Parker Kligerman, both an NBC Sports analyst and a NASCAR driver, becomes the first repeat guest on the sixth episode of the NASCAR on NBC podcast.
The Camping World Truck Series points leader offers his insight on Las Vegas Motor Speedway winner Brad Keselowski, who ended a 33-race winless streak and likely gained a measure of relief after being outperformed by teammate Joey Logano for much of the last year.
As a former Team Penske teammate and a driver for Brad Keselowski Racing, Kligerman dissects how being outperformed by a teammate can wear on a NASCAR driver – and how it’s different from the cutthroat world of Formula One, where beating a teammate openly is celebrated and encouraged.
“We put such a bigger emphasis on the human element of racing and motorsports,” Kligerman said. “Formula One is so much more about the data, it comes down to if you don’t go as fast as your teammate, you’re doing something wrong and need to mimic what he’s doing. That’s the problem.
“For NASCAR, the data has crept in, but there’s such a large human element, there’s no way to pinpoint exactly what you’re behind on. And also the cars aren’t as consistent. They have a lot more dynamicism and moving parts. In F1, they try to make it as static as possible. That achieves the best lap time over the course of a run. That limits the human element. Our rules are designed to have the human element.”
Kligerman, who also drove for Kyle Busch in the Xfinity Series, offers an in-depth perspective on the surprising similarities between the 2012 Sprint Cup champion and the 2015 champion.
“They are more similar than you would think,” Kligerman said. “I would go down to saying they are very much the same person in terms of being a competitor. Both of them want to win more than anything. … But how they go about that is different. Brad looks at the mental side of the sport. … Kyle Busch is more in your face. There’s not much hidden behind the scenes.”
For more of that discussion, listen to the podcast by clicking below, or download and subscribe to it on iTunes by clicking here.
Kligerman also discusses:
–The impact of the lower-downforce package at Las Vegas, how it’s changed the tenor of driver conversations, and where NASCAR should head in the future;
–Furniture Row Racing’s decision to withdraw its appeal of crew chief Cole Pearn’s suspension;
–What makes Kevin Harvick so good at Phoenix International Raceway and will he maintain that dominance with this season’s new rules?;
Again, you can subscribe to the podcast (and receive automatic downloads via your smartphone) by clicking here.