NAPLES, Maine – A little more than a year ago Tyler Dippel had virtually no asphalt racing experience.
On Sunday, the Wallkill, N.Y., rookie will head into the 41st annual Oxford 250 with the points lead in the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Model National Championship standings.
At just 14-years-old, Dippel is one of the top young prospects in short track racing, not only on asphalt, but also on dirt. Dippel cut his teeth racing on the tough dirt tracks of the Northeast and has become one of the top small-block modified drivers in New York, competing at tracks such as Middletown, Accord and Lebanon Valley. He has not forgot his dirt track roots, still competing regularly when his schedule allows.
It is his experience racing on the tough PASS South Super Late Model tour in the Carolinas and Virginia that has allowed Dippel the opportunity to come to Oxford Plains Speedway with a virtually guaranteed spot in the 250. By virtue of his strong runs at the first two PASS National Series events at Greenville-Pickens and Hickory in the spring, Dippel has the points as he prepares for his first Oxford 250.
“I’m really excited, the 250 is probably the biggest race I’ve ever ran and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Dippel. “It’s closer to home, I’m looking forward to having pit stops, and like I said, it’s the biggest race I’ve ran so far.”
Unlike the shorter races he was accustomed to on dirt, Dippel believes his experience racing 125 to 150 lap PASS South races will prepare him for the test the Oxford 250 is so famous for. Dippel currently sits fourth in PASS South Super Late Model points, leading laps at the prestigious Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory and finishing in the top five three times so far this season.
“The PASS South races have helped me a lot as far as learning how to save my stuff and I think we’re getting there and are prepared for the 250,” said Dippel. “Crew Chief Buggy [Pletcher] always has a pretty good car for that race.”
Dippel will definitely have his work cut out for him as over 50 of the best short track racers in North America have pre-entered for the 41st annual Oxford 250, but the PASS Super Late Models will not be alone in making this weekend a celebration of short track racing.
A packed slate of divisions is set to race starting on Friday with the PASS Sportsman, PASS Modifieds, Outlaw Sportsman, Street Stocks, Rebels, Sport Trucks, Cruisers and Ladies, plus practice for the PASS Super Late Models. On Saturday the PASS Super Late Models will get three rounds of practice followed by racing in the evening for the PASS Northeast Late Models, NEMA Midgets, NEMA Lites, Outlaw Sportsman, Street Stocks, Wicked Good Racers and Classic Lights.
On Sunday pit gates will open bright and early at 7 a.m. with a full day of on track activities including practice and heat race action for the PASS Super Late Models, followed by features for the PASS Modifieds, Outlaw Series, Street Stocks, Legends and the 41st annual Oxford 250.