MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Focused on turning their NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) season around, Rette Jones Racing and driver Tyler Dippel (@Tyler_Dippel) hope to capitalize on a recent test session at Memphis (Tenn.) International Raceway to earn their second top-10 finish of the year in Saturday night’s Memphis 125.
Joining other NASCAR K&N Pro Series East teams for a private test at the 0.375-mile paved oval, Dippel spent much of his time learning the track’s characteristics aboard his No. 30 TYCAR Trenchless Technologies Ford Fusion, but also finding his own comfort zone amidst a series of changes led by crew chief and co-car owner Mark Rette.
“I was really happy after the test,” Dippel, a NASCAR Next alumnus said. “I’ve never been to Memphis and it’s a new track for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, so as a team we felt like it was imperative to go out there and spend a day out there and trying a lot of things to see if we couldn’t find a setup we’d like for the race.”
Compared to some other teams, Rette Jones Racing spent two days testing which they hope will prove to their winning move to earn their first career win in Saturday night’s highly-anticipated race.
“You’re going faster here than a lot of tracks so you have to race the track more,” Dippel said. “With this track where you’re going so fast, it looks like the best groove is on the bottom. With everybody trying to get to that bottom groove, I think fans can expect some aggressive racing.
“Honestly, we’ve had aggressive racing all year throughout the series. We’re all out here to make it to the next level and everyone races really hard. I wouldn’t expect anything less.
“Testing at Memphis for two days puts ahead of the curve ball and we can go back there this week not having to spend time getting me acclimated but rather focused on qualifying and a good race pace. I’m really feeling good about this weekend and I hope all that excitement pays off on the track.”
In-between staying focused behind the wheel and nose-deep in conferring with his RJR team, Dippel spent time with students from nearby Goodlett Elementary School talking about racing.
“I really enjoyed spending time with the kids,” added Dippel. “They asked a lot of questions and were really intrigued with what we do as drivers. I know there is a bunch of them that I talked too that plan to come back for the race this week and maybe if we win we can bring them to Victory Lane with us. That would be very cool and memorable.”
After so-so double-header outings at South Boston (Va.) Speedway earlier this month, Dippel says his team went back to the shop and went through their cars with a fine-tooth comb and feel that the long hours during the day and even some overtime hours at night have contributed to the speed the Mooresville, N.C.-based team found during the test.
“There’s always going to be bump in the roads, not every weekend is going to go perfect, but we know we are a lot better than what we’ve been showing,” added Dippel. “Mark and the guys have worked incredibly hard since South Boston and I’m thankful for that. I think the speed we carried during both days showed that. Hopefully, we can get back on-track at Memphis and carry the momentum forward.
“We still have a lot of racing left.”
Rette Jones Racing co-owner and crew chief Rette says the team’s ‘no quit’ mentality and the confidence from Dippel is keeping their outlook optimistic.
“Tyler is doing what he needs to do behind the wheel,” Rette said. We’ve just hit some snags and haven’t been able to get the finishes we’ve felt like we’ve deserved. We’re working hard to make sure our Ford Fusions are good enough to go out and compete for the win. After our Memphis test, I feel like we’ve got our best short of the year to get Tyler his second career win.”
Through five races this season, Dippel sits 10th in the championship standings, 64 points behind leader Harrison Burton.
In 19 career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts, Dippel, 17, has earned one victory (Mobile Speedway, 2016), achieved two top-five and nine top-10 finishes. The teenager has also 124 laps led in event competition.
The Memphis 125 (125 laps / 93.75 miles) is the sixth of 14 races on the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule. Practice begins for the one-day show on Sat., June 3 from 1:05 p.m. – 2:35 p.m. Group qualifying is set for later in the day at 3:05 p.m. The race will take the green flag just after 5:00 p.m. The event will be televised on a tape-delayed basis on NBC Sports Network with an air date on Thurs., June 8 at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Meet Tyler: Dippel will meet and greet race fans during the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East autograph session on Sat., June 3 at 4:15 p.m. on the frontstretch at Memphis International Raceway alongside his No. 30 TYCAR Trenchless Technologies Ford Fusion.
Contest Galore: Dippel’s team Rette Jones Racing is holding weekly social media contests to give away NASCAR K&N Pro Series East garage passes to join Dippel and the team on the sidelines.
“Like” the Tyler Dippel Racing and Rette Jones Racing’s page on Facebook to find out more and spread the message for multiple chances to win in 2017.
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).
PHOTO CAPTION: Tyler Dippel, driver of the No. 30 TYCAR Trenchless Technologies Ford Fusion for Rette Jones Racing (RJR) in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE).