NEWTON, Iowa – On the heels of their sixth-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) two weeks ago, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver Tyler Dippel (@tyler_dippel) and his Rette Jones Racing head to Iowa Speedway Friday night hoping to capitalize even more.
Rewinding back to New Hampshire, after qualifying seventh, Dippel in his No. 30 TYCAR Trenchless Technologies Ford Fusion was relentless in his on-track performance in the short 70-lap race.
Taking advantage of changing track conditions as sunset neared, Dippel was challenging for fifth, but settled for sixth and claimed his third top-10 finish of the year.
“Man, we needed that,” said Dippel. “I feel like we’re finally heading in the right direction. It was the first race in a while where we could improve the car and have a finish to back it up. I’m eager to get To Iowa Speedway this week and see what we can do.”
In his rookie season of K&N Pro Series East competition, Dippel’s first run at Iowa Speedway was successful. In one of the stoutest fields of the year, Dippel qualified a strong eighth and hovered inside the top-10 throughout the 150-lap race to finish eighth, one of his eight top-10 finishes of 2016.
“Iowa Speedway was a blast,” said Dippel, a NASCAR Next alumnus. “It’s a huge short track with some characteristics of a bigger race track because of the speed you carry out of the corners and to the straightaways. There’s a lot of room to pass, but it’s also a track where it’s line sensitive.
“At Iowa, it’s important to hit your marks every lap. It’s easy to have your momentum shaken, then it takes a couple of laps to recover. I’ve been talking to Mark (Rette, crew chief and owner) and I feel confident that we’re going to have a good piece on Friday night.”
With his finish at New Hampshire, Dippel climbed back inside the top-10 in the championship standings and the Wallkill, N.Y. native says that’s where he plans to stay.
“We don’t have that many races left,” Dippel said with a pause. “It’s important for us to take advantage of the momentum we have from New Hampshire and carry it through to Iowa and then Watkins Glen and so on. We’ll have a little bit of a break after Watkins Glen, so it would be nice to go into that down time with some of our best finishes of the season.”
Rette says he started to the see the preseason confidence emerge from his driver’s demeanor again following New Hampshire and eyes that as part of the team’s motivation heading to the Midwest.
“We’re making some serious gains over the last few weeks and I’m extremely proud of that,” said Rette.
“It’s never easy to have fast cars and then you don’t get the result to show what you were truly capable of. We had a rough spell there but our team is not giving up and I think we can go to Iowa this weekend and turn some heads. It’s a big race.
“It’s a combination race with both the K&N East and West, so there’s an opportunity to earn some extra clout for our team with a good finish. I’ve had some success in the past at Iowa and I hope I’m able to share some of that with Tyler on Friday night.”
Through nine races this season, Dippel, driver of the No. 30 TYCAR Trenchless Technologies Ford Fusion sits ninth in the championship standings, 104 points behind leader Harrison Burton.
In 23 career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts, Dippel, 17, has earned one victory (Mobile Speedway, 2016), achieved two top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. The teenager has also 139 laps led in event competition.
The Casey’s General Stores 150 presented by Vatterott College (150 laps / 131.25 miles) is the 10th of 14 races on the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule. Practice begins for the one-day show on Fri., July 28 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Final practice is set from 3:15 p.m. – 3:55 p.m. Group qualifying is set for later in the day at 5:00 p.m. The race will take the green flag just after 7:30 p.m. later that night. The event will be televised on a tape-delayed basis on NBC Sports Network with an air date on Thurs., Aug. 3 at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Meet Tyler: Dippel will meet and greet race fans during the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East autograph session on Fri., July 28 at 4:10 p.m. in the Fan Walk at Iowa Speedway.
Dippel tweets too. Follow him @Tyler_Dippel.
About Rette Jones Racing:
Headquartered in Mooresville, North Carolina, Rette Jones Racing (RJR) was founded in 2015 with the intent of building a successful racing operation built around the fundamentals of hard work and a never give up attitude. Owned by racers Terry Jones and Mark, RJR will field one full-time entry in 2017 in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East with Tyler Dippel, while also fielding a partial entry in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS).