A classic, epic late-race duel between rookies culminated with a thrilling last-lap, last-corner pass that put 18-year-old ARCA RE/MAX Series dynamo Parker Kligerman back in victory lane.
Kligerman, in the Cunningham Motorsports Dodge, drove underneath Grant Enfinger off turn four coming to the checkered flag to win the Click It or Ticket Buckle-Up Kentucky 150 Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway. The victory marked Kligerman's fifth win on tour in the last six races, and fourth consecutive for the Westport, Connecticut driver.
"This win means a lot to me and I think it means a lot to my team; especially after what happened to us here in May when we were running up front and ended up spinning," said Kligerman. "I think the last ten laps was one heck of a race. I didn't think we could get him [Grant Enfinger] at one point. The last corner of the last lap I went into there with the mentality that it would either be wreckers or checkers and it was checkers so that was pretty good. This is a good roll. Let's see if we can go for five in a row. That would be a record and I want it. Right now we're just going out for that championship. Keep reeling off wins and keep reeling off championships."
Enfinger, working the high-side with Kligerman often underneath, fought off the eventual winner lap after lap over the final 30 circuits before giving up the top-spot in final few hundred yards. Enfinger, in the BeasleyAllen.com Ford, finished a career-best second, five lengths away.
"I knew I would only have one more chance so I backed down a little bit and then I got back into the gas, and it just didn't stick," said Enfinger, who led 38 laps overall. "But man that was a great battle there running with Parker Kligerman side-by-side for about the last 15 laps and I need to really thank him for running me clean. We are a very low budget team, just stringing parts and pieces of this car together to try and make it work and a finish like this really means a lot."
Enfinger and Kligerman traded the lead four times in the last 30 laps during which the two front-runners were either side-by-side or nose-to-tail.
Justin Lofton finished third in the Lofton Cattle-CGS Imaging Toyota; however the Westmorland, California driver still lost more ground to point leader Kligerman in the championship points battle as a result.
Craig Goess, after changing engines right before the race, battled from the tail-end to finish a career-best fourth in the Greenville of North Carolina Toyota.
Brian Ickler also started in the back after changing transmissions following qualifying, and raced through the pack to finish fifth. Ickler also earned his career-first Menards Pole presented by Ansell establishing a new one-lap track record with an average speed of 179.247 mph.
Steve Arpin, who led seven laps, finished sixth in the Pinewood Sports Toyota in front of Joey Coulter, Frank Kimmel, Patrick Sheltra and Tom Hessert to complete the top-10 finishers respectively.
Kligerman led 58 of 100 laps overall, including the first 26 circuits before first-round pit stops, which included Kligerman, reshuffled the running order. Enfinger, who elected to forego first round pit stops, took over the lead before Kligerman raced back through the pack to regain the top-spot. Kligerman led up through lap 62 before giving it up again while the eventual winner made his final pit stop that set up his run to the checkered flag.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series travels next to Berlin Raceway Saturday night, July 25 for the Wolverine Power Systems 200 presented by Generac.
