Sprint Cup team preview: Swan Racing
January 26, 2014, David Caraviello, NASCAR.com
Kligerman, Whitt begin rookie campaigns for expanded team
-- Brandon Davis begins his second full season as the team's primary owner and has expanded from one full-time car to two. Iowa businessman Anthony Marlowe has joined the team's ownership group, which also consists of Davis and former NFL player Bill Romanowski.
2014 Driver Lineup
Whitt moves into a full-time ride after starting seven races for Swan a season ago, with a best finish of 27th at Dover. This marks Whitt's first full ride at NASCAR's national level since he ran the entire Nationwide Series campaign with JR Motorsports in 2012.
Kligerman made two starts for Swan last season, opening eyes in his first Sprint Cup Series race with an 18th-place run at Texas. Kligerman also ran a full Nationwide schedule for Kyle Busch Motorsports last season, finishing ninth in final points.
Randy Cox, who was Whitt's crew chief for 12 races last season on the Nationwide tour, will oversee Whitt's No. 26 car at the Sprint Cup level. Kligerman's crew chief is Steven Lane, who called the shots for Swan's single-car effort last year, and now also acts as competition director.
For an organization that finished 33rd in owners' points a year ago, it seems a tall task -- expanding from one to two cars, and going with a pair of rookies in Kligerman (23) and Whitt (22). But Davis was adamant last season that he wanted young drivers who could grow with his young race team, and as the chairman of an oil and gas exploration company, he's not short on cash.
Even so, from a competitive standpoint, this team ended last season a long way from where it wants to be. Kligerman and Whitt were both very capable in the Nationwide Series, and the former's run at Texas last year showed real promise. Flirting with that top-20 range more on a week-to-week basis would be a nice step forward.