Kligerman lands sponsor for Daytona 500

Parker Kligerman (30) gets airborne as he is involved in a crash with Ryan Truex (83), Paul Menard (27), and Dave Blaney (77) during practice for Sunday's NASCAR Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/News-Journal, Nigel Cook)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — One day after flipping his car for the first time in his career, rookie Parker Kligerman landed a sponsor for the Daytona 500.

LendingTree will be on the No. 30 Toyota for Sunday’s season-opening Daytona 500.

Kligerman’s primary car was destroyed in the first Daytona 500 practice Wednesday. The Toyota went airborne and ripped out a chunk of the grandstand fence. It then slid on its roof halfway down the front stretch at Daytona International Speedway.

“It’s the first time I ever flipped over,” the 23-year-old said. “I have never done that before in a racecar. I assumed it would be rougher. But it was actually really soft. I remember everything. I saw the whole thing go down. I was up in the fence kind of floating along. . Then it just flipped over softly and I slid on the roof.”

The accident put Swan Racing into a deep hole because teammate Cole Whitt had wrecked his car earlier in the session. With Kligerman needing a backup, the team set out to repair Whitt’s car.

The funding from LendingTree, an online loan marketplace based in Charlotte, N.C., gives Swan Racing some breathing room for the rest of the week.

“LendingTree’s primary focus is to empower individuals, whether that’s empowering borrowers against big banks or empowering up-and-coming drivers against more established race teams,” said Doug Lebda, LendingTree’s founder and CEO.

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