Dirt Modified hot shoe Tyler Dippel will see his 2017 racing season get off to an early start as a result of a partnership formed over the offseason. The New York native will be traveling to the Sunshine State of Florida this weekend to compete in Saturday’s Red Eye 100 at New Smyrna Speedway (FL).
Following a whirlwind 2016 racing season that saw him collect his first major win on asphalt in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East competition, it appeared that Dippel’s chance to race asphalt and collect win number two would be more difficult. HScott Motorsports, the team he was racing for, closed its doors and left Dippel without a ride.
But in December at the PRI Trade Show in Indianapolis, Dippel announced that he would get another crack at Stock Cars with Rette Jones Racing.
With 2017 now getting underway, that relationship will get an early start with Dippel making his first appearance for the team not in a Stock Car, but a Super Late Model. While it is a chance for an early start with his new team, it is also a chance for him to get much needed time on the hard top.
“After the closing of HScott, we’ll be running a full season of K&N East with them. We decided that we needed to do more asphalt racing and get more seat time, so we got a Super Late Model and we’re going to pick a few select races to run throughout the year,” Dippel told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
It will also be a chance to get a feel for the track itself more than a month before the rest of the K&N East field heads to the beach for the season opener on February 19.
“New Smyrna is one of my favorite tracks and I can’t wait to go back and get in the seat. I think it will help for sure.”
Dippel competed in one full season of Super Late Model competition with the Pro All Stars Series in 2014, recording a fourth-place points finish in PASS North points and second in National points. But between running Dirt Modifieds and Stock Cars, his time in Late Models has been very limited since then.
“We ran one full season in 2014 of PASS South and National, overall it’s 20 to 30 races,” Dippel explained. “But it’s been a while, hopefully it’s like riding a bike and it comes right back to me.”
The team lineup for the Red-Eye 100 will be the same as planned for the entire K&N season, giving the group a chance to break the ice outside the shop.
“I’m really excited, got Rich Lushes as my crew chief, which should be really good. I’m hoping for a strong start, a top three would be my goal; I’d like to win, but I want to finish strong with the new team. It’s going to be my team for K&N, so starting strong with the Super Late Model would be nice.”
While the plan for the asphalt is centered around running for the K&N East championship in 2017, Dippel and the team are looking at running additional races, with one being a Late Model major, and another closer to home.
“We’re going to take it race by race, but I think we’re set on the Rattler 250 (at South Alabama Speedway) and probably going to the Icebreaker at Thompson (CT) for PASS North to get some seat time for K&N later in the year.”
Be sure to follow Speed51.com this Saturday night for live Trackside Now coverage of the Red Eye 100 from New Smyrna Speedway.
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com CT, MA & Long Island Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com