Parker Kligerman’s Sprint Cup rookie struggles continue — fifth finish of 40th or worse in first seven races

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You’ve got to feel compassion for rookie Sprint Cup driver Parker Kligerman. No matter what he tries, what he winds up doing is an entirely different matter.

Kligerman, driver of the No. 30 Swan Energy Toyota, once again struggled in Monday’s rain-postponed Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Due to an overheating issue, he finished 40th, 27 laps off the lead lap.

That’s Kligerman’s fifth finish of 40th or worse in the season’s first seven races, and his fourth DNF as well. His best performance was 29th at Daytona, as well as 34th at Bristol.

Kligerman jumped to Sprint Cup this season after finishing ninth last season in his only full Nationwide Series season, and was fifth (2012) and 11th (2011) in the Camping World Trucks Series.

But Kligerman’s dreams of success in NASCAR’s premier series has turned into the thing of nightmares.

Maybe his luck will be better this Saturday at Darlington. In two prior starts there, he finished 15th in a Nationwide Series event there last season and 14th in a Trucks race in 2011.

While obviously disappointed at yet another bad finish, Kligerman has one thing to be optimistic about: once his bad luck turns around, he really only has one way to go – and that’s up.

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Michael Schumacher’s son to make F1 practice debut at Nurburgring

F1 Mick Schumacher
Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
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MARANELLO, Italy — Mick Schumacher, son of the legednary seven-time champion, will have an official Formula One drive during an F1 race weekend for the first time next week at the Nurburgring, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari said Tuesday.

Schumacher gets the practice drive in an Alfa Romeo on Oct. 9 on his home track in Germany as a member of Ferrari’s young driver program, taking over Antonio Giovinazzi’s car for the first session of the weekend.

“I am overjoyed to get this chance in free practice,” Schumacher said in a statement. “I’m going to prepare myself well, so that I can do the best possible job for the team and gain some valuable data for the weekend.”

The 21-year-old Schumacher leads the Formula 2 standings after winning races in Monza and Sochi. He won the European Formula 3 championship in 2018 and tested a Ferrari F1 car in Bahrain in April 2019. He also has done demonstration runs in his father’s old cars, most recently this month ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix in a championship-winning 2004 Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher holds the F1 record with 91 victories, which Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of tying.

Ferrari said two other drivers in its academy program will also get practice drives in Formula One.

Callum Ilott, a British driver who is second to Mick Schumacher in F2, will drive an F1 Haas at the Nurburgring on the same day as Schumacher. Russian driver Robert Shwartzman will drive in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Dec. 11, though Ferrari hasn’t said for which team.

The German round was added to the F1 schedule after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season and will be officially known as the Eifel Grand Prix after a nearby mountain range. The Nurburgring last hosted F1 in 2013.