Kligerman speaks out on Swan Racing restructure
April 24, 2014, Kenny Bruce, NASCAR.com
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Parker Kligerman said Thursday that he and Swan Racing team owner Brandon Davis remain "good friends" and the two are exploring potential racing opportunities for later in 2014.
Kligerman, speaking on his "Kicking It With Kligerman" weekly podcast, addressed the recent news of Swan Racing's demise, a move that left the Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate without a ride in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
"Obviously my race team, Swan Racing, has taken a chance in this break to restructure," Kligerman said. "And by doing so they've sold the 26 team … they're gone. (They've) also sold the 30 team.
"In doing all that, I obviously do not have a ride for this weekend in Richmond, sadly enough. But … a lot of these things are blessings in disguise. Brandon Davis and I are still good friends. I'm still under contract with Swan Racing; we're still trying to see what we can put together maybe later in the year."
Kligerman, 23, is 38th in points after this year's first eight Cup races, with a best finish of 29th. He made two starts with the No. 30 team last season, placing a career-best 18th at Texas in the fall in his Cup debut.
Less than one week after saying that Swan officials were reviewing the organization’s financial status, Davis issued a statement announcing the sale of the two teams. Former minority owner Anthony Marlowe has become a partner with BK Racing, and the group will add the No. 26 with driver Cole Whitt to a stable that already includes rookies Alex Bowman and Ryan Truex.
Xxxtreme Motorsports owner John Cohen has acquired the No. 30 entry, previously driven by Kligerman. JJ Yeley will handle the driving duties for the team, which will switch from the No. 44 to No. 30.
The now ride-less Kligerman said several teams have expressed an interest in his availability.
"And we are evaluating those," he said, "making sure that we don’t make the wrong choice.
"The big thing for Swan Racing and everyone involved … was making sure that the employees, first and foremost, were taken care of. And in doing all the things that Brandon Davis did, in terms of selling the 26 and selling the 30, and keeping a couple of people on to help him go through the … winding down of Swan Racing's assets and such, we've been able to keep everyone employed and that’s what matters most."
Davis "could have walked away," he said. "Easily. (He) could have just said 'screw this, I’m out.' But he's a stand-up guy. He's stayed through it and he's worked through it with everyone else and you have to commend him (for that).
"He shot for the stars and we may have failed but at the end of the day he's making it right."
Speaking on "NASCAR Race Hub" Thursday, Kligerman said his focus is on remaining in the Cup Series, although opportunities outside NASCAR have come his way as well.
"I think at the end of the day the Cup Series is the level we all want to be at and that’s the top of our sport,” he said. “So there’s no doubt in my mind I am focused on the Cup Series, but making sure that the opportunity we take is one that can … move (me) forward in my career and (is) giving me the best opportunity."
Kligerman has one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win, with a top points finish of fifth in that series in 2012. He competed fulltime for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide Series last season, finishing ninth in points.