Don’t give up on Parker Kligerman yet
Photo by Benjamin Palmer/TheRacingExperts.com
Parker Kligerman turns laps at Phoenix in March. Kligerman has posted three DNF's through the first six races of 2014.
By Brandon Caldwell
April 5, 2014
Disclaimer: All opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
No one questioned what Swan Racing team owner, Brandon Davis, was thinking when he hired Parker Kligerman to drive the team’s number 30 entry for 2014. After all, Kligerman gave that number 30 car its best run in 2013.
But so far, 2014 has been an utter disaster for Davis, Kligerman, and the entire number 30 team. Somewhere, predecessor, David Stremme, is relaxing with a grin on his face.
Parker Kligerman is not to blame for the struggles, remember, he’s still a rookie, even if teammate Cole Whitt (also a rookie) is blowing his car out of the water every week.
Swan Racing is a very small organization. They expanded to two cars right before the 2014 season. It is possible that this team has spread themselves too thin, and Kligerman is the one paying the price for that.
In an effort to cut costs to fund his two car operation, Davis canned for competition director, Tony Eury, Jr. and moved current Kligerman crew chief, Steven Lane into dual roles as crew chief, and competition director.
The results show that this may not have been the right move. One top-30 and two top-35 finishes. The other three finishes have been 40th or worse for Kligerman in 2014.
Team owners, Frankie Stoddard and Tommy Baldwin, Jr. both gave up their dual roles as team owner, and crew chief, by hiring crew chiefs in the positions that they both once filled.
Both teams have seen improvement since the moves, and there’s no question that Stoddard and Baldwin getting back to worrying about one thing has helped their teams significantly.
Maybe it’s time for Swan Racing to bite the bullet and realize that it may be too much for Steven Lane to do both, and that having Lane focus on one thing would be the best for the team performance wise.
Cole Whitt has been the complete opposite of Kligerman. As bad as Kligerman’s season has been, is as good as Whitt’s has been.
Every week it seems like Whitt is turning our heads, and that number 26 team looks like the little team that can.
One top-20 and two top-30 finishes, Whitt has shown that his team can get the job done when it needs to, and some may think it’s got to do with the drivers.
Kligerman and Whitt have both had about the same experience and the same moderate success in the NASCAR Camping World Truck, and NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Parker Kligerman’s season needs to turn around, and fast. This weekend at Martinsville could be the start.
He’s been here 4 times in the Camping World Truck Series, and this is one of the tracks that he’s most familiar with in his NASCAR career.
I give Brandon Davis a lot of credit. He didn’t hire the most funded young drivers available like most teams do.
Davis instead hired two of the most talented young drivers in the sport, and Kligerman will turn it around, to the point where you’ll understand why Davis hired him. And it will start this weekend in Martinsville.
If Brandon Davis does what the other two team owners and moves the crew chief to worrying about crew chiefing, it will help the number 30 team. Whitt’s crew chief, Danny Cox worries about one thing, being fast on the track, and his results are far different than Kligerman’s.
If Davis does that, it will help the performance and take his team to the next level, especially with the talent he’s got behind the wheel in both of his cars.