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Kligerman Takes Point Lead with Unexpected Atlanta Performance

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By Kelly Crandall

HAMPTON, Ga. – Parker Kligerman might be the point leader in the Camping World Truck Series, but how much longer he’ll be competing in the series is still to be determined.
“The plan is the first six (races), so we’ll keep plugging away and see what can happen,” Kligerman said following his eighth place finish in the Great Clips 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Or at least the plan is to be at the next couple of races and it’ll happen if Kligerman keeps bringing back clean trucks. Ricky Benton Racing can’t afford to lose any in their stable, since there are times they don’t have a backup.
Thus far with Kligerman behind the wheel, it’s been so far so good. But he admits they’re on pins and needles.
“The Ford engines are great, Roush – Yates motors. We got Valvoline on board; Advanced Auto Part; Blacks Tire Service,” he said. “I’d love to have a chat with some Ford people and see how they could help us out with some things. Nothing that costs them money, just things that could help us engineering wise. If we could get that, it’d be great.”
As he did a week ago in Daytona, Kligerman brought home a top-10 finish for the team on Saturday evening. After climbing out of his No. 92 Blacks Tire & Wheel Distributors Ford, the 25-year-old turned to his crew and said, “We might be the point leader.”
His voice projected both surprise and excitement and he does indeed hold a one-point lead over Daniel Hemric. The series is not scheduled to race again until Martinsville Speedway on March 2, and by then Kligerman might just be coming off the high he felt from his performance.
“I can’t believe how well we ran. We were running awesome. We didn’t see that in practice – we were decent, but we weren’t that good. But we got out there, and I love when it’s hot and slick like that; that’s where the driver really comes out,” Kligerman said.
“We were pretty loose throughout the day, but I could save the right rear tire and just mow them down on the long run and that last run we bumped up the tire pressure and flew. I thought we had a shot at the win because we were so good on restarts but the 05 (John Wes Townley) spun his tires there and just backed up our whole. So we got screwed.”
With the point lead and two consecutive top-10 finishes, Ricky Benton Racing is off to the best start in their brief history. Dennis Setzer drove for the team in 2010 when they debuted in the series, but scored just a pair of 12th place finishes. A year later Clay Rogers earned them their first top five.
But Kligerman has twice now taken them into previously unchartered waters. Something he said he’s done for a few teams throughout his career.
“Doesn’t really ever pay off, but this year seems to be different,” Kligerman said. “Everything just seems to click. If there’s a wreck, we avoid it, and these guys do a great job.”
Now Kligerman and others at Ricky Benton Racing have a few weeks to enjoy it before attempting to prove, again, hard work pays off.
“We don’t have a lot to work with on the engineering side but we know the basics and when we hit it right like that we have a great truck,” Kligerman said. “That was cool to be fast. We were as fast as the leaders at the end of the race.”

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I am beyond excited that the pairing of Benton's team and Kligerman is going so well! I didn't think I'd see Kligerman race competitively again, let alone be leading the points! I really hope that the #92 team secures sponsorship to run the whole season, not just the first 6 races.
This is great! I hope he keeps it up.
Great to see him doing well...Hope it continues
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