As a 17-year-old aspiring open-wheel racer working his way up the racing ladder by driving USAC Midgets in the Midwest, Parker Kligerman lived one block away from Indianapolis (Ind.) Motor Speedway. When he wasn't on the road competing in USAC events, he would wander over to the 2.5-mile speedway and watch practice from the grandstands, linger around the pits or visit the Hall of Fame Museum - all while dreaming of one day being able to one day himself race at the historic speedway. Saturday that dream will become a reality for the talented youngster, as he pilots the No. 77 Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Indiana 250.
As will many teams, Kyle Busch Motorsports will be putting their best foot forward for Saturday's prestigious event. The second-year team - which currently ranks 12th in the owner's championship standings - will be unloading a brand new Camry, KBM-13, for the 100-lap event. As the team continues to make improvements from the original Nationwide Series chassis built in-house for its inaugural campaign last season, they hope to close the gap between themselves and the larger Cup affiliated teams that currently have a foothold on the top 10 in the owner's standings.
The team is coming off a strong run at Chicagoland Speedway last weekend with the first new chassis built in-house since crew chief Eric Phillips took over the Nationwide Series program at the beginning of the season, KBM-12. In just its second time on the track, the Camry led the field with 41 quality passes and Kligerman was one of just seven drivers to spend all 200 laps inside the top 15. The end result was a sixth-place finish, a result that the team hopes they can improve upon this weekend with its newest chassis.
As a teenager, he spent plenty of time in the grandstands, the pits and in the museum at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Now "Parker from the Block" returns to the historic speedway as one of NASCAR's promising young talents hoping to do two things he didn't do as a teenager; visit victory lane and kiss the bricks.