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Sunday, November 27, 2022
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Parker Kligerman Returning to Full-Time Competition in 2023, Running Xfinity for Big Machine Racing

Parker Kligerman has gotten the nod to compete full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series next season, where he’ll work with Scott Borchetta and Big Machine Racing as the pilot of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro. PC: Matthew T. Thacker | LAT Images | Courtesy of Toyota Racing.

Parker Kligerman, a part-time competitor in all of NASCAR’s top-three series, will make the jump to a full-time gig in the NASCAR Xfinity Series next season, piloting the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro for Big Machine Racing.

The organization announced the acquisition of Kligerman on a full-time basis on Saturday at Martinsville Speedway, prior to the penultimate event of the NASCAR Xfinity Series season.

Kligerman has spent the last five-plus years as a perennial race-winning contender in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with Henderson Motorsports, having picked up two victories for the family-run team, including a win earlier this year at Mid-Ohio.

That win by Kligerman, even though it came in a different series and for a different organization, got the wheels turning with Big Machine Racing, as the 32-year-old would later get tapped by the organization to compete at Talladega Superspeedway.

After that, conversations began about a full-season effort between Kligerman and team owner Scott Borchetta.

“[Scott Borchetta has] set up the right foundation in some respects,” Kligerman said. “It was awesome, when [Borchetta] was like, ‘Hey, why don’t we race for a championship?’ I said, ‘That sounds like a great idea,’ I think we can do it.”

The 2023 season will mark the second full-time campaign for Kligerman in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, where he scored three top-five and 13 top-10 finishes driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2013.

For Big Machine Racing, next season also marks the return to the organization’s intended one-driver entry, after having 10 different competitors in the No. 48 this season, including Kligerman.

“The mission was never to be a revolving door. Jade Buford, who started the season for us is a great race car driver and the chemistry wasn’t right,” said team owner Scott Borchetta. “At that point, I wanted to see what the team could do. Do we have the equipment that I think we have? Do we have the team we think we have? All of you know, if the chemistry isn’t right, you’re not going to get good results.”

Throughout the experiment, Borchetta and Big Machine Racing were able to amass four top-five and six top-10 finishes, while also achieving a massive landmark, with Tyler Reddick’s victory at Texas Motor Speedway.

In his one-race deal with Big Machine Racing, Parker Kligerman was able to finish sixth at Talladega Superspeedway, his first top-10 in the second-tier series since Road America in 2017.

“Parker brings experience and a huge desire to do this. That was our first conversation of, ‘Hey, do you still have the fire to run for a championship, or have you become more part-time?’ Just things I have to know and he convinced me really quickly and said that he wants to race hard and I want to win. Our conversations were exactly what I was looking for.”

As for Kligerman, the announcement of a full-time campaign in 2023 is a breath of fresh air, after spending so many years bouncing around part-time rides in NASCAR’s top-three series.

“I called Keith [Barnwall, GM of Big Machine Racing] after we got the contract signed. The next day I called him and said ‘Hey, I just want to check… I didn’t dream that right’. He said, ‘No, we actually signed it. That’s real.” Kligerman recounted.

The biggest question that lies ahead for both Kligerman and Big Machine Racing, is what the team is capable of, whether that’s a Playoff berth, a victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, or maybe even a championship in the second-tier series. Only time will tell.

Joseph Srigley
Joseph Srigleyhttp://tobychristie.com
University of Windsor | Business Administration - Supply Chain & Data Analytics Editor at TobyChristie.com

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