Last week Connecticut native Parker Kligerman had his homecoming race, this week it is crew chief Eric Phillips and general manager Rick Ren's turn as the Nationwide Series heads to Chicagoland (Ill.) Speedway in Joliet for the STP 300. The Illinois natives, who both grew up about two-and-half hours from Joliet, were able to visit victory lane together in 2010 when Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) owner-driver Kyle Busch dominated the Truck Series race at the 1.5-mile D-shaped oval and will aim to do so again Sunday with Kligerman behind the wheel of the No. 77 Toyota Camry.
Phillips has called the shots for four Truck Series races in the "Prairie State," including three since joining KBM at the start of the 2010 season, but this will be his first time atop the pit box for a Nationwide Series race at his home-state track. While at KBM, his drivers have finished inside the top 10 in all three starts, with Busch collecting the win in 2010 and a fifth-place finish in 2011, to go along with an eighth-place result from Jason Leffler last season.
While Kligerman hasn't visited victory lane in the "Windy City," it is a track that he has been very successful at. The talented youngster has finished 13th or better in each of his four career starts at Chicagoland, split between the Nationwide and Truck Series. He qualified fifth and finished seventh in last year's July Nationwide Series event and came from the 25th starting position to finish 13th while driving for an underfunded operation in the series 2010 event. In the Truck Series, he posted top-five finishes in both career starts at the intermediate track, leading multiple laps in each as well.
Kligerman, who enters this weekend ranked 10th in the Nationwide Series championship standings, is ready to help the No. 77 team rebound from a three-week stretch full of blues and get Phillips and Ren back to that same old place they visited in 2010, victory lane at "Sweet Home Chicagoland."