MOORESVILLE, N.C. – After a sub-par run to open the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season in February at New Smyrna Speedway, Tyler Dippel knew in his heart that it was time to make a change in order to push his racing career forward.
He made the difficult decision to part ways with Rette-Jones Racing, the team he had run the last two years for in K&N East, and began searching for other opportunities.
“To have the support that Mark (Rette) and Terry (Jone) have given me over the time we’ve spent racing together … that meant the world to me,” Dippel explained. “That was probably one of the hardest, if not the hardest decision I’ve had to make in my racing career. All the guys, I love all of them over there and they worked so hard for me to try and get everything to go right. Mark was like a second dad to me down here (in North Carolina). It was such a tough deal to have that conversation.”
“It was just time for a change, though,” Dippel continued. “We weren’t running the way I felt we should have been and sometimes, when you get to that point it’s just because things aren’t clicking like they did in the past. Regardless of that, though, I can’t thank them enough for all they did for me. It’s been a journey since then, for sure.”
Dippel’s search for a new situation quickly led him to two top-quality rides – one in the ARCA Racing Series and another with the current kings of the K&N East ranks.
The New York teenager and NASCAR Next alum will drive for Chad Bryant Racing on Saturday in the ARCA Music City 200 at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, before returning to the K&N East field on April 14 at Bristol Motor Speedway, wheeling an MDM Motorsports entry as a teammate to Anthony Alfredo.
“I’m really excited to strap back in and get back behind the wheel,” said Dippel, who will drive Bryant’s No. 22 Ford this weekend. “Chad brings really, really fast cars to the race track and I’m just excited to get back in top-flight equipment and have a really solid shot to go run strong and contend for the win.
“I’ve been sitting out of the seat for a month and it feels like forever, man!” he laughed. “I’m ready to go again. It’s going to be super fun to go do Nashville and Bristol both, with two really, really good teams. Both Chad and the guys at MDM have a track record of putting the best cars possible out on the race track and I can’t wait to be a part of that and chase some trophies. It’s gonna be a blast. I’m stoked.”
Dippel admitted there’s been a substantial adjustment period for him as a driver since leaving the place he called home for more than two full seasons.
“There’s just been a lot of change since I split with Rette-Jones … and it’s definitely been different having to try and chase opportunities again, you know?” Dippel stated. “It’s been a lot to adjust to, but I knew the goal for me was to try and find the best possible situation for myself and to put myself in a position to be able to race for wins and show everyone what I’m capable of.
“Just from racing against them and watching how they operate, I felt like Chad Bryant Racing and MDM were two of the best teams on the market and I wanted to be a part of that,” he noted. “They’ve really welcomed me in so far and I can’t thank both teams enough for believing in what I can do and giving me a chance.”
Dippel confirmed that his schedule is fluid following the Zombie Auto 150 at Bristol, with no other contracts in place for him at the moment. However, Dippel believes that more chances will come should he perform well over the course of the next two weeks.
“As of right now, outside of Nashville and Bristol, I have nothing else specifically signed,” Dippel explained. “We’re just going to play everything by ear after Bristol. I just want to go run really strong for these two races and hopefully prove that I belong at the front of the field. If we can do that, I feel like some more pieces will start to fall into place down the road that will create additional opportunities.”