SPARTA, Ky. – Red Horse Racing’s Parker Kligerman and Turner Motorsports’ Miguel Paludo opened Kentucky Speedway’s doubleheader event weekend by topping the speed charts in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) practice sessions for tonight’s Kentucky 201.
A 36-truck field will take the green flag for the series 15th all-time event at the speedway at 7:30 p.m. Tickets and infield Fan Zone passes are available at speedway gates.
Kligerman, who earned a July 18, 2009 ARCA Racing Series (ARS) victory in Kentucky, led the second and final session with a 177.456 mph (30.430 seconds) circuit. He was third on the chart in the first practice session with a 175.901 mph (30.699 seconds) lap.
The Westport, Conn., wheelman piloted a Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR) entry to a 19th–place finish earlier this season at the speedway in the June 28 UNOH 225. He posted his NCWTS track-best second-place finish with Penske Racing in 2011.
“This number seven Red Horse racing Toyota Tundra is awesome. (Crew Chief) Chad Kendrick and all these guys have made it easy on me. We show up to the race tracks so well prepared and so fast right off the truck - that we really just fine tune it and fine tune it. When you do that you just get faster.
“We did the actual qual run in practice two and jumped to the top. I think we got something for them in qualifying, which I’m excited about. I’ve never had a pole on the mile and a half,” Kligerman said.
Kligerman noticed his truck handled distinctly different in cool temperatures in the mid 70s on Kentucky Speedway’s tri-oval compared to steamy June temperatures that were near 100 degrees.
“The temperature makes a huge difference. It adds a ton of grip when you have these cool temperatures and cloudy conditions. Those things add up to essentially a different race track. When we were here in June, you’d lift and almost have to brake to move along your line. Now, we come back, and it’s who can be flat out in qualifying. That’s just a HUGE difference. I think we can continue this throughout the weekend and hopefully get that first victory tonight,” he added.
Paludo led the first practice session with a 176.528 mph (30.590 seconds) effort and was fifth in final practice with a 176.777 mph (30.547 seconds) lap. He earned his NCWTS track-best 12th-place finish in the UNOH 225 and will make his fifth all-time NCWTS Kentucky start tonight.
“I always have good practice here; just don’t finish the races well. We had speed and kept speed with old tires and new tires in the first (session) and, in the second practice, finished fifth.
“I feel very comfortable here. This is my fifth time here, so this is one of the race tracks that I really like. I’m really looking forward (to the race) because we have a really fast truck. We just need to make the right decisions in the race and get it done tonight,” Paludo said.
Richard Childress Racing (RCR) driver Joey Coulter was second quickest in the first session with a 176.091 mph (30.666 seconds) circuit. He posted his second career NCWTS seventh-place finish at the speedway in the UNOH 225.
ThorSport Racing driver Johnny Sauter was second on the speed chart in the second session with a 177.270 mph (30.462 seconds) lap. He placed sixth in the UNOH 225 and will make his sixth career NCWTS Kentucky start in the Kentucky 201.
Kentucky 201 qualifying will begin at 4:40 p.m. RCR driver Austin Dillon set the standing series track qualifying record on Oct. 1, 2011 with a 179.868 mph (30.022 seconds) lap.