DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — One day after flipping his car for the first time in his career, rookie Parker Kligerman landed a sponsor for the Daytona 500.
LendingTree will be on the No. 30 Toyota for Sunday’s season-opening Daytona 500.
Kligerman’s primary car was destroyed in the first Daytona 500 practice Wednesday. The Toyota went airborne and ripped out a chunk of the grandstand fence. It then slid on its roof halfway down the front stretch at Daytona International Speedway.
“It’s the first time I ever flipped over,” the 23-year-old said. “I have never done that before in a racecar. I assumed it would be rougher. But it was actually really soft. I remember everything. I saw the whole thing go down. I was up in the fence kind of floating along. . Then it just flipped over softly and I slid on the roof.”
The accident put Swan Racing into a deep hole because teammate Cole Whitt had wrecked his car earlier in the session. With Kligerman needing a backup, the team set out to repair Whitt’s car.
The funding from LendingTree, an online loan marketplace based in Charlotte, N.C., gives Swan Racing some breathing room for the rest of the week.
”LendingTree’s primary focus is to empower individuals, whether that’s empowering borrowers against big banks or empowering up-and-coming drivers against more established race teams,” said Doug Lebda, LendingTree’s founder and CEO.
Dillon gets sponsorship from American Ethanol
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Daytona 500 pole-sitter Austin Dillon is getting another sponsor.
American Ethanol has partnered with Richard Childress Racing to sponsor Dillon in the famed No. 3 Chevrolet for select races this season. American Ethanol will be on Dillon’s car beginning next week at Phoenix International Raceway.
American Ethanol also will serve as an associate sponsor for Dillon’s car for the entire season, joining Daytona 500 sponsor Dow as well as Cheerios, Realtree Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops and the University of Northwestern Ohio.
Dillon is an official spokesman for American Ethanol, which says corn ethanol reduces emissions by 59 percent and that NASCAR drivers have run more than 5 million miles on renewable E15 fuel in the past several years.
Chevy believes pinched wire caused pace car fire
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Chevrolet believes a pinched wire caused a pace car fire during last week’s Sprint Unlimited exhibition race at Daytona International Speedway.
Jeff Chew, marketing manager for Chevrolet Racing, says preliminary reports indicate the pinched wire started the fire in the trunk of the Chevrolet SS pace car. Chew says “it appears we had a pinched wire in one of the strobe systems.”
Chew was on hand Thursday as the auto manufacturer unveiled three new pace cars to be used this weekend at Daytona: a Silverado 1500 for the Truck Series opener Friday, a Camaro SS for the Nationwide opener Saturday and a Chevrolet SS for the Daytona 500 on Sunday. All three have LED lighting systems that don’t use the same kind of wires that seemingly caused the fire.