Brian Ickler Continues to Impress In First Start Of 2010

Brandon CaldwellCorrespondent IMarch 30, 2010

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 10:  Brian Ickler poses during NASCAR Camping World Truck Series portraits at Daytona International Speedway on February 10, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The list of names was long.

When rumors flew about Kyle Busch starting his own NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team for 2010, everyone knew Kyle would run the companion truck races, or the truck races that run in conjunction with the Sprint Cup Series.

The list of names to drive when Kyle was not running was extremely long.

The list included veteran Johnny Benson, the 2008 series champion, veteran Dennis Setzer, with over 18 wins in the series, and even hot-footed young driver Chad McCumbee, who had strung together a nice truck series career.

The driver he chose was one that not many people saw coming.

He chose Brian Ickler. Ickler, the same driver who ran for Billy Ballew Motorsports in 2009, just seemed to have an outside chance over many experienced veterans in the series.

The signing of Ickler was unexpected, and with only 11 career truck starts, and three career Nationwide Series starts, everyone was interested to see what Brian Ickler would do, in what we knew was going to be top-notch equipment.

His first start for 2010 came sooner than expected.

It was supposed to be at the upcoming event at Nashville Superspeedway, but due to a sponsorship obligation for Kyle Busch's No. 18 truck in Nashville, he decided to switch with Ickler and have him run at Martinsville.

Ickler was thrown into the No. 18 truck late Wednesday night, and with the late notification about his first trip to the shortest, and possibly toughest track on the circuit, Ickler's job was an extremely tough one to say the least.

Then qualifying got rained out Friday, making Ickler's task even tougher. He was forced to start 32nd out of a 36 truck field; with six drivers making their first career starts, he had to stay out of trouble and make his way through the field without one of those younger drivers making a mistake.

As the race went on, as I sat in the stands, I noticed Ickler coming through the field steadily, and even impressing the fans, who are really hard to impress.

As Ron Hornaday was trying to track down his teammate Kevin Harvick, Ickler was running a very close third, and made the two-time defending series champion sweat a little.

It was a good run for the 24 year old out of San Diego, California.

He could've taken this week and bagged it with all that went wrong, and tried to impress somewhere else.

He did more than that. He learned and impressed, proving that he can drive, out-running many veterans, and proved that his car owner is not only a terrific driver, but also a terrific judge of talent.