Fifteen-year-old Tyler Dippel raced to his best career finish in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards on Saturday, capturing 4th place as the checkered flag fell in the Federated Car Care Fall Classic 200 at Salem Speedway. Competing in just his third career ARCA Series race, the finish earned him the Scott Rookie Challenge Rookie of the Race award.
After qualifying his Mohawk Northeast / D&A Concrete Contractors / TyCar Trenchless Technologies / Momo / TraqGear Ford in fourth, any doubt that the young dirt track racer from Wallkill, NY would be able to adapt quickly to the paved, high-banked half mile track was erased. Once the green flag fell, he raced inside of the top ten for almost the entire 200 lap event, which saw only four cautions for 34 laps.
After the race, Tyler commented “The guys fine tuned it after practice and we qualified up front. It’s all a learning experience for a new driver. We took a little experience from the last two races and applied that strategy to this race and it paid off!”
Shortly after the restart from the first caution of the race on lap 77, Tyler took his Lira Motorsports Ford Fusion to the second position. Tyler has raced his way to 2nd during the race in each of his three ARCA Series starts. He made a pit stop from 4th place under the second caution of the day on lap 94, dropping briefly back to 12th place to take on much needed tires and fuel. He was back inside the top ten by lap 104, where he remained their for the duration of the race.
The young rookie was running third in the closing laps, successfully holding off charging NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader for several laps, before ultimately relinquishing the position. Schrader would go on to finish second.
“I feel really good about how our team performed,” Tyler concluded. “My spotter, Glenn Sullivan, did an awesome job keeping me on the high side and getting me through traffic. Crew Chief Mark Randall had the car was set up the way I like it, and our pit stop was spot on. For the first time out on pavement in this car, we are happy with our finish. Of course we would have liked the win, but all in all we had a good run. I want to thank Mr. Lira again for this awesome opportunity.”
Although too young to compete in the remaining two ARCA Series raced of the year, Tyler was quick to add “I’m really looking forward to working with Lira Motorsports again soon!”
However, Tyler is far from done with racing for the year. He will race a Super Late Model this weekend in Pensacola, Florida in the last Southern Super Series Race at 5 Flags Speedway. In addition, he will be running a few more big races in the Super Late Model, including The Governors Cup 200 at New Smyrna Speedway and The Snowball Derby 300, also held at 5 Flags Speedway.
Tyler will be fortunate to be able to say that he raced in the last ever race at Moody Mile during October’s Super Dirt Week at the Syracuse Fairgrounds, which will be permanently closing at the end of the year. He’ll also compete in the four-day Eastern States event at The Orange County Fairgrounds. Finally, Tyler will end his dirt season at The World Finals at the Dirt Track At Charlotte.