Official Results, Click It or Ticket Buckle-Up Kentucky 150 at Kentucky Speedway
ARCA RE/MAX Series (7-18-09)
Sparta, Ky., (AP) _ The official finish for Saturday's Click It or Ticket Buckle-Up Kentucky 150 at Kentucky Speedway for ARCA RE/MAX Series stock cars with starting position in parenthesis, driver, hometown, type of car, laps completed, and reason out of race, if any:
1. (2) Parker Kligerman, Westport, Conn., Dodge, 100; 2. (9) Grant Enfinger, Fairhope, Ala., Ford, 100; 3. (5) Justin Lofton, Westmorland, Calif., Toyota, 100; 4. (11) Craig Goess, Greenville, N.C., Toyota, 100; 5. (1) Brian Ickler, Mooresville, N.C., Toyota, 100; 6. (15) Steve Arpin, Fort Frances, Ont., Toyota, 100; 7. (33) Joey Coulter, Miami Springs, Fla., Chevrolet, 100; 8. (7) Frank Kimmel, Clarksville, Ind., Ford, 100; 9. (19) Patrick Sheltra, Indiantown, Fla., Chevrolet, 100; 10. (17) Tom Hessert, Cherry Hill, N.J., Ford, 100; 11. (13) Dakoda Armstrong, New Castle, Ind., Dodge, 100; 12. (20) Robb Brent, Shelby Township, Mich., Dodge, 100; 13. (18) Alli Owens, Daytona Beach, Fla., Toyota, 100; 14. (6) J.R. Heffner, Stephentown, N.Y., Chevrolet, 100; 15. (16) Bobby Gerhart, Lebanon, Pa., Chevrolet, 100; 16. (8) Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, Calif., Toyota, 100; 17. (23) Chris Cockrum, Conyers, Ga., Chevrolet, 100; 18. (36) Charlie Vest, Ocoee, Fla., Ford, 99; 19. (22) Michel Disdier, Nice, France, Ford, 99; 20. (24) Kory Rabenold, Slatington, Pa., Ford, 99; 21. (26) Jeremy Petty, Smolan, Kan., Chevrolet, 99; 22. (14) Bryan Silas, Stuart, Fla., Ford, 99; 23. (21) Tim George, Jr., New York, N.Y., Toyota, 97; 24. (29) Brad Smith, Shelby Township, Mich., Ford, 94; 25. (35) Barry Fitzgerald, Sykesville, Md., Ford, 93; 26. (30) Darrell Basham, Henryville, Ind., Chevrolet, 91; 27. (25) Tom Berte, New Berlin, Wis., Chevrolet, 91; 28. (32) James Hylton, Inman, S.C., Ford, 90; 29. (31) James Basham, Henryville, Ind., Chevrolet, 73, engine; 30. (10) Mikey Kile, Westport, La., Chevrolet, 71, accident; 31. (3) Brad Reithmeyer, Austin, Texas, Toyota, 60, accident; 32. (4) Josh Richards, Shinnston, W.V., Chevrolet, 60, accident; 33. (28) Scot Alves, Camino, Calif., Chevrolet, 15, brakes; 34. (34) Todd Antrican, Lebanon, Ohio, Chevrolet, 13, vibration; 35. (38) Greg Seevers, West Milton, Ohio, Chevrolet, 13, vibration; 36. (27) Larry Meadors, Louisville, Ky., Ford, 4, overheating; 37. (37) Wayne Peterson, Pulaski, Tenn., Chevrolet, 1, handling.
Time of race: 1 hour, 23 minutes, 20 seconds; Margin of victory: .599 seconds; Lap leaders: Kligerman 1-26, Enfinger 27-32, Kligerman 33-62, Arpin 63-69, Enfinger 70-87, Kligerman 88, Enfinger 89-99, Kligerman 100.
Post Race Special Awards
Menards Pole Award by Ansell: Brian Ickler/No. 51 BrianIckler.com Toyota/30.126 seconds/179.247 mph
Highest Finishing Rookie: Parker Kligerman/No. 77 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge
Cometic Crew Chief of the Race: Chris Carrier/No. 77 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge
Klotz Engine Mechanic of the Race: Mark Rette/No. 6 Lofton Cattle Toyota
CGS Imaging Hard Charger: Patrick Sheltra/No. 60 Buffalo Rings and Wings Dodge
Aaron's Lap Leader: Parker Kligerman/No. 77 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge
TOP TEN UNOFFICIAL ARCA RE/MAX SERIES POINTS AFTER THE CLICK IT OR TICKET. BUCKLE UP KENTUCKY 150 AT KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY (RACE 11 OF 21; JULY 18, 2009);1) Parker Kligerman, 2855; 2) Justin Lofton, 2705; 3) Frank Kimmel, 2520; 4) Joey Coulter, 2390; 5) Craig Goess, 2385; 6) Bryan Silas, 2360; 7) Steve Arpin, 2285; 8) Patrick Sheltra, 2220; 9) Tom Hessert, 2140; 10) Tim George, Jr., 2095.