Should Indycar fans welcome Parker Kligerman?


Nov 3, 2013; Fort Worth, TX, USA; Parker Kligerman is introduced before the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

After finding himself without a ride Parker Kligerman announced, “No, wait, I always wanted to race indycars too,” but should Indycar fans welcome someone whose just using Indycar as a way back to Sprint Cup.

Kligerman lost his ride in April after someone ran out of money, I’m sure there’s more to it, but I don’t follow NASCAR closely enough to care. Now he’s apparently sniffing around the paddock at Indianapolis Motor Speedway looking for a ride. After seeing how A.J. Allmendinger reinvigorated his career by driving for Roger Penske last year Klingerman is looking for a similar jump start.

Normally, I’m all for drivers trying to make their bones in the Verizon Indycar Series, but there’s a couple of things to consider when it comes to Kligerman. The first issue being the number of out of work driver looking for full time rides. Kligerman is competiting with other young Americans J.R. Hildebrand, Conor Daly and Sage Karam, all of whom have more open wheel experience and Zach Veach looks ready to move up next year along with two or three other Indy Lights drivers Add to that journeymen drivers like Oriol Servia, E.J. Viso, James Jakes, Kathrine Legge, Pippa Man, Sam Bird, Luca Filippi and Peter Dempsey looking for rides you get the idea of the depth of talent that would like to be in Indycar, and all of whom have more open wheel experience than Parker Kligerman.

The other problem I have, and probably a lot of fans have, with Kligerman is that he has no intention to build a career in the Verizon Indycar Series. Kligerman told NBCSports Jerry Bonkowski that whatever opportunities come up NASCAR will always be the goal.

"“Outside of NASCAR, there are some pretty big opportunities that have been brought to me this week. I can’t go into them too much, but they are very exciting and kind of something I didn’t really think about until they came to me… It is something (where) I might look at those as well and decide what puts me in the best quality position to go win races, which will always lead to a chance back at Cup.”"

I could be reading too much into this, but it seems like the Sprint Cup is priority, and if he went anywhere else it would only be to build his name so that he could get back to NASCAR. More power to him if that’s his desire. I get it, NASCAR pays better and the average career is longer. I get it, but don’t expect me to embrace you if that’s your priority.

Indycar “Lost,” although I would say gave, Danica Patrick to NASCAR, and ultimately I think that’s for the best because it’s hard to build stars when an mid-pack driver is far and away the most popular personality in the sport. Still, Indycar can’t embrace the“One-and-Done” philosophy that isn’t working well for college basketball.

There’s always been a debate between open wheel fans about whether Indycar needs more American drivers to succeed. I’ve always been of the mind that it’s not the driver’s nationality that matters as much as their staying power.

Typically, stars are built over a course of years, not months. Let’s say Kligerman gets a contract with a good team and rips off five wins over two years, or something equally impressive, and parlays that into a NASCAR ride. Good for him, but does that leave the series better off then when he entered? I wouldn’t think so, and I can’t blame any fan who doesn’t embrace him with open arms.