Ickler Nets Eighth-Place Finish at Nashville KBM Driver Scores Fourth Top-10 in Five Truck Series Starts in 2010 Brian Ickler continues to capitalize on his time behind the wheel of the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) Toyota Tundra. In just...
Ickler Nets Eighth-Place Finish at Nashville
KBM Driver Scores Fourth Top-10 in Five Truck Series Starts in 2010
Brian Ickler continues to capitalize on his time behind the wheel of the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) Toyota Tundra. In just his fifth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start of 2010, the 24-year-old Ickler scored a solid eighth-place result in Saturday night's Nashville 200 at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway.
While the eighth-place effort wasn't the finish that Ickler and his KBM crew had hoped for, especially considering the team's No. 18 Tundra visited Nashville's victory lane at Nashville back on April 2 with driver/owner Kyle Busch, it was still a respectable performance. It was Ickler's fourth top-10 finish of the season and his second straight after finishing ninth July 17 at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill.
"It was not a horrible day, but not the day we were expecting," said Ickler after the 150-lap race around the 1.33-mile oval. "It was alright for points, but it was not the day that we wanted."
After qualifying 11th for the Nashville 200 earlier in the day, Ickler knew he had a tall order if he hoped to follow in his owner's tire tracks and celebrate in Music City's victory lane. So with the drop of the green flag, Ickler wasted no time. By the time the first caution flag waved at lap three, Ickler had moved into the top-10.
When the race restarted at lap seven, Ickler continued to tick off positions as he gained three spots in just one lap. By lap 18, the San Diego-native had settled into the sixth spot, where he stayed for much of the next 40 laps. Over the course of the run, Ickler's truck went from being "a little free" to being tight, especially through the center of turns three and four.
At lap 61, Ickler made his first green flag pit stop. However, as Ickler peeled off the racetrack and dove onto pit road for his stop, he nearly missed his pit stall, which was at the beginning of pit road, just five stalls down. With crew chief Eric Phillips signaling him in over the radio, Ickler jerked the truck hard to the left and came to a sliding stop, narrowly keeping his No. 18 Toyota Tundra within the box. Although the miscue cost the team precious seconds on pit road, they were able to rebound with a sharp four-tire stop.
But just a couple of laps after the stop, the caution flag waved for a wreck on the front straightaway. The ill-timed caution left Ickler a lap down to the leaders. The team opted to take advantage of NASCAR's wave-around rule, which allows any truck that doesn't pit under caution its lap back if every truck on the lead lap does pit. When the race restarted at lap 72, Ickler was back on the lead lap in 15th-place.
With Ickler mired in traffic, Phillips encouraged his young driver and offered him advice on which lines on the racetrack appeared to work best time- and speed-wise. Just eight laps later, Ickler was back in the top-10 where he would stay for the remainder of the race.
A caution flag at lap 107 set up the final pit stop of the night for Ickler and his KBM team, who were running in the seventh spot. Ickler told Phillips that his truck was good but that it was still too tight through the center and exiting the turns, especially in turn four. Under the caution flag, Ickler pitted for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. A lightning-quick stop helped Ickler gain two positions, and he returned to the track in fifth-place.
As the laps clicked off the board, Ickler's truck became loose, and he began having a difficult time driving the lines that had worked best for him during the earlier part of the race. Ickler slid back three spots, and crossed the finish line in the eighth spot.
"At the end of the race, that last set of tires got really, really free and I just held on back there," Ickler said. "I was just struggling there at the end. This is a tough place to get a hold of. We didn't qualify quite like we thought we should, but we drove up to sixth and rode there for a lot of the race. I made a little mistake on pit road, but we drove back to about seventh and raced there pretty much all day. It wasn't what we wanted tonight, but it ended up ok."
Todd Bodine won the Nashville 200 to score his 19th career Camping World Truck Series victory in 154 starts, his second of the season and his first at Nashville.
Rookie Austin Dillon finished 4.164 seconds behind Bodine in the runner-up spot, while Aric Almirola, Timothy Peters and Johnny Sauter took spots three through five. The rest of the top-10 consisted of Ron Hornaday Jr., Matt Crafton, Ickler, Justin Lofton and Ken Schrader.
The race featured four caution periods for 19 laps, with 10 drivers failing to finish.
While Ickler is not running the full Camping World Truck Series schedule, the No. 18 Toyota is competing for the owner's title and remained second in the standings, just 18 points behind the first-place No. 30 truck of Germain Racing.
The next event on the Camping World Truck Series schedule is the Aug. 14 Too Tough To Tame 200 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.