Parker Kligerman to test an Indy Lights car this weekend

Parker Kligerman stands on the grid before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014.

Jerry Markland/Getty Images

Parker Kligerman may be about to begin a new venture into his auto racing career.

The 24-year-old Connecticut-native has had several top five runs in the NASCAR Nationwide series and has 10 starts in the premier NASCAR Sprint Cup division. Kligerman was out a ride when Swan Racing ceased operation in 2014, and now may be looking at a return to his open-wheel roots.

On Tuesday, Kligerman announced that he will drive an Indy Lights car this weekend during the Mazda Road to Indy “Chris Griffis Memorial Test” at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Mazda Road to Indy is a scholarship-funded path that leads drivers through the U.S. F2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights divisions up to IndyCar.

Kligerman has competed in open-wheel racing before, winning all three races he entered in the Skip Barber Racing Series… when he was 15 years old. He also won the 2006 Formula TR Pro Series 1600 title and then ventured off into USAC midget racing. Now, Kligerman is getting a chance to chase his childhood dream again, behind the wheel of a Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Indy Lights car.

“Ever since I drove a go-kart for the first time, my quest was to advance to the top levels of open-wheel racing,” said Kligerman.

“I’ve always looked for opportunities that can further my career, so I want to thank Sam [Schmidt] and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for this opportunity in Indy Lights to test an open-wheel car for the first time in eight years. Although it will be a challenge, I’m looking forward to having fun and working with a championship-caliber, open-wheel team.”

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team owner Sam Schmidt commented, “We have watched the exodus of many drivers from IndyCar to NASCAR over the years… Robby Gordon, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Danica Patrick, the list goes on.

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“I have watched Parker ascend the NASCAR ranks over the years where he has shown speed and maturity, both qualities at the top of our list when evaluating new drivers. 

“In this test, we will be looking for how Parker adapts to the much lighter and less horsepower characteristics of the Indy Lights car, as well as how quickly he learns road course techniques.

“What we will be looking for is how well he listens and if there is the potential for him to be successful in open-wheel going forward. We are very excited to see what happens.”