NASCAR rookie Parker Kligerman to test Indy Lights at IMS this weekend

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This is the second straight day we’re writing on a new driver testing Indy Lights for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Difference is today, it’s a NASCAR driver returning to his open wheel roots rather than a current driver on the Mazda Road to Indy.

Parker Kligerman, who endured a brutal run of luck in his initial Sprint Cup campaign earlier this year and has since moved onto NBCSN’s NASCAR AMERICA as an analyst and spent the last few months focusing on the growth of his company, Nootelligence, will test for SPM at this weekend’s Chris Griffis Memorial Road to Indy test.

He’ll join previously confirmed Spencer Pigot, announced yesterday, in one of SPM’s current Indy Lights chassis (prior to the new Dallara IL15).

“Ever since I drove a go-kart for the first time, my quest was to advance to the top levels of open-wheel racing,” Kligerman said in a release. “After winning an open-wheel championship in 2006, I found myself on a different path; driving stock cars. I spent five years in the top three NASCAR divisions, but unfortunate circumstances rerouted my path earlier this year.

“I’ve always looked for opportunities that can further my career, so I want to thank Sam [Schmidt] and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for this opportunity in Indy Lights to test an open-wheel car for the first time in eight years. Although it will be a challenge, I’m looking forward to having fun and working with a championship-caliber, open-wheel team.”

Schmidt’s Lights team has been the standard bearer with titles from 2010 through 2013, and Sam Schmidt spoke highly of Kligerman’s career heading into the test.

“In this test, we will be looking for how Parker adapts to the much lighter and less horsepower characteristics of the Indy Lights car, as well as how quickly he learns road course techniques. Given that the change in equipment and type of circuit are so radical, we don’t have huge expectations for a really fast time. What we will be looking for is how well he listens and if there is the potential for him to be successful in open wheel going forward. We are very excited to see what happens.”

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.