According to a release from Stewart-Haas Racing, recently unseated driver Parker Kligerman will be at Charlotte Motor Speedway the upcoming two weekends to serve as a backup driver, when necessary, for Kurt Busch, driver of SHR’s No. 41 Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series. Busch plans to compete in both the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500 Verizon IndyCar race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Both races are scheduled for May 25. And other Indy 500-related activities may conflict with activities surrounding the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte on Saturday.
Kligerman has been without a Sprint Cup Series ride since his former team Swan Racing folded to financial troubles. Prior to losing his ride, Kligerman made 10-career starts at the Sprint Cup level, eight coming in 2014.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity and want to thank everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing for entrusting me with the Haas Automation Chevy,” Kligerman said. “For these two weeks, my sole focus is to help the No. 41 team compete at a high level, not matter how big or small my role might be.”
On Friday, there is a conflict between Indianapolis 500 practice and Sprint All-Star Race practice. Busch is expected practice in Indianapolis, while Kligerman practices the No. 41 car in Charlotte. Indy 500 qualifying on Saturday is scheduled to concluded at 6 p.m. ET, with Sprint All-Star Race qualifying scheduled to start only and hour and 10 minutes later.
On May 25, the Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to get underway at 12:15 p.m., with the Coca-Cola 600 scheduled to take the green flag at approximately 6 p.m. There is an estimated window of about two-and-a-half hours between the expected end time of the Indy 500 and the scheduled start time of the Coca-Cola 600.
If Busch doesn’t get to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600, Kligerman will start the race in the car, with Busch climbing into the seat at the first opportunity after his arrival.
“Parker and I were teammates sa few years ago when we were together and Penske, and his feedback was always really good,” Busch said. “Plus, we’re built about the same, and that’s really important, as we don’t want to have to adjust seats or pedal positions inside the race car. I’m confident in Parker’s abilities, and I know that my Haas Automation Chevrolet is in good hands.”
– Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images