Kyle Busch's “Super Team” Ready for Snowball Derby 51 Sports PR
Alex Haase and Brian Ickler Team Up With NASCAR Star for 41st Annual Event in Pensacola
But Kyle Busch the car owner still has one more stat he would like to add to his record-setting year - the 2008 Snowball Derby victory.
Busch will field two cars in the 41st Annual Snowball Derby weekend, December 3rd through 7th at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. Haase will be back behind the wheel of the KBM #51 Toyota Camry, while he will be joined for the first time by teammate Brian Ickler, standout driver in the Camping World East Series.
The Kyle Busch Motorsports “super team” is ready to tackle the tough Five Flags half-mile to add that impressive stat to their car owner's season.
“He definitely is excited about this race for us,” said Haase, a Las Vegas, Nevada native who re-located to North Carolina in 2008. “He wants to do it himself, but he's got some bigger priorities he has to take care of that weekend (at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Banquet in New York City). I think he's going to come down and watch on Sunday, so that should be cool.”
While both Haase and the Californian Ickler cut their racing teeth on the West Coast, the two drivers had not raced against each other until the last few seasons. Now, the two will combine efforts under the Kyle Busch Motorsports banner for the Snowball Derby.
“We ran the NASCAR West Series last year against each other,” said Ickler. “We buddied up last year, but we never really hung out that much. Now, with both of us moving out here on our own, we've become best friends. Alex and I hang out every day, whether it's going to lunch or
Brian Ickler hopes to bring his winning ways to the Kyle Busch SLM team.
going to each other's shops. Our shops are right down the street from each other, so we're best buddies out here right now.”
“We got to race against him and he's really good,” added Haase of Ickler. “It'll be interesting to see what Brian can do. He's never been in this kind of Late Model before. He ran West Coast Late Models, which is more like a crate-motor car down here as far as the horsepower and stuff like that. He tested my car at Hickory for about 10 laps while we were over there testing. He felt pretty good about it, so we'll see how he does.”
While Ickler has not been in a Super Late Model quite like the KBM Camry he will pilot during the Snowball Derby Weekend, he will be able to lean on his car owner Busch, a past competitor in the Snowball Derby, and his teammate Haase, who competed well in two Blizzard Series regular-season events at Five Flags, for advice.
“We went down there and we ran a couple of the Blizzard races and learned a lot there,” said Haase. “I went there last year just as a spectator and watched the race. This year, it's a little bit different because we're going there this year to try to qualify for the race. We feel better about it after running the last two Blizzard races.
“Hopefully we'll get a good qualifying draw because that's important down there. Then when we make the show, hopefully we'll have a good car for the race. That track's known to eat up tires. We're coming back with some different stuff than we had there in the past, so hopefully it works out.”
While Haase spent 2008 earning the PASS South Super Late Model title, Ickler was
winning three races in the NASCAR Camping World East Series. Now Ickler switches
his focus to the Snowball Derby, an event he has heard plenty about in the shop.
“I've heard I need to bring my summer clothes and my winter clothes,” joked Ickler. “I
also heard that after about three laps, my tires are gone. We've got plenty of tires to
bring down. It's just going to be tough for anybody to make the show. I know they'll
have a bunch of cars. Then, if we qualify in the show, we'll go racing as hard as we
can. Whatever it takes, we're going to have a good time.”
The 41st Annual Snowball Derby Weekend will kick off Wednesday, December 3rd
with the Fifth Annual Cat Country/WEAR-TV3 Green Flag Party, where fans can meet
their favorite drivers and enjoy live music, food, beverages and more entertainment for
the whole family. On-track action will kick off on Thursday, December 4th, with practice
for the Allen Turner Snowflake 100 and the Snowball Derby, as well as practice, qualifying
and features for the Sportsmen and Bombers.
102.7 WXBM Pole Night is Friday, December 5th, with time trials for the Snowball Derby being the headline event on a schedule that also includes practice for the Snowball and Snowflake and events for the Open-Wheeled Modifieds and Super Stocks.
The Allen Turner Snowflake 100 headlines the activities on Saturday, December 6th, as the Pro Late Models will take to Five Flags for their time trials and the 100-green-flag-lap feature. The last-chance qualifying race for the Snowball Derby Saturday night will set the field for Sunday's main event for the Super Late Models.
The 41st Annual Snowball Derby is scheduled to take the green flag at 2pm CT at Five Flags Speedway.
Grandstand and VIP tickets are still available for the entire Snowball Derby weekend and are going fast. Contact the Five Flags Speedway Box Office for advance tickets today by calling (850) 944-8400 or print out and mail the advance ticket order form available on the official event website, www.snowballderby.com.
Love him or hate him, Kyle Busch had stats in 2008 that only affirms an abundant amount of talent. Busch won an unprecedented 21 events in NASCAR's top three series. That makes him the most decorated driver of the 2008 season.
But those stats were only padded by Busch's own short track development team, led by 2008 PASS South Super Late Model Champion Alex Haase. Haase won three PASS South races en route to the title, all while raising support for his team owner's charity, the Kyle Busch Foundation.
While Alex Haase already knows a thing or two about winning for the KBM team.