Report: Parker Kligerman eyeing possible move from NASCAR to IndyCar

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If at first you don’t succeed in NASCAR Sprint Cup racing, try, try again – or in Parker Kligerman’s case, try IndyCar.

According to a report by Bob Pockrass of SportingNews.com, Kligerman is looking at trying to find a ride in the IndyCar Series, just a few weeks after losing his ride in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series.

Kligerman may have been inspired by the fact that he’s serving as fill-in driver for Kurt Busch this weekend and next in Charlotte, as Busch plans on being the first driver since 2004 to race in both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.

With the Sprint All-Star Race held Saturday night and no other NASCAR action slated for Sunday, Kligerman reportedly will be at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to see if there may be some opportunities for him.

“I’m going to be meeting with some people,” Kligerman said Pockrass. “That will be fun. … We’ll see (about my future).”

Kligerman, 23, lost his ride three weeks ago when Swan Racing abruptly shut down, costing Kligerman his job. Teammate Cole Whitt was able to continue when his team was purchased by BK Racing, which as a result expanded from a two- to three-car operation.

With few other opportunities available in NASCAR at the moment, Kligerman isn’t discounting any opportunities in any other auto racing series, but is particularly interested in the open-wheel world, given that he was a former USAC driver before coming to NASCAR.

“It’s all in the working stage, building stage and some of that is going out to Indy meeting some of those people and those sorts of things going on,” Kligerman said. “My sole focus right now is when an opportunity comes it’s the right opportunity. … I’ve got time on my side.

“I feel like making sure the opportunity is the right one, it’s the one I want to do, it’s one I am enthused about and hopefully that can forward my career and I can do good job in.”

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Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
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LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.