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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Jack Miller wins the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix as Fabio Quartararo stops his downward points’ slide

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Jack Miller ran away with the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi as Fabio Quartararo stopped his downward slide in the championship when a last-lap accident from his closest rival in the standings caused Francesco Bagnaia to score zero points.

Starting seventh, Miller quickly made his way forward. He was second at the end of two laps. One lap later, he grabbed the lead from Jorge Martin. Once in the lead, Miller posted three consecutive fastest laps and was never seriously challenged. It was Australian native Miller’s first race win of the season and his sixth podium finish.

The proximity to his home turf was not lost.

“I can ride a motorcycle sometimes,” Miller said in NBC Sports’ post-race coverage. “I felt amazing all weekend since I rolled out on the first practice. It feels so awesome to be racing on this side of the world.

“What an amazing day. It’s awesome; we have the home Grand Prix coming up shortly. Wedding coming up in a couple of weeks. I’m over the moon; can’t thank everyone enough.”

Miller beat Brad Binder to the line by 3.4 seconds with third-place Jorge Martin finishing about one second behind.

But the center of the storm was located just inside the top 10 as both Quartararo and Bagnaia started deep in the field.

Quartararo was on the outside of row three in ninth with Bagnaia one row behind in 12th. Neither rider moved up significantly, but the championship continued to be of primary importance as Bagnaia put in a patented late-race charge to settle onto Quartararo’s back tire, which would have allowed the championship leader to gain only a single point.

On the final lap, Bagnaia charged just a little too hard and crashed under heavy braking, throwing away the seven points he would have earned for a ninth-place finish.

The day was even more dramatic for the rider who entered the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix third in the standings. On the sighting lap, Aleix Espargaro had an alarm sound, so he peeled off into the pits, dropped his primary bike and jumped aboard the backup. Starting from pit lane, he trailed the field and was never able to climb into the points. An undisclosed electronic problem was the culprit.

For Quartararo, gaining eight points on the competition was more than a moral victory. This was a track on which he expected to run moderately, and he did, but the problems for his rivals gives him renewed focus with four rounds remaining.

Next week, the series heads to Thailand and then Miller’s home track of Phillip Island in Australia. They will close out the Pacific Rim portion of the schedule before heading to Spain for the finale in early November.

It would appear team orders are not in play among the Ducati riders. Last week’s winner Enea Bastianini made an aggressive early move on Bagnaia for position before the championship contender wrestled the spot back.

In his second race back following arm surgery, Marc Marquez won the pole. His last pole was more than 1,000 days ago on this same track in 2019, the last time the series competed at Motegi. Marquez slipped to fifth in the middle stages of the race, before regaining a position to finish just off the podium.

In Moto2 competition, Ai Ogura beat Augusto Fernandez to close the gap in that championship to two points. Fernandez holds the scant lead. Alonso Lopez rounded out the podium.

Both American riders, Cameron Beaubier and Joe Roberts finished just outside the top 10 in 11th and 12th respectively.