Alabama’s Mobile International Speedway is a far cry from the dirt tracks of Upstate New York that Tyler Dippel grew up racing on, but on Sunday night Dippel found himself celebrating in victory lane, just as he has done many times in the past. This time instead of climbing out of a Big-Block Dirt Modified he was climbing out the driver’s side window of a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East stock car.
“It’s just such an unreal feeling,” Dippel told Speed51.com powered by JEGS in victory lane. “I just never could have imagined this in my second start. It’s just so unreal. I have a great team, a great crew chief, just a great group of guys and they gave me the car to do it today.”
Dippel started from the fifth position and quickly made his way to the front of the pack. He drove under early leader Dominique Van Wieringen off of turn two and from there it was the Tyler Dippel Show for the rest of the afternoon.
But don’t let the box score fool you. Dippel had to deal with charges from Collin Cabre, Austin Theriault, Spencer Davis and Harrison Burton throughout the race, and he also had to deal with multiple restarts in the late stages of the race, including a green-white-checkered.
Cabre was running second behind Dippel when he went off the race track in turn four to set up what was the only green-white-checkered restart.
Dippel said that he was more than a little bit nervous when he knew he would have to deal with the late restart.
“I’m not going to lie, I was really nervous,” Dippel said. “I was just thinking clean shifts, a good restart and we have this thing.”
Cabre seemed like he might have been the only driver that could challenge Dippel, at least it appeared that way on the short runs, but what he described as a blown right-front tire ended Cabre’s chances when he went driving straight over the turn three banking and down the hill.
“We just took a hard right off the race track right there,” Cabre said. “There’s like a service road out there and then there’s the flat ground and we landed on both of them. It was two big hits. I think the car is okay, but I’m pretty sore. My tailbone on the landing is what hurts the most. If it gets any worse we’ll go do something about it, but if not we’ll be alright. We’re race car drivers.”
For the restart it was polesitter Spencer Davis on the outside of Dippel. Davis got a decent jump, but Dippel was just too strong and he powered ahead off of turn two leaving Davis to fight for second with Austin Theriault.
Davis prevailed in that battle, but it was Dippel who prevailed in the war. Davis, Jesse Little, Theriault and Kaz Grala completed the top five.
“I’m happy to be here, be in the top five, and I’m really happy my car is in one piece too,” said Davis who has finished second in both races to start the season.
Davis will head to the second race of the season as the points leader thanks to his two runner-up finishes, which is something that he said he’s ecstatic about.
“I’ve always dreamed of leading NASCAR in points in any level,” said the Georgia driver. “It’s a little bit of a sigh of relief to come out of here with the points lead. Some people view it as a bit of a headache, but there’s no place I’d rather be than first.”
For an on-demand replay of our Race Central Live coverage on NASCAR Home Tracks of all of Sunday’s action from the Mobile 150, click here.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Mobile 150
Mobile International Speedway, Irvington, Alabama
|10||04||Ronnie Bassett Jr.|
|14||49||John Holleman IV|
|15||42||Jairo Avila Jr.|
|18||6||Ruben Garcia Jr.|
|20||30||Dominique Van Wieringen|