Ickler Wins at South Boston, But Will It Hold Up? by Penny Aicardi
NASCAR Finds An Issue in Camping Wold East Post-Race Tech
West Coast native Brian Ickler dominated the Strutmasters.com 150 at South Boston Speedway (VA) Saturday night to capture his second straight win of the NASCAR Camping World Series East season.
It is questionable whether the victory will hold up after NASCAR announced in their post-race report that “potential issues” arose with his family-owned Ickler Motorsports Chevrolet in tech inspection following the race. NASCAR plans to provide more information early this week.

Ickler led all but six laps of the caution-marred race that was extended to 155 laps and ended under caution.

“We came here and tested and Peyton (Sellers) actually showed me some pointers on how to get around here,” Ickler said. “I honestly thought we'd have a pretty good car, but I didn't think it was going to be as good as it was.”

Ickler took the lead from polesitter Ricky Carmichael at the drop of the green, but
Brian Ickler and company in victory lane.  (Grant Halverson/NASCAR
hardly got a long green flag run until a restart at lap 28. Ickler pulled away to a commanding lead while newcomer Derek Thorn entered the picture. Thorn got by Ickler on three separate restarts, but couldn't hold him off after getting through turns one and two.

“The inside line was definitely preferred and we definitely had to drive in there hard to keep our left side tires on the apron and keep on the bottom. We had to do that so we could get into the corner good and not let anyone get down below us and get a run on us,” Ickler explained.
Ickler's #15   (51 Photo)
Ickler continued strong on the restarts, but all eyes turned to the fast approaching Austin Dillon, who dove to the bottom and challenged Thorn for second. The two were side-by-side for an entire lap before Dillon comfortably took over the position. Sellers followed Dillon's lead on lap 99 to take over third.

Dillon too was able to lead a lap when he shot by Ickler on a restart, and like Thorn, Dillon was quickly relegated back to second.

“Ickler just had a little bit more than us, and we just couldn't keep it on the bottom when he could,” said Dillon. “He was better on the long run, definitely. He was just a little bit more consistent. The cautions were what we had to use to try and get by him, but we just couldn't stay out there.”


Even when the “big one” occurred - a 16-car pileup in turn three - Ickler could not be stopped. The 30-minute break from the action certainly did not damper his performance or set-up. Once the race resumed, Ickler took off in the same commanding fashion he had all night.

“I wish it would have gone green longer. Our car was better on the long runs than it was on the short runs for sure. We were sixth in the first practice and then came back out and were strong in the second practice. I definitely thought we had a car that was good for a couple of laps. It turned out to be a great long-run racecar. We were very surprised. Anytime these cars like the #3 (Dillon) and the #44 (Sellers) show up at the racetrack, you'd better be ready to race your heart out at the end,” said Ickler.
And that's exactly what he had to do.

As the race approached it's scheduled distance, a caution came out and forced NASCAR to extend the race to allow for a green-white-checker finish. Sellers, who had passed Dillon for second, was sent back to fourth.

“NASCAR has a mind of their own,” responded Sellers when asked why he was put back in the field for the last green flag run. “It sure is frustrating. They beat us up every time we try to get up. I've said it a hundred times: it's their sandbox and we'll go play in it again.”

Dillon gave one last attempt to get by Ickler, but couldn't pull it off. After taking the white flag, a caution put the field under yellow and Ickler received the checkers.

“The key was to cool your tires down. It was a fine line in cooling them down and keeping them hot. We knew we had to drive hard into one, keep our left side tires below the apron, keep it turning and get up off the corner,” Ickler said after the race.

Dillon finished second with Sellers following in third. Eddie MacDonald and Matt Kobyluck rounded out the top-five. It was Kobyluck's first top-five of the season, and he posted the finish after wrecking in practice.

“It was a scramble no question. Everybody on the crew worked really hard today,” said Kobyluck. “We were a small track bar adjustment away from being a contender to win that race. It was like a war out there and we were in survival mode. No one wanted to give and no one wanted to surrender.”
NASCAR Camping World Series East-Strutmasters.com 150
Unofficial Results
Saturday
At South Boston Speedway
South Boston, Va.
Lap length: 0.4 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (2) Brian Ickler, Poway, Calif., Chevrolet, 155 laps, 36.917 mph, $7,050.

