ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Parker Kligerman, in the Cunningham Motorsports Dodge, drove past Justin Lofton on the final restart and then fought him off over the last two laps to win the Kansas Lottery 150 Thursday afternoon at Kansas Speedway.
The Westport, Connecticut driver also narrowed Lofton's point lead to just 15 points headed into the season championship finale next Sunday at Rockingham Speedway.
"When we were coming to the end of that long green flag run we really tightened up as the track heated up and put rubber down," said Kligerman, who earned his eighth victory of the season. "We were really good for 25 lap runs and then after that we start to lose the right front and I did everything I could but Justin (Lofton) was coming on strong, really strong. Finally he got by me and I just tried to stay close enough. I was able to jump a little bit and he spun the tires (on the restart) and he kind of went to the inside when he spun it and I just went straight to the outside.
"I was worried about whether or not we were going to be able to hold him off at the end just because of how strong he was prior to that restart. I was just hoping that my car wouldn't tighten up and thankfully we made it past that second lap and won."
Lofton, in the Lofton Cattle Toyota, had a 10-length lead over Kligerman inside of 10 laps to go when a late-race caution came out five laps from the finish. That set the stage for a green-white-checker finish during which the leader Lofton spun his tires on the restart coming to the green flag while Kligerman drove by on the outside. Lofton, who got inside of Kligerman's left-rear quarter panel coming to the white flag, made one last ditch effort to the high-side off turn four coming to the checkered flag but fell short by two lengths at the final stripe.
"Parker (Kligerman) raced me clean at Salem and I was going to do the same thing," said Lofton. "I really had a run going and it could have been very easy for me to just run into his back bumper and just to move him out of the way but he showed me respect last week and I was going to do it this week. I went into the corner and I said I don't have enough room right here; I'm just going to hold the wheel right, stand on the gas and hope for the best, but that's all we had."
Grant Enfinger raced his BeasleyAllen.com Ford from the 29th starting position to finish third.
"We were just a little bit off this weekend but to be a little bit off and still finish third is pretty good especially for our team," said Enfinger. "I was hoping for a little bit better of a restart on the green-white-checker there but I just messed up a little bit. Spun the tires and even went into second gear and I was still spinning the tires so a good job by everyone running behind me for not piling into us."
Frank Kimmel was fourth in the Ansell-Menards Ford.
"Well that's another top-five, so it was a good race for us today," said Kimmel. "We just battled tight all day, but we really worked hard as a team to overcome some obstacles. I'm just really proud of all these guys and proud to be racing this Ansell-Menards Ford Fusion."
Beau Slocumb finished fifth in the Wolfpack Rentals-Red Line Oil Toyota.
Kligerman dominated much of the race, leading 75 of 103 laps, but in the end, it was Lofton who had the faster car. Lofton erased Kligerman's three-second lead inside of 20 laps from the finish and made the pass down the backstretch to lead the 89th lap. From there, Lofton continually pulled away from Kligerman and appeared to be on his way to victory lane before the final caution period changed everything.
Mikey Kile, Joey Coulter, Steve Arpin, Hal Martin and Craig Goess completed the top-10 finishers respectively.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series will wrap up its 2009 season next weekend at Rockingham Speedway where the series will crown the new champion following Sunday's October 11th American 200. Lofton leads Kligerman by just 15 points headed into the big championship weekend at Rockingham.
Catch all the on-track action from Rockingham in live streaming audio at ARCAracing.com. The race will also air same-day on SPEED at 10:00 PM ET.
