Ickler Falls Victim to a Little Iowa Raucous Toyota Driver Spun from Behind on Mid-Race Restart, Fights Back to 13th Brian Ickler may not have had the racetruck to beat in Sunday's Lucas Oil 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Iowa ...
Ickler Falls Victim to a Little Iowa Raucous
Toyota Driver Spun from Behind on Mid-Race Restart, Fights Back to 13th
Brian Ickler may not have had the racetruck to beat in Sunday's Lucas Oil 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway in Newton. But he had arguably the next-best through most of the first half of the race.
That's when it went all for naught as the 24-year-old from San Diego, driving in his third Truck Series event in the No. 18 Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) and the 14th of his career, got turned from behind on a restart just past the halfway point in today's 205-lap race, fell two laps off the pace, and used the rest of the day to battle his way back onto the lead lap and settle for a 13th-place finish.
"We had a good truck, for sure," said Ickler, who brought home finishes of third and fourth in his previous two Truck Series starts this season for KBM at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, respectively. "It was a little free off the bat. I don't know if we had anything for the (No.) 3 truck (of polesitter and race-winner Austin Dillon). But we were running pretty good and just got wrecked by the (No.) 30 (of Todd Bodine) and pretty much rode out the rest of the race. These kinds of races are a little tough to bear, but we'll be back at it in five days, and that's a good thing."
Ickler started fourth in today's scheduled 200-lap affair around the .875-mile oval that ended in a green-white-checker finish, and he made short work of making his way up to second place behind Dillon by lap 14. But while having little trouble keeping the rest of the field a good straightaway or more behind him during the opening two green-flag runs over the first 74 laps, Ickler just couldn't get close enough to Dillon to mount a threat.
He had a momentary hiccup when he fell back to sixth on a lap-80 restart behind a handful of competitors who had pitted for fuel and tires after the No. 18 team elected not to pit, but Ickler then had an excellent jump on a lap-112 restart, passing two cars and heading back toward the front from his sixth position. However, as the field was arriving back at the start-finish line, the No. 30 truck of Bodine, who Ickler passed earlier in turns one and two, moved down the track and clipped Ickler's right-rear bumper and turned the No. 18 truck up into the No. 07 of Donny Lia. The contact damaged the right-front of Ickler's truck enough to warrant two pit stops for repairs, dropping him two laps down into 15th place. He was able to fight his way back to the lead lap after twice being the beneficiary of the lucky dog by lap 177. He picked up two positions after the final green-white-checker restart on lap 203 for his final finishing position of 13th.
"I don't think we had anything for that (No.) 3 truck. He'd been strong since we unloaded," said KBM crew chief Eric Phillips. "But I'd say Brian and the guys did a nice job after we unloaded a brand new truck and we were just a little bit off for the first 30 minutes of practice. The guys worked really hard to give us a good truck, something we could've contended with. You never know when it comes down to the end of these things. If the sun had come out, we might have been a little better. We just got put in a bad position. It is what it is. We'll go on and get 'em next week."
The rookie Dillon won the Lucas Oil 200 to score his first Camping World Truck Series victory in 12 career starts. The grandson of team owner Richard Childress is the series' second-youngest winner at 20 years, two months and 37 days. Kyle Busch remains the youngest series winning at 20 years, 0 months and 18 days. Dillon on Saturday became the first series rookie ever to capture three consecutive pole positions.
Johnny Sauter finished 0.635 seconds behind Dillon in the runner-up spot, while Matt Crafton, Ken Schrader and James Buescher took spots three through five. The rest of the top-10 consisted of Stacy Compton, Mike Skinner, Greg Pursley, Ricky Carmichael, and David Starr.
The race featured seven caution periods for 42 laps, with 12 drivers failing to finish the 175-mile event.
While Ickler is not running the full Camping World Truck Series schedule, the No. 18 Toyota is competing for the owner's title and maintained its second position in the standings, just 10 points behind the No. 30 truck of Germain Racing.
The next event on the Camping World Truck Series schedule is Friday night's CampingWorld.com 200 at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill.