Tyler Dippel’s home state of New York may be covered in snow and ice, but things are about to heat up for him at Desoto Speedway (FL), where Dippel is set to make his first Bright House Challenge Series start. The 14-year-old hotshoe will be "breaking the ice" with Anthony Campi Racing, at Desoto's Icebreaker 100.
"I've never run at any track like that before," Dippel told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. "With Anthony Campi and his team there I'm really looking forward to it."
Naturally, Dippel will need some time to learn how to get around the fast 3/8-mile oval. He also anticipates there being a bit of a "getting to know you" period for him and his new team.
"It just takes a little bit of extra time running with a team that you've never run before," said Dippel. "It (also) takes a little bit of figuring out once you go to a new track, but I'll be alright by the end of practice."
When Dippel leaves Desoto Speedway in his rearview mirror at the end of 100 laps on Sunday to head to New Smyrna Speedway (FL) for the rest of Speedweeks, he hopes it'll be following his second top-five finish of 2015. He finished fifth at the Pete Orr Memorial at New Smyrna in January.
The only problem that Speedweeks brings forth for the young driver is missing so much school. So while some kids his age might view two weeks in Florida in February as a vacation, Dippel will be there to work. When he's not racing, he'll be in the hotel rooms doing all the school work that his teachers have prepared for him.
"This is really the first time I've missed, but the teachers work with me," he said. "They give me work that I'd otherwise miss. They're real good."
Dippel has only recently been running Late Models on asphalt. He started racing on the dirt tracks of upstate New York when he was eight years old in Slingshots. He graduated his way up the rankings and has most recently been running Big Block Modifieds throughout the Northeast.
In 2014 Dippel split his year between the asphalt Late Model and the dirt Modified, and he'll be doing that once again starting this month by running races at the fast high-banked New Smyrna, and on the dirt tracks of Golden Isles Speedway (GA) and Volusia County Speedway (FL). Dippel also said he'll be running his Super Late Model with the new CARS Super Late Model Tour this year. He will continue to frequently compete in his dirt Modified frequently, while picking and choosing to run the biggest races of the year.
"I think it helps me a whole lot as a driver," said Dippel about going from dirt to asphalt so frequently. "I can take things from one car to the other. I get better in some aspects by running one (car) that I wouldn't get to learn in the other."
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor -Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Tyler Dippel Racing Facebook Page