He controlled the stock car at the Daytona Road Course, Bristol Motor Speedway (dirt), Circuit of the Americas, and Road America. Harrison Burton drove the stock car in the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Landon Cassill, on the other hand, drove the No. 96 at both Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. He finished 36th in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 after a crash collected several stock cars, and then he finished 24th in the YellaWood 500.