Parker Kligerman is riding momentum of securing final Playoff spot

BRISTOL, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 15: Parker Kligerman, driver of the #75 Luck's Beans/Food Country USA Toyota, walks onstage during driver intros prior to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway on September 15, 2022 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Parker Kligerman goes into the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs on a high-momentum finish to the regular season, grabbing the 12th and final Playoff berth in the last regular season race. And the driver of the No. 48 Big Machine Racing Chevrolet thinks that kind of high-energy rally the team pulled off only a week ago will be important to maintain as he embarks on his first career Playoff run.

Interestingly, he said his team actually approached the race in Daytona – even before the regular season finale – as if it were the cutoff race to set the Playoff field. His team has had to perform at a full-volume high level every week to earn a Playoff spot.

“I wanted to force myself to lock into a high-pressure scenario for a 100 laps and perform at a high level,” said the 33-year-old Kligerman. “That was what I felt like allowed us the best chance to compete for a win with a lot on the line and I feel like just the last four or so weeks, we’ve done that every week as a race team and I feel like it’s really has kept us on our game.

“It’s kept us pushing and I think now going into the Playoffs we don’t have to change a thing. We don’t have to rachet anything up, we don’t have to change our thought process or mentality, we just can keep doing what we’ve been doing because we’ve been under this pressure cooker for the last month or so. I think there’s other teams that have had a chance to relax, or change their mentality or be more aggressive and they’re going to have to adjust. We’re already there. We’ll just keep doing this for another seven weeks and see what happens.”

Kligerman, who is a well-respected pit reporter for NBC Sports in addition to his racing role, said he would not work the Phoenix race for the network should he advance to the Championship 4 in the season finale.

“They’ve been so gracious and supportive through this. … where if I’m a part of the Championship 4 most likely you won’t see me on the broadcast on Sunday and that’s out of respect, personally for myself and the race team knowing what media goes along with an event that week,” Kligerman said, adding, “Out of respect for both entities that would be one of the adjustments I’d make but outside of that, I’m committed to doing my TV work the same level I have through the season and I don’t see it being an issue.”