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NASCAR Truck: Parker Kligerman playoff spoiler with Talladega win

Parker Kligerman celebrates in victory lane at Talladega Superspeedway after winning the Fred's 240 on Oct. 14, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Parker Kligerman celebrates in victory lane at Talladega Superspeedway after winning the Fred’s 240 on Oct. 14, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

Parker Kligerman claimed his second-career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win Saturday at the same site as his first — Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway — after taking the lead on a restart with two laps remaining in the Fred’s 250. Saturday’s race was his seventh start of the season.

“It’s incredible, Chris Carrier (crew chief) and everybody on this team,” Kligerman said. “This has been one of the longest running teams in NASCAR and with Food Country USA. We had a special decal on here for Peggy Miller, and she was a cancer survivor and created a cancer support group in Abingdon, Va. This one is for all of the breast cancer survivors and cancer, in general. This win is awesome and that’s great.”

Kligerman paid the role of pusher late in the race, pushing Christopher Bell by Johnny Sauter to the lead with seven laps to go, and after a caution for Austin Wayne Self — the fifth caution of the race — with five laps remaining, Kligerman restarted next to then-leader Bell with two to go.

“Pretty intense there the last 10 (laps) and people started pushing and wiggling,” Bell said. “It was very intense. Second was not where we wanted to be, but the truck is in one piece. We rolled it onto pit lane here. Just proud of all of my guys and the effort they put into this. They brought a really fast Toyota Tundra. We didn’t end up in victory lane, but we’re in second and the truck’s in one piece so that’s the next best thing.”

Bell finished second, Myatt Snider finished a career-best third, Grand Enfinger was fourth and Austin Cindric rounded out the top-five.

“Things went well for us today,” Cindric said. “The people that we were fighting against had troubles, and we got some stage points and got a nice margin and, really, we were able to ride there for the last nine or so laps and then decided there was nothing to lose at that point and tried to make something of it and ended up P5.  I’m really happy with that.  I’m really proud of these guys at BKR for everything they’ve done this year.  It’s a shame the 29 (Chase Briscoe) can’t transfer on.  That’s a real bummer, because they’re just as good as anybody out there, so it’s too bad we can’t have two Fords up there, but I’ll be more than happy to carry the flag.  This is the last race with LTi Printing on the truck, so we’re thankful to them for being a great partner of ours.”

The Talladega race was the elimination race of the first round of the 2017 Truck Series playoffs, and after the race, Kaz Grala and Chase Briscoe were eliminated, leaving six drivers in the playoffs.

Grala’s playoff future went up in smoke when he retired from the race as the result of a wreck with Ryan Truex on lap 19. Then, Chase Briscoe and John Hunter Nemechek each had their own struggles in their battle for the last playoff advancement spot. Briscoe spent 10 laps in the garage for a mechanical issue early in the race. Nemechek was part of a multi-truck wreck that sent him sliding through the infield with just under 40 laps remaining, resulting in extensive damage to his truck.

Throughout the remaining laps, Nemechek remained close in the standings, at times being separated by a single point. A multi-truck wreck on the final lap, moved Nemechek up to sixth in the finishing order, enabling him to take the final advancing position in the playoffs.

“This is just the situation we were dealt in the playoffs, and you have to go out here and perform,” Briscoe said after finishing 22nd, nine laps down. “Honestly, if we run better at Loudon, this doesn’t happen. The good Lord has a bigger plan, and I am not sure what that is. As much as this sucks right now, I am still grateful and fortunate to be running race cars for a living. I have to think big picture, but it sucks. I really wanted to get Brad (Keselowski, truck owner) his first championship, and Austin still has a shot. We still have some races we can win, and that is what we want to do.”

Sauter dominated the first half of the race, including winning the first two 20 lap stages. He led the entire first stage, and restarted for the second stage in second position to Austin Cindric after Cindric pitted just a few laps prior to the end of the first stage and, then, stayed out during the caution between the two stages.

When the race restarted, Sauter retook the lead and ran up front for the rest of stage two. In the closing laps of the second stage, multiple drivers utilized the same stategy as Cindric the stage before. Also, a few drivers took no or two tires to Sauter’s four, shuffling Sauter back to eighth in the running order.

Bell, Stewart Friesen, Cody Coughlin and Grant Enfinger were among the lap leaders until Bell and Sauter got back to the front in the final 10 laps.

Other top-10 finishers included Vinnie Miller in seventh, Clay Greenfield in eighth, Crafton ninth and Tyler Young in 10th. Sauter wound up 12th.

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer).

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Posted by on October 14, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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