Tyler Dippel won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Mobile International Speedway in Alabama in March. He took the lead on lap 31 and led the final 124 laps of the race.
If it weren’t for flat tires, Tyler Dippel might be contending for a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship in his rookie season. The rookie driver, one of the NASCAR Next drivers, won a race and posted six top-10 finishes in his first 11 races in the K&N Pro Series East.
He started the season with a pair of eighth-place finishes in the first three races and won his first K&N Pro Series East race in his sixth career start. He won the K&N Pro Series East race at Mobile International Speedway in March.
“We got off to a pretty strong start there,” said Dippel, who drives for HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks. “Probably the midseason we struggled a little bit with flat tires and breakdowns a little bit. We need to get back going again as a team and rally back. We’ve been running good the last three races. It’s been really good lately. I think it’s been a success. We were struggling pretty bad in the middle of the season there. I think we are starting to turn it around. Hopefully we can finish off strong too.”
In the race at Mobile, Dippel qualified fifth and moved up quickly. He took the lead from Dominique Van Wieringen on lap 31 and was out front for the remaining 124 laps of the race.
“We just unloaded really, really good,” Dippel said. “It was one of those few times when you have the absolute perfect car. Nothing to complain about. The car was absolutely perfect. We started fifth and got up to third really quick. Just cruised around, tried to save my stuff. The race really unfolded in my favor and we came away with it there.”
Dippel enjoyed success early in the season. The 16-year-old driver was also learning how to market himself and his team through the NASCAR Next program. He said it was a huge honor to be part of the class and he embraced the opportunity to follow drivers like Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott who went through the program, too.
“You could be one of the next ones because you’re following exactly what they did,” Dippel said. “We’ve gone through a lot of social media training. It helps marketing us, getting our names out there. It’s been a huge help and it’s great to be a part of. It’s a great group of guys to hang out with.”
Dippel went through a six-race stretch in which he finished outside the top 10. He blew a tire at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee. He blew a transmission at Virginia International Raceway. He had tire trouble again at Dominion Raceway and Columbus Motor Speedway.
Tyler Dippel won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Mobile International Speedway in his sixth career start. He is fifth in the K&N Pro Series East standings with three races remaining.
“The team meshed together really well,” Dippel said. “I got a good group of guys behind me. We got stuff figured out in the beginning. We just had a couple of breakdowns, a couple of blown tires. A lot of bad luck there in the middle more than anything.”
He bounced back in his last few races. He was 10th at New Hampshire International Speedway and seventh at Watkins Glen International in New York. In the race at Iowa Speedway, which pitted teams from the K&N Pro Series East and West, he was 14th overall and eighth among East Series drivers.
Through 11 races, Dippel is fifth in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East standings. He is two points behind Hunter Baize for fourth place and 15 points behind Austin Theriault for third place.
“I would like to be a lot higher. We are really capable of it,” Dippel said. “All the bad luck we’ve had this year, I would like to be higher. I think we should be a little higher. We are a couple points away from fourth. Third we’re not too far back from either. We are going to strive to move up here in the next three races. I think it’s definitely possible.”
There are three races left in the K&N Pro Series East schedule. The teams will visit New Jersey Motorsports Park and Dover International Speedway in Delaware before the season ends in September.
“The car keeps getting better. I keep getting better as a driver,” Dippel said. “Just working together, we just keep getting better. I would like to pick up a win in the last three races here. That would be the ultimate goal. I think the rest of the season will be good for us.”
Racing in the K&N Pro Series East has given Dippel the opportunity to hone his racing skills. He said the longer races and the style of cars have helped him develop as a driver.
“It taught me a lot in the K&N Pro Series,” Dippel said. “The cars, a lot of car control, you got to be really smooth to race these kind of cars. More than anything, just smooth