Race Weekend Central

Truckin’ Thursdays: Talladega’s Memorable Truck Series Moments

Matt Kenseth shocked the NASCAR world by announcing his return to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this week.  In other news, the Cup and XFINITY series are headed off to Talladega for some restrictor-plate racing. Meanwhile, the Truck Series sits dormant for one more weekend before returning to action at Dover International Speedway next weekend.

Because the series sits with idling engines, let’s take a moment to look back at some memorable moments in the series that you may have forgotten.

Parker Kligerman Wins First Career Race

There is nothing more exciting than a first career win for any driver – even if it does come under caution. That raw emotion exuding from the victor is infectious, and it was no different when Parker Kligerman scored his first career Truck Series victory in the 2012 Fred’s 250. In a season that saw him released from Brad Keselowski Racing to make room for Ryan Blaney, Kligerman never skipped a beat and landed at Red Horse Racing to finish out the season. He became the record eighth first-time winner during the 2012 season.

Mike Wallace Wins 2011 Fred’s 250

In a one-off race for Kevin Harvick, Inc., Mike Wallace stepped into the No. 33 Chevrolet and paired up with teammate Ron Hornaday, Jr. shortly after the green flag flew. In the days of tandem drafting at superspeedways, the pair was unstoppable, and Hornaday never abandoned the plan to continue pushing Wallace. The duo led a combined 55 laps (54 for Wallace and one for Hornaday) en route to Wallace’s trip to Victory Lane, besting the pairing of James Buescher and Ricky Carmichael.

Last-Lap Wreck in 2013 Fred’s 250

You know those wrecks when you’re sitting there, holding your breath, hoping all drivers involved are able to walk away? Yeah…

As the field paired up in twos and headed toward the start/finish line at Talladega for the final time, chaos erupted coming out of Turn 4. Miguel Paludo gave Jeb Burton a shove that was just a little too much, who then spun up the track into Kyle Busch. The ensuing carnage saw Paludo flip and slide on his roof for, getting hit by multiple trucks before becoming upright once again, his truck on fire. Meanwhile, Busch took two hard licks, including one on a non-SAFER wall at the inside of the track. Darrell Wallace, Jr. called the hit the “hardest hit of my career. It scared the hell out of me.”  Johnny Sauter emerged victoriously, and yet the most serious injury to come out of the wreck was a broken thumb for Justin Lofton.

Ben Kennedy’s Scary Crash in 2014 Fred’s 250

It’s another of those cringe-worthy crashes where a truck spins out of control while the field races on. Ben Kennedy got some help going around thanks to a tap from Joe Nemechek, and the ensuing crash was one that left you waiting for the driver to say he was alright on the radio. Kennedy hit the outside SAFER barrier not once, but twice, leaving a trail of parts and pieces from the No. 31 Chevrolet all along the track. Kennedy was put out of the race on the spot; Timothy Peters went on to take the victory that day.

Parker Kligerman Wins for Henderson Motorsports

Sure, any victory is one to be proud of, but this one, in particular, for Kligerman was dedicated to breast cancer survivors and those fighting the disease. For the playoff drivers, it was a cutoff race and Chase Briscoe was one who walked away disappointed after being eliminated from championship contention. But for the No. 75 team, it was a special victory that will live in the memories of those involved for many years to come.

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