1 2 77 Parker Kligerman/Westport CT Cunningham Motorsports Dodge 103 Running
2 1 6 Justin Lofton/Westmorland CA Lofton Cattle Toyota 103 Running
3 29 83 Grant Enfinger/Fairhope AL BeasleyAllen.com Ford 103 Running
4 3 44 Frank Kimmel/Clarksville IN Ansell-Menards Ford 103 Running
5 4 32 Beau Slocumb/Julliette GA Wolfpack Rentals-Red Line Oil Toyota 103 Running
6 24 29 Mikey Kile/Westlake LA Greased Lightning Cleaning Products Chevrolet 103 Running
7 5 16 Joey Coulter/Miami Springs FL Darrell Gwynn Foundation-Tempest Cycles Chevrolet 103 Running
8 25 15 Steve Arpin/Fort Frances ON MundyRanch.com Toyota 103 Running
9 12 4 Hal Martin/Galliano LA Cunningham Motorsports Dodge 103 Running
10 6 81 Craig Goess/Greenville NC Greenville Toyota of NC Toyota 103 Running
11 9 60 Patrick Sheltra/Indiantown FL Buffalo Wings & Rings-MC2 Energy Drink Dodge 103 Running
12 28 19 Alli Owens/Daytona Beach FL IBEW Local 351-IBEW Local 98 Toyota 103 Running
13 37 47 Peyton Sellers/Danville VA SFP Chevrolet 102 Running
14 14 20 Tom Hessert/Cherry Hill NJ Cherry Hill Classic Cars Ford 102 Running
15 10 2 Tim George Jr./New York NY Ruby Tuesday Toyota 102 Running
16 36 12 Darwin Greene/Susquehanna PA Bluestone-X Flex Chevrolet 102 Running
17 17 28 Nate Monteith/Bristol TN Graceway Pharmaceutical Chevrolet 102 Running
18 31 35 Tom Berte/New Berlin WI CGS Premier-Stay Tuned Customs Chevrolet 102 Running
19 34 04 Chase Mattioli/Long Pond PA APS.com Chevrolet 101 Running
20 26 5 Bobby Gerhart/Lebanon PA Lucas Oil Chevrolet 101 Running
21 13 14 Kory Rabenold/Slatington PA LoanMax Ford 101 Running
22 40 85 Lance Fenton/Tyler TX Saturn Waco-Troy Lee Design-Fenton Auto Dodge 101 Running
23 33 51 Ryan Crane/Panama City FL Phoenix Construction Dodge 100 Running
24 35 40 Troy Wangerin/Jordan MN Far North Auto Dodge 100 Running
25 7 11 Bryan Silas/Stuart FL Rockingham Speedway-Holland Pumps Ford 100 Running
26 32 7 Doug Keller/St. Joseph MO Keller Motorsports Chevrolet 100 Running
27 19 48 James Hylton/Inman SC Radon.com Ford 100 Running
28 18 26 Brad Smith/Shelby Township MI ApplianceZone.com Ford 98 Running
29 23 94 Jason Basham/Henryville IN Grangier Photo-Heatwell Chevrolet 98 Running
30 15 23 Jeremy Petty/Smolan KS Grail Engine-Hixson Construction Dodge 96 Running
31 8 25 Jesse Smith/Wildwood MO Lloyd's BBQ Chevrolet 92 Running
32 21 06 Barry Fitzgerald/Sykesville MD TheBusPlace.com Ford 69 Handling
33 30 52 Brian Ickler/San Diego CA BrianIckler.com Toyota 50 Accident
34 11 36 Robb Brent/Shelby Township MI Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep Dodge 44 Oil Tank
35 16 34 Darrell Basham/Henryville IN Anti Monkey Butt Powder Chevrolet 36 Engine
36 22 84* Todd Antrican/Lebanon OH Norm Benning Racing Chevrolet 30 Rear End
37 39 79 Mike Koch/Mountain Home AR K&K Racing-Karl's Plumbing Chevrolet 19 Brakes
38 20 1 Brett Butler/Lilburn GA LoanMax Ford 9 Accident
39 38 08 Jennifer Cobb/Kansas City KS Holtze Executive Village Ford 1 No radio
40 27 0 Wayne Peterson/Pulaski TN Judy's Screen Printing Chevrolet 0 Clutch
*relieved by Norm Benning
MENARDS POLE AWARD PRESENTED BY ANSELL: none
MRGN OF VICT: .217 seconds CAUTIONS: 6 for 35 laps
TIME OF RACE: 1:31:14 AVG SPEED: 101.608 mph
LAP LEADERS: Kligerman 1-41, 58-88, 101-103 (75), Goess 42-49 (8), Smith 50-57 (8), Lofton 89-100 (12)