MILLVILLE, N.J. – Set to embrace the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKPSE) tour for the final two races this season, Tyler Dippel (@tyler_dippel) returns to the driving duties of the No. 30 Rette Jones Racing Ford Fusion this weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) confident he can contend for his second career K&N win in Saturday afternoon’s JustDrive.com 125.
Despite skipping the most recent K&N East race at Langley (Va.) Speedway in hopes of earning his first career ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards victory on the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds mile-dirt on Sept. 4, the Wallkill, New York native takes the momentum of a strong on-track performance back to the seat of his No. 30 TYCAR Trenchless / D&A Concrete Contractors Ford in the final road course race of the season.
“I’m looking forward to getting back in the K&N car at New Jersey this weekend,” said Dippel. “I appreciate Dominique (Van Wieringen) stepping in for the team and helping out while I was wheeling the ARCA car at DuQuoin. She had a great run and I hope as a team we’re able to continue that presence with only two races left this season.”
Still occupying 10th in the championship standings, despite missing Langley, Dippel says while the championship is out of the picture, adding two more strong finishes to his season platter is the most important.
“I feel pretty good about heading back to a road course with Rette Jones Racing,” said Dippel. “At Watkins Glen, we were very fast, but had a tire issue and that plagued us from having a better finish. We recovered to finish 12th.
“This weekend, we won’t settle for anything less than a top-10 finish. Our marketing partners deserve it, the guys have worked hard for it and of course, it would be a good boost for me to head to Dover at the end of the month and close on the season on a high note.”
Last September, the 17-year-old honed his road racing skills at New Jersey after qualifying 10th and rose to seventh, one of his eight top-10 finishes in his rookie season. This weekend, Dippel believes his prior experience at New Jersey will come in handy.
“New Jersey is a cool race track,” Dippel sounded. “It has a fast straightaway with some tight turns, a daredevil corner and even some elevation changes. It brings out the most in a driver with all the components of road course racing. I feel like I can go back to New Jersey this weekend and have a similar effort like I did last year, if not better.”
For car owner Mark Rette, he is proud of the resilience his young driver has shown behind the wheel of an ARCA car over the last month or so and believes he can carry it back to the K&N car.
“In the last two ARCA races Tyler has run, he has shown with the right situation, a good car and some luck he can contend for wins,” said Rette. “He had a great opportunity to win DuQuoin, just got collected up in something on the last lap of the race not of his own doing.
“He wasn’t mad, he was determined. That’s what I love about this kid. He cares nothing except winning. He knows road course isn’t easy, but he’s focused and not willing to go down without a fight. We feel really good about the car we’re bringing him and look forward to seeing a strong run Saturday afternoon.”
Through 12 K&N races this season, Dippel, driver of the No. 30 TYCAR Trenchless Technologies Ford Fusion has competed in 11 of them and sits 10th in the championship standings, 31 points behind ninth-place runner Collin Cabre.
In 25 career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts, Dippel, 17, has earned one victory (Mobile Speedway, 2016), achieved two top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. The teenager has also 139 laps led in event competition.
In addition to Dippel, Rette Jones Racing will have a technical alliance with Logan Zimmerman Racing for this weekend’s race at NJMP. Canadian hot shoe Grant Quinlan returns to the series for his first run of the year driving the No. 28 Superior Tool ‘n Mold / International Tool ‘n Mold / Huntliar Ford Fusion for Clair and Logan Zimmerman.
“Grant is in good hands with Clair and Logan,” added Rette. “Clair and Logan Zimmerman are hardcore racers like us and with our partnership for New Jersey, it’s very possible that both Grant and Tyler could be battling it out for the win. That would be neat.”
The JustDrive.com 125 (55 laps / 126.5 miles) is the 13th of 14 races on the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule. Practice begins for the one-day show on Sat., Sept. 16 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Group qualifying is set for later in the day at 1:30 p.m. The race will take the green flag just after 4:30 p.m. that afternoon. The event will be televised on a tape-delayed basis on NBC Sports Network with an air date on Thurs., Sept. 21 at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Dippel tweets too. Follow him @Tyler_Dippel.