INDIANAPOLIS — Tyler Dippel will have a new challenge on his hands for the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season, as he joins Rette-Jones Racing in search of his first-career series championship.
Dippel moves to the Mark Rette and Terry Jones-owned team from the now-defunct HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks, which ceased operations following the conclusion of the 2016 season and the team’s fourth consecutive K&N East title.
The 16-year-old teenager from Wallkill, N.Y. finished third in points this year, on the strength of a win at Mobile Int’l Speedway in March, telling Race Chaser Online this week that he is disappointed to see the HScott team fade away from the series after dominating it for four straight years.
“It’s tough to see them walk away after all the success they had,” Dippel said. “I had fun racing with those guys. We got a win this season, but the year didn’t really go the way I wanted it to. We had a lot of bad luck and not the runs I wanted to have. Sometimes it was the car and sometimes we needed some more experience at the bigger tracks. We had engine problems, tires, transmissions … but that’s all behind us now. I’m really optimistic, really hungry and out to prove something in 2017.”
As a result of the move, Rette-Jones will expand to two full-time teams in 2017, fielding the No. 28 Ford for Dippel, who enters his sophomore season in therror series.
Dippel’s car will be unveiled Thursday at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show in Indianapolis, and the 2016 NASCAR Next class member is ready to get the new season started.
“I’m just really excited to be working with these guys because they always bring stout and fast race cars to the track every single week. There cars are already bad fast; they are always quick everywhere you go. I’m really looking forward to getting in the car at New Smyrna.”
The teenager also joked that his new car carries with it a new nickname, with a black-and-yellow paint scheme set to replace the bright blue colors that he campaigned for HScott in 2016.
“It kinda looks like a yellow jacket … it’s definitely going to be dangerous,” he laughed.
Veteran K&N East crew chief Rich Lushes, who called the shots for Harrison Burton, Austin Theriault and Spencer Davis over the course of the season, will join Rette-Jones as Dippel’s crew chief in 2017.
“I know Rich pretty well … we’ve talked in the past; he has come to hang out and we kinda knew what direction we were going in at the end of 2016. We got to build a relationship so we will be even stronger when 2017 comes around, we know a lot about the team and it’s on the incline pretty fast. Hopefully we can come out of the gate pretty fast.”
“With Rich and Mark working together, I think it’s going to be a deadly combination for 2017.”
Dippel says that with the Rette-Jones organization and Lushes behind him, he expects to contend for his first K&N East championship.
“I feel it’s absolutely achievable,” Dippel emphasized in regards to his chances of winning the title. “I want to win multiple races and come away with the championship. Last season, we finished third in points and got a win … and that was nowhere near where (our numbers) should have been. I think next year can be a whole lot better and I’m really looking forward to it.”
“I’d like to thank my mom and dad; without them I wouldn’t be here. I’d like to thank Glenn Sullivan for all he does for me. D&A Concrete and TyCar Trenchless Technologies will be the main sponsors on the car, and I think we’ll have a good shot at things. I’m just ready to get started.”
Listen in to Race Chaser Online’s exclusive conversation with Tyler Dippel by clicking the player below:
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 22-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as both the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series and the co-track announcer at Millbridge Speedway.
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