With both driver Parker Kligerman and crew chief Eric Phillips competing in their first full-time season in the Nationwide Series and Kyle Busch Motorsports' (KBM) Nationwide Series program in just its sophomore campaign, the first half of the 2013 season was spent trying to improve the teams fleet of Camrys while building a notebook that will help the team excel in the second half of the season. Now that the NASCAR Nationwide Series will be heading to many tracks for the second time, including Iowa Speedway in Newton this weekend, Kligerman and Phillips will be looking to use the notes that they have compiled over the first half of the season to have a better direction for preparing the No. 77 Camry during practice for what they will experience during the race in an effort to begin competing for wins on a regular basis.
Despite having a limited notebook and basically being rookies in the Nationwide Series, Kilgerman and Phillips have held their own over the first 19 races of the season. In KBM's inaugural season with Kyle and Kurt Busch sharing the driving duties and crew chief Mike Beam - who had led Carl Edwards to eight Nationwide Series wins in 2011 - calling the shots, the team had posted an average finish of 13.3, an average starting position of 12.7 and ranked 11th in owner's points with 597 after 19 races. This year's numbers practically mirror those of last year, with Kligerman posting an average finish of 13.2, an average starting spot of 12.0 and the team currently ranks 12th in owner's points with 589.
In their first trip to Iowa together, Kligerman and Phillips had a fast Toyota Camry in final practice - finishing the session third quick. After qualifying 12th on Saturday afternoon, the rain set in and forced the postponement of the race until Sunday morning. During the race the talented youngster had an average running position of ninth, spent 247 of the 250 laps in the top 15 and was scored in the 10th position with 25 laps to go before running out of gas on the final lap and finishing 14th.
Now, with a notebook in place and 19 races of experience working together under their belts, Kligerman and Phillips head to the Hawkeye State looking to improve upon their run in the first race. The duo is confident that they can continue to make improvements to KBM's Nationwide Series program and climb their way back up both the driver's and owner's point standings. There would be no better way to start that climb then by adding a win to their notebook on Saturday.