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Preliminary Daytona 500 entry list released

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Forty-two cars are on the preliminary entry list for the Feb. 17 Daytona 500.

NASCAR released the entry list Wednesday night.

Among those on the entry list are: Casey Mears (No. 27, Germain Racing), Reigning Xfinity champion Tyler Reddick (No. 31, Richard Childress Racing), Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 Beard Motorsports), Joey Gase (No. 66, Motorsports Business Management), Ryan Truex (No. 71, Tommy Baldwin Racing) and NASCAR on NBC analyst Parker Kligerman (No. 96, Gaunt Brothers Racing).

Click here for Daytona 500 entry list

MORE: Full Daytona Speedweeks schedule 

Jeffrey Earnhardt to run 13 races with Gaunt Brothers Racing

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Gaunt Brothers Racing announced Friday that Jeffrey Earnhardt will drive the No. 96 Xtreme Concepts car in 13 of the remaining Cup races.

Earnhardt is in the car this weekend at Michigan. The only race he won’t be in the car will be next weekend at Bristol. Jesse Little is scheduled to drive the car there before Earnhardt takes over for the rest of the season.

Earnhardt has made eight Cup starts this season. His best finish is 11th at Daytona in July.

“I am excited to be partnered with Xtreme Concepts, Nine Line Apparel, iK9 and everyone who has come on board to make this possible,” Jeffrey Earnhardt said in a statement. “We had a solid run at Pocono Raceway with the Gaunt Brothers Racing team, and I am looking forward to growing the relationship with the team and bringing home some good finishes this year.”

Gaunt Brothers Racing expanding its schedule

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WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — Car owner Marty Gaunt said that his team, Gaunt Brothers Racing, will run the remaining Cup races this season.

The team debuted in the 2017 Daytona 500. The team returned to run this year’s Daytona 500 and a few races. They later added the remaining restrictor-plate races, then the road courses and so on.

The team, which does not have a charter, announced last weekend at Pocono that Xtreme Concepts would sponsor the No. 96 car in 14 of the last 16 races.

Parker Kligerman is driving the car this weekend at Watkins Glen International. Gaunt said that Jeffrey Earnhardt will drive the car next weekend at Michigan. Jesse Little will drive the car at Bristol in two weeks. Gaunt said the team hopes to announce in about a week who will drive the remaining races.

Gaunt said that as their schedule expanded, the team went to Toyota Racing Development with their revised plans.

“They’re very supportive of it and they help us out a great deal with technical support,” Gaunt said. “That enabled us to go forward with the program.”

Gaunt, who used to own the engine company Triad Racing Technology before it closed, took the engine inventory and has Joe Gibbs Racing preparing those engines this season. The team has a fleet of eight cars.

Gaunt said that the team would like to run the entire season next year, pending sponsorship.

The team’s best finish this season is 13th at Daytona in July with D.J. Kennington.

NASCAR America Scan All: Parker Kligerman makes the most of opportunities

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In a special edition of Scan All, Parker Kligerman takes the fan through a guided tour of his 2018 season.

“(I am) hoping to give you guys a better idea of what a small team like mine goes through on a weekly basis,” Kligerman said. “We focus on quality over quantity.”

While NASCAR America’s Kligerman has not had many chances to race this year, he has made the most of those opportunities. An accident at Daytona International Speedway in the Camping World Truck Series season opener kept him from contending for a good finish, but he almost cracked the top 10 at Atlanta Motor Speedway the following week – finishing 11th in the 32-truck field.

“Our goal: we show up, we feel like it’s a race we can win.”

“You’re doing a great job man” spotter Earl Barban told him during the opening laps at Dover International Speedway as Kligerman marched toward the lead. “Move that corner back a little bit, your drive off is a lot better than most.”

The advice was productive. Kligerman went on to lead 11 laps in the Jegs 200. He was still running with the leaders in second when the No. 75 broke an oil cooler and retired on lap 86.

He went to Charlotte Motor Speedway two races later and finished seventh – his first and so far only top 10 in Trucks this year.

Strong runs in the Truck series opened up another opportunity to race the Coke 600 in the Gaunt Brothers’ No. 96.

Battling brake issues and after a trip into the wall, he brought the car home 27th in his first Cup series race since 2014.

“It wasn’t pretty, but we made it to the end,” Kligerman said over the radio after the race.

Kligerman earned a second Cup race in the No. 96 this weekend at Sonoma Raceway.

For more, watch the video above.

Parker Kligerman returning to Cup to race in Coca-Cola 600

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NBC Sports analyst Parker Kligerman announced on Thursday’s NASCAR America that he will return to the Cup Series to drive in the May 27 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Kligerman will race the No. 96 for Gaunt Brothers Racing.

This will mark Kligerman’s first Cup start since the 2014 Southern 500. He has competed in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series since and won at Talladega last year for his second career Truck series victory.

“It was about a month ago that a friend of mine and my girlfriend asked: ‘Do you think you’ll ever drive a Cup car again?’ Nah, I think that boat has passed,’’ Kligerman said.

“A couple of weeks later, this popped up. I know Marty (Gaunt, team owner) well, and I know how professional he is and he does things the right way.’’

As a new team, Gaunt Brothers Racing, is allowed five tests during the season. The team tested with Kligerman on Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Kligerman said the cars are “vastly different” from what he ran four years ago.

“These cars, technology-wise, have accelerated so quickly to the point where just what you’re working on is so vastly different than what we were doing four years ago.’’

Kligerman said the lower downforce combined with the no ride height rule has “put you in a position where what you work on is primarily how to take advantage of every little ounce of aero, which we know. The way you go about it is so different than an Xfinity car or Truck or what we’ve done in the past.’’

Kligerman said the cars are challenging to drive.

“I think I had a general idea, but I don’t think I realized the extreme to how tough it is to get the cars to do what you would want as a driver,’’ he said. “What it has done to force people to change their habits, I think, is interesting.’’

Kligerman said that the experience also will help him convey to viewers the nuances of driving Cup cars.

“Just in one day of testing it was an incredible eye-opener,’’ he said. “I think that’s what my role at NASCAR on NBC is, to be that guy that can take the experience of being a current driver … understand what is happening and bring it to life.’’

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