A big points day turned to calamity and finally a comeback for Parker Kligerman who brought the NASCAR Xfinity Series cutline closer at Indy.
Kligerman stayed out on rain tires as the track dried in stage one. It worked, as he placed fourth and earned seven stage points.
Meanwhile, Sheldon Creed, who held the final playoff spot by 18 points over Kligerman, didn’t earn any stage points.
However, Creed wouldn’t have to worry about losing too much of his advantage.
Kligerman had to pit twice due to an issue on pit road and didn’t get to jump at the chance to gain track position during a caution on lap 28.
Sheldon Creed did. While Parker Kligerman placed 29th, one lap down, in stage two, Creed mirrored Kligerman’s stage one performance – placing fourth and earning seven points in the stage.
Creed took the lead for a lap on lap 43 and appeared to be on his way to a big points day. Then, as the caution fell on lap 45, Creed entered and pitted in a closed pit road and fell to the rear.
While the caution hurt Creed, it helped Kligerman. He was on the lead lap before the caution but the caution solidly put him on the lead lap.
On the final restart with 16 laps to go, Kligerman jumped from 22nd to 7th – while Creed jumped from 26th to 8th.
The mano-a-mano battle meant some of their points competitors lost ground Saturday in Indianapolis.
Daniel Hemric, who sits tenth in points, finished 27th and lost 17 points to the cutline. Meanwhile, 11th-place Riley Herbst finished 12th and lost six points.
Here is how the Xfinity Series playoff bubble looks after Indy. Noted below are the drivers within a race of the cutline and the three drivers below the cutline:
10. Daniel Hemric (+50 points to the cutline)
11. Riley Herbst (+34)
12. Sheldon Creed (+17)
13. Parker Kligerman (-17 points to the cutline)
14. Brandon Jones (-65)
15. Brett Moffit (-95)
The next race for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is the August 19 Sunoco Go Rewards 200 at Watkins Glen International (3:30 p.m. ET; Broadcast: USA, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
In the six road course races this season, Sheldon Creed and Parker Kligerman lead the bubble drivers. Creed has averaged 32.2 points per race while Kligerman has averaged 31.7 points.
The others are as follows: Riley Herbst/Daniel Hemric (Tied – Average of 24.5 points per race), Brett Moffit (21.1 points avg.), Brandon Jones (19.8 points avg.)
Including Watkins Glen, four races remain until the Xfinity Series playoffs start September 15 at Bristol Motor Speedway.