2. (9) Austin Dillon, Lewisville, N.C., Chevrolet, 155, $2,815.

3. (11) Peyton Sellers, Danville, VA., Chevrolet, 155, $2,041.

4. (16) Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Mass., Chevrolet, 155, $2,100.

5. (12) Matt Kobyluck, Uncasville, Conn., Chevrolet, 155, $1,300.

6. (23) Jody Lavender, Hartsville, S.C., Ford, 155, $2,675.

7. (20) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Mooresville, N.C., Chevrolet, 155, $1,175.

8. (17) Steve Park, East Northport, N.Y., Chevrolet, 155, $1,150.

9. (5) Marc Davis, Mitchelville, MD., Toyota, 155, $1,050.

10. (14) Rogelio Lopez, Aquascalientes, Mexico, Chevrolet, 155, $1,050.

11. (3) Bryon Chew, Mattituck, N.Y., Chevrolet, 155, $1,000.

12. (27) Jeff Anton, Russell, Mass., Chevrolet, 155, $975.

13. (10) Craig Goess, Greenville, N.C., Toyota, 155, $975.

14. (26) Ryan Duff, Hazard, Ky., Chevrolet, 155, $950.

15. (7) Jesus Hernandez, Fresno, Calif., Chevrolet, 155, $950.

16. (13) Jamie Hayes, Norlina, N.C., Chevrolet, 155, $925.

17. (31) Chase Mattioli, Long Pond, Pa., Ford, 154, $925.

18. (24) Jonathan Smith, Beacon Falls, Conn., Dodge, 154, $925.

19. (28) Dustin Delaney, Mayfield, N.Y., Chevrolet, 153, $925.

20. (8) Derek Thorn, Lakeport, Calif., Ford, 151, $900.

21. (4) John Salemi, Nashua, N.H., Chevrolet, 151, $900.

22. (22) Jason Cochran, Marion, N.C., Chevrolet, 149, $900.

23. (21) Richard Johns, Cornelius, N.C., Dodge, 146, $900.

24. (18) Richard Gould, North Brunswick, NJ, Chevrolet, 142, $900.

25. (6) Trevor Bayne, Knoxville, Tenn., Chevrolet, 141, $900.

26. (1) Ricky Carmichael, Clearwater, Fla., Chevrolet, 139, $2,400.

27. (15) Ben Stancill, Ayden, N.C., Chevrolet, 127, accident, $900.

28. (25) Max Dumarey, Gent, Belgium, Chevrolet, 127, radiator, $900.

29. (29) James Pritchard, Wharton, N.J., Dodge, 122, accident, $900.

30. (30) Todd Peck, Glenville, PA., Chevrolet, 67, accident, $900.

31. (32) Ian Henderson, Greenville, S.C., Chevrolet, 64, engine, $900.

32. (19) Alex Kennedy, Aztec, New Mexico, Chevrolet, 17, accident, $900.


Race Statistics

Time of Race: 1 hour 40 minutes 46 seconds
Margin of Victory: under caution
Fastest Qualifier: R.Carmichael (89.759 mph, 16.043 seconds)
Caution Flags: 15 for 77 laps.
Lead Changes: 12 among 3 drivers.

Lap Leaders: B.Ickler 1-38; D.Thorn 39; B.Ickler 40-52; D.Thorn 53; B.Ickler 54-71; D.Thorn 72; B.Ickler 73-83; D.Thorn 84; B.Ickler 85-133; A.Dillon 134; B.Ickler 135-152; A.Dillon 153; B.Ickler 154-155.

Standings: 1. A.Dillon, 520; 2. B.Ickler, 501; 3. S.Park, 435; 4. E.MacDonald, 423; 5.  M.Davis, 418; 6. J.Earnhardt, 400; 7. M.Kobyluck, 394; 8. T.Bayne, 391; 9. R.Lopez, 390; 10. J.Hernandez, 385.







Austin Dillon finished second....or better?  Time will tell.    (51 Photo)