Parker Kligerman became the record eighth different first-time race winner in the Camping World Truck Series this season by taking Saturday's 250-mile event at Talladega Superspeedway.
Kligerman, who drives the No. 7 Toyota for Red Horse Racing, got pushing help from Johnny Sauter to take the lead from James Buescher on the second-to-last lap. Kligerman held the top spot when a six-truck accident occurred on the backstretch during the 94th and final lap, ending the race under caution.
The 22-year-old Kligerman led only the last two laps. He restarted 19th on lap 80 following the fifth caution but made it up to third on the following circuit around the 2.66-mile superspeedway.
Prior to his win, Kligerman had finished in the runner-up position five times, including twice in the past two months. His maiden victory came in his 44th start.
"I probably never dreamed it would happen here, just because I haven't finished a superspeedway race without incident in about three years," Kligerman said. "I'm proud to have it happen here at Talladega."
In August, Kligerman was relieved of his driving duties with Brad Keselowski Racing's No. 29 team. He had driven for Keselowski since his truck debut in Nov. 2010. Kligerman quickly landed a ride with Red Horse Racing, where he has scored five top-10 finishes in seven races.
"It's been a long road to get to this first victory, with two different teams and a lot of adversity," he said. "Today, I'm with some of the best people I've ever worked with and some of the best people I've ever raced with, and it starts at the top with (team owner) Tom DeLoach and his whole Red Horse Racing team, my crew chief, Chad Kendrick, and this entire team that we've assembled.
At mid-season when my situation changed, I feel like we've been on fire since then, and it was a matter of time before we would get that first win."
Kligerman gave DeLoach his 10th Truck Series win in his 300th start. John King drove the No. 7 to victory in the Feb. 24 season-opener at Daytona.
"Not too shabby," DeLoach said. "Winning on the 300th start kind of makes it really special."
Sauter finished second, while Buescher and points leader Ty Dillon placed third and fourth, respectively. Buescher and Dillon were hooked up in a two- truck tandem when Kligerman and Sauter made their move on them.
"It was a fun Talladega race," Buescher said. "It was good because we had track position for most of the day, and when we lost it, we were able to find someone to help us get it right back."
Dillon entered this race with a mere one-point lead over Buescher. The point separation between the two remained the same at the conclusion of the event. Dillon competed in a truck race at Talladega for the first time. He won last year's ARCA Series event here.
"That was a lot of fun," Dillon said. "I've never tandem before, and James and I got hooked up and took the lead. Then I had to cool it back down, and then Johnny and Parker got by us. Then we were trying to run them down."
Timothy Peters finished fifth, followed by Ryan Blaney and Sprint Cup Series regular Kurt Busch. German Quiroga, Tim George Jr. and Cale Gale completed the top-10.
Nelson Piquet, who won last weekend's race at Las Vegas, was involved in a three-truck crash on the frontstretch on lap 60. Piquet ended up finishing 31st.
Peters is now 26 points behind Dillon, while Kligerman trails by 34. Four races remain this season.