Consecutive Win Marks Cunningham’s 30th ARCA Series Victory
Millville, N.J. – May 29, 2016 – Cunningham Motorsports made it two in a row Saturday at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) as Parker Kligerman won on the road course. It was two wins in a row for the No. 22 Paul Andrews-led team, after Myatt Snider won the previous race at Toledo Speedway and two wins in a row for the organization at the Millville, New Jersey facility, as Kyle Weatherman won there in the 2015 season.
Kligerman, who was returning to the team that “gave him his first stock car chance”, won in dominating fashion, after leading both practice session, qualifying on the pole by over one second and leading 56 of the 67 laps.
In 2008, Parker drove in his first ARCA Series race at the very same 2.3-mile course. The following season, 2009, when Kligerman competed full time for the Cunningham organization, he finished a close second to his teammate, Patrick Long, in a finish where he felt the track owed him one. Seeking that elusive victory lane celebration, Kligerman was not a stranger to grabbing the checkered flag….as he did nine times during that season. But one thing he didn’t accomplish was capturing a Menards pole.
He took care of both of those goals Saturday at NJMP when he took the pole, in a group qualifying setting…posting the top speed by 1.2 seconds over the outside pole speed and won the race.
When the green flag flew, the 26 year old Westport, Connecticut native set sail and never looked back, losing the lead for only 11 laps.
In victory lane, a jubilant Kligerman thanked co-owners Briggs Cunningham and Kerry Scherer for believing in him now and then, as an 18 year old upcoming star. “This is truly incredible to return to this organization and grab them another ‘W’. And to think it took seven years for me to win my first ARCA Series’ pole! It was a fun, fun day.”
Chase Briscoe, Cunningham’s fulltime driver of the Big Tine No. 77, posted his fourth top-5 finish in six outings in 2016. Competing in his first road course event, Briscoe beat himself up throughout practice and qualifying. After spending a day at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, Briscoe was hoping to speed up his learning curve. That experience did hasten his ability to catch on to the road course….just not as quickly as Briscoe would have liked. After qualifying 10th, he knew he had his work cut out for him, but hoped that under race conditions he would get in a rhythm where he could get comfortable turning both right and left.
The Mitchell, IN, native remained in the top-10 for most of the race, progressing up to second, based on pit strategy, just prior to the halfway point. With twenty laps to go, Briscoe was the highest of the leaders to make the right turn down pit road, coming in from the 5th spot. His crew bolted on fresh General Tires that gave him what he needed to grab his second 4th place finish in a row.
Still looking for his first Series victory, Briscoe said, “Road course racing was definitely something different. I enjoyed it, but I am really glad we only do it once a year! For my first road course race, I was thrilled with fourth. At the beginning of the season, I was concerned about surviving Daytona (4th), Talladega (3rd) and NJMP (4th). Those three tracks are places that can easily derail a championship dream. Another top-5 finish for Big Tine, but we are looking forward to getting them their first win…hopefully at Pocono.”
Next up for the Cunningham teams is the General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 with practice scheduled for Thursday, June 2 from 1:00-1:55 EST and 3:00-3:55. Menards Pole Qualifying is set for Friday at 1:45, with the 80 lap event live on FS1 at 5:45. Myatt Snider, winner in his ARCA debut at Toledo Speedway earlier in May, will rejoin his Louisiana Hot Sauce No. 22 team when both teams attend the open test at the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway Tuesday.
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