Swan breakup leaves Kligerman without ride
April 23, 2014, David Caraviello, NASCAR.com
The beleaguered Swan Racing organization has shed both its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars, a move that keeps rookie driver Cole Whitt in a ride but leaves former teammate Parker Kligerman in limbo heading to Richmond International Raceway this weekend.
Less than a week after admitting it lacked the funds to effectively operate, Swan Racing announced Wednesday that one of its two cars will move to BK Racing, where former Swan minority partner Anthony Marlowe will be the listed owner. BK Racing will arrive in Richmond as a suddenly expanded three-car operation, with the No. 26 car and Whitt -- both formerly of the Swan stable -- joining the No. 23 of Alex Bowman and the No. 83 of Ryan Truex.
The No. 30 team has been sold to owner John Cohen of XxxTreme Motorsports, which will put driver J.J. Yeley behind the wheel. Several members of the existing No. 30 team, including crew chief Stephen Lane, will also make the move to Cohen's team, according to Swan Racing owner Brandon Davis.
The odd man out for the moment is Kligerman, who remains under contract to Swan Racing, which says it will seek options to get him back on the race track.
"I am very relieved to know that the Nos. 26 and 30 teams will be in good hands, and will continue to compete for the remainder of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season," Davis said in a statement. "Most importantly, most of the team members have the opportunity to continue their employment in the sport and to support their families. This was critically important to me."
Swan is not fielding an entry for Saturday night's race in Richmond, and as of Wednesday afternoon Kligerman did not have a ride for that event. Kligerman's 18th-place result in his debut last season at Texas remains one of the team's four top-20 finishes.
"Although it's unfortunate we are having to scale back, I look forward to the future and the exciting things that I'm confident we will accomplish at Swan Racing or with another team," Kligerman said in a statement. "I value the relationship that I've had with Brandon Davis and am very grateful for him giving me an opportunity to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Whether I continue to race with Brandon and Swan Racing or end up with another team, I will always give it my all on and off track to be the best I can be."
Added Davis: "Swan Racing is exploring any and all options to keep Parker Kligerman on track throughout the season. We are encouraged by the response we have received from interested parties. Parker … brought this racing team one of its strongest results in his first race with us, and we are certain of his success in the future."
Swan Racing was formed in late 2012 when Davis took over the former Inception Motorsports fielded by David Stremme. It was a single-car operation in 2013, with Stremme driving for the bulk of the season, until Davis put a series of younger competitors behind the wheel looking for a full-time driver for 2014. He found two -- Whitt and Kligerman, both Sprint Cup Series rookies, who opened this year in what was an expanded stable of two full-time cars for 2014.
Not surprisingly, both young drivers have struggled on the track -- Whitt was 33rd and Kligerman 38th in driver points after the most recent Sprint Cup event, two weekends ago at Darlington Raceway. At the same time, the Swan team had trouble attracting sponsorship funding, and last week the resulting financial squeeze reached the point where it placed the fledgling team's future in jeopardy.
Marlowe, an Iowa resident who founded a business process outsourcing company, joined the Swan ownership group the first of this year, and now becomes a partner at BK Racing. "Looking forward, my mission is to ensure Cole Whitt races in every NASCAR Sprint Cup event this season," he said.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity Anthony Marlowe is giving me to continue the NASCAR Sprint Cup season," Whitt added. "I want to thank Brandon Davis and everyone at Swan Racing for the opportunity they gave me to race for the team."