Saturday October 3rd, 2015 11:21PM

Kligerman lands on roof in Daytona 500 practice

By Mark Long, AP Sports Writer
Related Articles
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (AP) - The first full practice for the Daytona 500 ended early Wednesday after rookie Parker Kligerman's airborne car ripped out a chunk of the grandstand fence.

Kligerman's car ended up sliding on its roof halfway down the frontstretch at Daytona International Speedway.

No one was injured in the seven-car wreck, which stirred memories of last year's last-lap crash in the second-tier Nationwide Series season opener at Daytona. Kyle Larson's car destroyed a large section of the catch-fence, sending debris into the stands and injuring nearly 30 people.

The stands were virtually empty during practice Wednesday.

The garage area, meanwhile, was buzzing with teams feverishly trying to fix cars or fine-tune backups for Thursday's dual qualifying races.

"It happens every year," driver Joey Logano said. "You always hope you're the one that's not in it or you miss it. I saw it getting kind of crazy out there and you're kind of in the middle of it and you can't really get out of it at that point when you're in the middle. It was a little too late."

Logano and Matt Kenseth started the melee when they got together coming out of turn 4 during a drafting session. Trevor Bayne hit Logano, who then slammed into Paul Menard. Menard's car shot up the track and collected Kligerman.

"You don't want to wreck in practice for sure," Kenseth said. "Honestly, the last lap and a half, I was just trying to figure out how to get out of there and get to the pits. But when you're stuck in the middle, you kind of got to wait until everything clears out."

Kligerman's car lifted off the ground, landed on top of Ryan Truex's hood then turned upside-down before coming to a stop across the track.

"You're not learning anything racing like that in practice," said Kligerman, one of eight rookies trying to make Sunday's season-opening Daytona 500. "It was the first time I'd ever flipped over. I'd never done that in a race car. I assumed it'd be rough, but it was actually soft. I saw the whole thing go down. I'm up in the fence kind of floating along. Thankfully, none of the fans got injured, I hope."

Kligerman, though, wasn't happy with Logano and his No. 22 Ford.

"The 22 was being overly aggressive. It's a shame," Kligerman said. "He's supposed to be a veteran. You go up here to the Sprint Cup Series, it's supposed to be the best of the best and a guy in a practice is racing people like it's the end of the Daytona 500. ... I don't quite understand that one. I am pretty upset about how that all went down."

Dave Blaney also was involved in the crash. Six of the seven cars involved in the wreck - all but Kenseth - went to backup cars. Blaney doesn't have a backup car, but was working to get one from another team.

Swan Racing was the hardest hit. Not only was Kligerman's car totaled, but teammate Cole Whitt also hammered the wall earlier in practice. Whitt's accident caused Brian Vickers and Casey Mears to get together, and Jeff Gordon ended up with a piece of debris lodged in his hood.

Swan had just one backup car, which went to Kligerman, so the team was forced to fix Whitt's Toyota.

Vickers also went to a backup car. All of the backup cars will have to start from the back of the field in Thursday's qualifying races.

The damage to the fence was severe enough that NASCAR canceled the rest of the practice session so workers could repair the small hole. Daytona officials said the fence held up as expected. Workers replaced one cable and some meshing, and no one in the stands was injured.

Fifteen cars didn't get on track during the first session. That included six-time and defending series champion Jimmie Johnson, who wrecked one Daytona car in the exhibition Sprint Unlimited on Saturday night.

WDUN will have live coverage from MRN Radio of Thursday night's Budweiser Duels qualifying races at 7 pm on 102.9 FM, along with live MRN coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season opener on Saturday, Feb. 22 on 102.9 FM, and live MRN coverage of the Feb. 23 Daytona 500 on 550 AM and 102.9 FM.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 9 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 9 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 9 months ago )
Pits will be tight as Chili Bowl entry count hits 316
TULSA, OK - The 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire is on track to be a record smashing event, with the entry count climbing over the 300 mark for the first time to 316 entries confirming 303 drivers for the indoor spectacular happening Tuesday, January 13 through Saturday, January 17 at the Tulsa Expo Center in Tulsa, OK.
9:59AM ( 9 months ago )
Falcons fire Mike Smith after 2nd straight losing season
Mike Smith's status as the winningest coach in Falcons history wasn't enough to save his job. Owner Arthur Blank said he fired Smith on Monday because in his "heart of hearts" he didn't believe Smith could take the Falcons to the Super Bowl.
7:58PM ( 9 months ago )
New promoters in place for 2015 at Senoia Raceway
SENOIA, GA - Lease papers have been signed and a team of new promoters is in place for the upcoming stock car racing season at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, GA.
6:00AM ( 9 months ago )
Professional Sports
Garbo, Jr. to compete in NASCAR K&N East with Whelen sponsorship
CHARLOTTE, NC--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- When Marsh Racing and longtime team sponsor Whelen Engineering Company, Inc. got the opportunity to put together a race team for 2015, they looked closely at the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
12:00PM ( 9 months ago )
Former NASCAR racer pleads guilty in high-speed chase
12:51PM ( 9 months ago )
Chili Bowl entry list again nearing record 300 mark
TULSA, OK - For the past couple years, the entry list for the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals has flirted with the 300 mark. Once again, the number of teams registering for the indoor Midget event is nearing the three century mark with 285 entries received for the 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals.
11:59AM ( 9 months ago )
Kurt Buschs ex seeks no-contact order at hearing
12:27PM ( 9 months ago )
Sprint to end NASCAR sponsorship after 2016 season
2:54PM ( 9 months ago )
Sprint Unlimited field features Chase drivers for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - Coming off an exciting 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup finale, NASCAR announced Monday all 16 Chase drivers will be eligible to compete in the 2015 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway.
12:00PM ( 9 months ago )
Sprint Cup
Tide rolls over Dogs in a rout
Jake Coker ran the offense to perfection, the defense turned in a dominating performance, and No. 13 Alabama even got a touchdown from its special teams Saturday in a 38-10 rout of No. 8 Georgia that re-established the Crimson Tide as a force in the national race.
By The Associated Press
11:59PM ( 37 minutes from now )
Williams leads North Carolina rally past Georgia Tech
Quinshad Davis threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to quarterback Marquise Williams, capping North Carolina's comeback from a three-touchdown deficit, and the Tar Heels beat Georgia Tech 38-31 on Saturday.
By The Associated Press
11:25PM ( 3 minutes from now )
Bill Rogers and three top tennis players join Brenau University’s Athletics Hall of Fame
One of the most accomplished coaches in the history of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics is among the latest inductees in Brenau University’s Athletics Hall of Fame.
By AccessWDUN staff
6:55PM ( 4 hours ago )
Lambert, Coker could be keys to Alabama-Georgia showdown
They are viewed as nothing more than caretakers, a pair of quarterbacks who mainly need to get their teams in the right play, avoid big mistakes, and let all those talented players around them shine.
3:00PM ( 8 hours ago )
VIDEO: Gainesville makes most of six Salem turnovers to set up Lanier showdown
Gainesville expected a battle on Friday night at Salem...
11:41AM ( 11 hours ago )