Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 150 from the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course delivered everything that a proper road course race should: constant passing, clean racing and a surprising winner that was slightly an upset.
Parker Kligerman put together a commanding drive to win the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from the 2.258-mile permanent road course in Lexington, OH. The 31-year old racer led 56 of 67 contested laps en route to his third career NCWTS win and it marks his first win since 2017.
“It’s hard to put into words,” Kligerman said, via FOX Sports. “I was really emotional on the cool down lap. Because you know this whole team, it’s like a team of second chances. Right? Like two years ago I thought my driving days were done. This team gave me a call, wanted to get back racing and its just been a study improvement throughout.
The No. 75 Henderson Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado comes from a small stable, which features only one full-time crew member, but they’ve become the small team that can win. This latest triumph marks the second-ever victory for the organization, their first came with Kligerman at Talladega in 2017.
“Charlie, Don Henderson, the Henderson family,” he said. All the employees from Food Country USA to give us this opportunity to come out here and do this. It’s unbelievable when you put together a talented group of humans together, what they can achieve and we were doing this on an absolute fraction of the two trucks we were up against.
“To win at Mid-Ohio, on a road course. Finally, a road course win. I started on road courses, I came into NASCAR thinking ‘oh that will be easy,’ it’s taken me more than a decade to get a win. But finally we’re here. This is a small team that could, but we’re not a small team that doesn’t win, we win.”
An added bonus for the Connecticut native is the $50,000 bonus from the Triple Truck Challenge, Mid-Ohio was the final scheduled race for the prize in 2022.
Kligerman is driving a limited 11 race schedule for the Henderson team this season and he has accounted for standout performances. This is his third top five and fifth top 10 finish through eight starts. The Stage 1 win on Saturday brings his tally of stage wins to three on the year.
Second place finisher, Zane Smith put together a superb drive from the 13th starting spot and climbed through the field to finish second in Stage 1. Once up front, Smith trailed closely to Kligerman for the entirety of Stage 2 until the final lap of the Stage, where he made a move to the outside and earned the green and white checkered flag.
In the last 10 laps of Saturday’s race, there were two separate cautions and on the second to last restart, Smith made a power move on the outside of turn 1 to retake the lead from Kligerman.
The final resumption of the race with three circuits to go and Smith maintained the lead until Kligerman got around with a blinding pass into turn 4.
Carson Hocevar, who had a quiet race, scored his second-consecutive third place finish after running inside the top five for the majority of the day. The driver of the No. 42 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado has unofficially (pending post-race inspection) locked himself into the series’ Playoffs on points.
Stewart Friesen slotted in fourth to mark three straight top fives for the No. 52 Halmar Racing Toyota Tundra. Christian Eckes rounded out the top five finishing positions and has unofficially secured a Playoff spot as well.
The sole Kyle Busch Motorsports driver to finish in the top 10 was Chandler Smith after starting a deep 31st reaches a sixth place result. Kaz Grala, Derek Kraus and Colby Howard all came from qualifying spots outside the top 15.
Howard overcame an early issue in Stage 1 to earn his first career top 10.
Hailie Deegan earns her second career top 10 as she slotted into 10th, her first top-10 since first since Gateway of 2021. Deegan now has the most top-10 finishes for a female in the history of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, according to TobyChristie.com’s Joseph Srigley.
With her top-10 result today at @Mid_Ohio, the second of her NASCAR Truck Series career, @HailieDeegan becomes the first woman in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history to score multiple top-10 finishes.#NASCAR | #SrigleyStats Served by @DoorDash pic.twitter.com/dLDHT7RCOH
— Joseph Srigley (@joe_srigley) July 9, 2022
There were two trucks with major damage due to off track contact in single driver incidents involving Justin Marks and Dylan Lupton. With 14 laps to go, Jack Wood and Austin Wayne Self were left with cosmetic damage to their Chevrolet Silverados and that was the first and only multi-truck wreck that caused a caution throughout the duration of the event.
Opposed to what has been displayed by the Camping World Truck Series field throughout this year, the on-track action in Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 150 was nothing but fair, clean and often calm.