Staple Employee to Call Shots for Kligerman’s No. 77 Camry
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Dec. 20, 2012) – Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announced today that Eric Phillips has been promoted to the position of crew chief for the No. 77 Camry team with driver Parker Kligerman in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for the 2013 season.
Since joining KBM for its inaugural Truck Series season in 2010, Phillips has guided the No. 18 team to 17 victories, 8 poles, 2,243 laps led, 38 top-five and 54 top-10 finishes across 72 starts. Under his guidance, KBM became the first team since the Truck Series originated in 1995 to capture the owner’s championship in its inaugural season and led the series in wins in each of its first two seasons.
In 2012, Phillips led the No. 18 team to a fifth-place finish in the final Truck Series owner’s point standings. The team collected one win, with Brian Scott at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway in November, and five top-five finishes while leading 266 laps. Seven different drivers (Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Drew Herring, Jason Leffler, David Mayhew and Brian Scott) contributed to the team’s series-best-tying 17 top-10 finishes. Over the final 18 races of the season, the team registered 16 top-10 finishes and scored 683 owner’s points, the most among Truck Series teams during that span.
Phillips’ 27 career Truck Series wins rank second to KBM General Manager Rick Ren (28) on the all-time list. The Illinois native has collected victories with eight different drivers (Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Travis Kvapil, Brian Scott, Dennis Setzer and Mike Skinner) over his nine seasons atop the pit box. His drivers have combined to collect 13 poles, 3,499 laps led, 65 top-five and 115 top-10 finishes across 208 starts.
“I really enjoy the Truck Series and I’ve experienced a lot of success there since becoming a crew chief in 2004, but I’m looking forward to this opportunity and being able to take on a new challenge,” said Phillips, who has spent the last nine seasons as a Truck Series crew chief. “We had some success here last year at KBM in our first year of running in the Nationwide Series, especially the last couple of months. Now, everyone’s job is to keep things moving in the right direction and work towards making our Nationwide Series efforts grow like we have done with our Truck Series program. I’m excited about the opportunity to work with Parker -- he is a young driver with a lot of talent and a lot of enthusiasm. He had a great second half of the season in trucks and proved that he is deserving of a full-time Nationwide Series ride.”
“Eric has been an intricate part of KBM’s success -- this opportunity is not only what’s right for him, it’s the right move for our company as we continue to grow,” KBM General Manager Rick Ren said. “In the three years that he has been in this building, the guy has won 17 races and an owner’s championship -- those numbers speak for themselves. We’re confident that pairing a young driver like Parker with a crew chief that already knows how to win races and has proven to be a championship-caliber crew chief gives our No. 77 team the best opportunity to come out of the gates strong in 2013.”
In its inaugural Nationwide Series campaign, KBM registered one win, three poles, 15 top-five and 22 top-10 finishes en route to an eighth-place finish in the owner’s point standings. The team recorded eight top-five and 12 top-10 finishes over the last 13 races of the season.
The No. 77 Camry will take to the track for the first time in the 2013 Nationwide Series season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300 Feb. 23 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
About Kyle Busch Motorsports
Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) has quickly established itself as one of the most successful teams in all of NASCAR, capturing the 2010 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Owner’s championship in its inaugural season and 18 Truck Series victories over its first three seasons. 2012 marked the team’s debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with team owner and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Kyle Busch sharing the driving duties behind the wheel of the No. 54 Monster Energy Camry with his brother Kurt, the 2004 Sprint Cup Series champion. The duo produced one win, three poles, 15 top-five and 22 top-10 finishes in their debut campaign.
KBM prepares a fleet of race-winning Toyotas out of its 77,000-square-foot facility in Mooresville, N.C. Pending LEED certification, the facility’s state-of-the art equipment and innovative green initiatives make it unmatched among its peers. Fans can stay up-to-date with all the latest KBM news online at www.KyleBuschMotorsports.com, by liking the team on Facebook (KyleBuschMS) and following the team on Twitter (@KBMteam).