Kligerman gave the Gaunt Brothers No. 96 a 24th-place finish and completed all 90 laps at Watkins Glen International.
“We go into these races thinking top 25 is basically a win for a small team like ours with only a handful of starts for this race team in the Cup series,” Kligerman said after his selection. “We actually went out there and did it. Had top 20 speed at times.”
The Running in the Pack segment showcases cars and drivers who are able to beat competitors with greater resources. Kligerman finished in front of RCR’s Austin Dillon and the Wood Brothers’ Paul Menard – as well as Jimmie Johnson and Joey Logano, who had problems during the race.
There were a few drivers who had races get away from them, however. AJ Allmendinger (15th) and Michael McDowell (18th) finished among the top 20, but their skill on road courses suggested they could have challenged for a top 10.
“When you think about Michael McDowell – Allmendinger – when they go to a road course, you’ve got to know the pressure is immense on those two because that’s what they circle at the beginning of the year,” Kligerman said.
Kasey Kahne faded from his 10th-place position on the grid to 21st at the checkers, and that left Kligerman as the best example of a driver who was able to overachieve.
“It’s tough to survive an entire road course race smooth, with no mistakes,” Cassill said.
For more, watch the video above.