ICKLER TOPS CAMPING WORLD SERIES FIELD AT IOWA NEWTON, Iowa (May 18, 2008) -- Brian Ickler packed his bags in December and moved to North Carolina, starting from scratch in the hub of NASCAR in an effort to further his career. The payoff...
ICKLER TOPS CAMPING WORLD SERIES FIELD AT IOWA
NEWTON, Iowa (May 18, 2008) -- Brian Ickler packed his bags in December and moved to North Carolina, starting from scratch in the hub of NASCAR in an effort to further his career.
The payoff for the 22-year-old Ickler came Sunday when he drove his family-owned No. 15 Ickler Motorsports Chevrolet to Victory Lane in the US Cellular 200 at Iowa Speedway. To get there, Ickler had to out-race a field full of some of the top up-and-coming drivers in the NASCAR Camping World Series, as well as NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Kasey Kahne -- less than 24-hours removed from his own victory in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C.
"I really love it for all the guys," Ickler said. "We started in December with nothing. We built three cars, we tested, we came out here and tested. I'm just so proud of those guys and how much effort they put in. They still have families, and they're at the shop until eight o'clock at night -- just working so hard. It's a huge reward and payoff for them."
Joe Gibbs Racing development driver Marc Davis (No. 18 Slim Jim Toyota) finished second, holding off a late charge from Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge). The Dale Earnhardt Inc. trio of Trevor Bayne, Jeffrey Earnhardt and Jesus Hernandez finished fourth through sixth, respectively.
Eighteen-year-old Austin Dillon, Richard Childress' grandson, won his first Coors Light Pole Award in his second career start and finished seventh. Steve Park, Matt Kobyluck and Jim Inglebright rounded out the top 10. Inglebright was the top NASCAR Camping World Series West finisher.
Ickler ran in the NASCAR Camping World Series West the last two seasons and won three times. This year, he his running a full season in the NASCAR Camping World Series East. Sunday's race is the only time the two series, which represent the top developmental step for NASCAR's regional touring series, meet during the season with points on the line.
The series also meet in January in the postseason NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, a postseason, non-points event.
"We've run great at the Showdown -- we've always come up short," said Ickler. "But today it paid off. This was definitely the biggest win for us."
Kahne led twice for 32 laps.
"It was fun," Kahne said. "I'm glad we came here, I'm glad we raced. I didn't get a whole lot of sleep, but that's alright, I can handle it. We won last night, so it feels good today. We did all we could and third was the best we were going to do today."
Davis, whose JGR teammate Joey Logano won the race last year, led the most laps at 57. There were 13 lead changes among eight drivers.
Davis took the lead for the third time on lap 141 and, as the race went green for the final 43 laps, slowly built a lead only to see it erased by Ickler. Ickler bobbled briefly after contact with Davis coming out of turn 2 on lap 177. Ickler fell back several car lengths, regrouped and resumed pursuit.
"I knew he was coming and I was trying to hold him off," Davis said. "When he got there, I gave him a heck of a fight. We tried, but it was going to happen eventually."
Once he got past Davis, Ickler stretched the lead and eventually won by 1.254 seconds.
Davis took over the NASCAR Camping World Series East points lead by 14 over Dillon and 44 over Ickler. Mike David, who finished 16th overall but fourth among NASCAR Camping World Series West, maintained his series points lead by 50 over Eric Holmes. In Sunday's combination event, drivers received points in relation to other drivers in their own series.