MARNE, Mich. – Fresh off a four-week break, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East return to competition this weekend with Rette Jones Racing and driver Tyler Dippel hoping to make history as the inaugural winners of Saturday night’s Stars & Stripes 150 at the historic Berlin (Mich.) Raceway.
“The break has been nice, but we’re ready to get back on the gas,” said Dippel who spent his downtime competing in dirt modified races in his hometown of Wallkill, New York.
“I’m really encouraged by the speed of our No. 30 TYCAR Trenchless Technologies Ford in our last race at Memphis, despite the finish.”
While running inside the top-five in the inaugural running of the Memphis 125, Dippel seemed poised to make his move to contend for his first K&N victory of the season before a flat tire sent the driver to pit road under green flag conditions.
Deep in a hole, Dippel utilized the remaining laps to climb out, settling for 12th, his fourth top-15 finish of the year when the checkered flag flew.
“We said after South Boston in May, we were going to go to work and spend day and night doing everything we could to make the car handle better,” explained Dippel. “The hard work paid off. The car was really good.”
With a positive approach, Dippel returns to the unique Berlin Raceway, an oval with plenty of passing zones and no backstretch wall.
Two weeks ago, Dippel went to the track hoping to utilize a Late Model race to gain an extra advantage over his competition. Although swept into an early race crash, Dippel says the race wasn’t all for not.
“I found a good rhythm,” he said. “You really need to have some good momentum from the turns to set up to pass on the straightaways. Thankfully, Mark (Rette, crew chief and co-owner) has been to Berlin plenty of times with an ARCA car. I think his knowledge will be a big asset for us this weekend.”
With Saturday night’s Stars & Stripes 150 kicking off a stretch of four races in five weeks, the NASCAR Next alumnus says a top-10 finish would be the boost they need to gain some traction for the second half of the 2017 season.
“When you work with dedicated people like I do at Rette Jones Racing, there is no quit,” Dippel added.
“If we can go to Berlin and leave there with the car in one piece and a good finish – that just gives us great momentum to carry us to Thompson and so on.
“I’m feeling pretty good about our chances this weekend at Berlin,” he said. “Despite all we’ve had to encounter this season, Tyler’s attitude has kept this team moving forward with our heads held high knowing in the end that our hard work will pay off.
“Berlin is a place where I think Tyler can really showcase his talent. It has some similarities to Mobile, the track he won at last year. Hopefully, with that and our setup – good things are in place for Saturday night.”
Through six races this season, Dippel sits 11th in the championship standings, 79 points behind leader Harrison Burton.
In 20 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 Stars & Stripes 150 (150 laps 65.63 miles) is the seventh of 14 races on the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule. Practice begins for the one-day show on Sat., July 1 from 1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Group qualifying is set for later in the day at 3:45 p.m. The race will take the green flag just after 9:00 p.m. The event will be televised on a tape-delayed basis on NBC Sports Network with an air date on Fri., July 7 at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Meet Tyler: Dippel will meet and greet race fans during the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East autograph session on Sat., July 1 at 5:30 p.m. on the frontstretch at Berlin Raceway.
Contest Galore: Dippel’s team Rette Jones Racing will launch social media contests over the summer 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).