COLUMN: Hey Tyler Dippel, ‘You’re being too loud’

Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

By Jerry Jordan, Editor

It may be the quickest reinstatement since suspensions and reinstatements began but a day after NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Driver Tyler Dippel apologized for being in possession of someone else’s medication – and once criminal charges were dismissed – the sanctioning body gave him the go-ahead to return to the driver’s seat and his Young’s Motorsports team.

But this situation doesn’t just deal with him being pulled over by a state trooper near Wallkill, NY, for supposedly changing lanes without a turn signal, even if that is the technical reason given by law enforcement for the traffic stop when it was reportedly going over 80 mph in a 65 mph zone. No, his suspension had everything to do with Dippel doing stupid stuff over the course of several months and having a unique way of buying trouble into his life, specifically in the form of the criminal justice system. It was a message from NASCAR embracing its inner-millennial Taylor Swift psyche and asking, “Hey, are you okay?”

Over the course of about six months, the 19-year-old Dippel, has had trouble on, at least, three separate occasions – once in Martinsville, once in Pocono and again this past week, in New York.

In Martinsville, he was apparently angry after the Truck Series race and when an officer working security didn’t let him out of the driver/owner lot quick enough, according to sources at the track. Despite the officer telling him to stay put, he is said to have ignored the directive and his vehicle bumped, grazed, touched said officer. That’s not a good look for Dippel … or NASCAR.

As one would expect, Dippel was given a citation – he is lucky that’s all he got – and paid a $500 fine along with court costs to Henry County, Virginia.

Look, we get it. Sometimes it is frustrating dealing with track security … and they probably didn’t realize Dippel was the superstar driver who finished two laps down in 23rd in the TruNorth Global 250 a few minutes earlier. But we all have to serve our time in the exit line and escaping Martinsville can be both confusing and frustrating.

Now, for Dippel’s second bonehead move, he was caught with a fake ID at a casino near Pocono Raceway. Kickin’ the Tires has reached out to the respective agencies but has yet to obtain the records in that case. Still, it happened, which is why we can say it was a bonehead move. You don’t use a fake ID at a casino. First, if you win a jackpot they take it away, so that sucks.

Second, if they catch you possessing a fake ID, police can charge you with a crime. That double-sucks because if someone is gambling with a fake ID they can be charged for possession of false identification and that can carry a $500 fine. And if an underage person is using a fake ID to consume alcohol, Pennsylvania law states that person, “may be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $500 for the first violation and not more than $1,000 for the second and each subsequent violation.” Oh yeah, they can take away your driver’s license, too, because it falls under the vehicle code. Good thing racers don’t actually need a driver’s license to race in NASCAR?

Third, the casinos in the Pocono region have been getting hammered with fines because minors have been sneaking in to gamble and drink using fake IDs. The problem has become such an issue casinos have massively increased training for employees and purchased high-tech equipment to catch scofflaws. It appears Dippel didn’t do a Google search of “fake IDs and Pennsylvania casinos” before he left the track.

Now, the most recent issue Dippel faced was near his hometown of Wallkill, NY where, according to him, “while driving home from the Orange County Fair Speedway, I was pulled-over for changing lanes without proper signal. The trooper asked my passenger and myself if we had been using drugs and we responded with “no” – because we hadn’t.

The trooper continued to question us and then asked to search the vehicle, which I gave him my consent as I had nothing to hide. In the back of my truck was a friend’s backpack who was not with us containing his prescription medication. Because it was in my vehicle, I was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance.”

That is a little bit of a different story than what was reported by NBC Sports but once lawyers get involved and plea deals are made things tend to look different on paper.

Look, we get it and we even have experience in the excessive speed department so we are not throwing really large stones here, more like pebbles. We can also understand how someone’s backpack containing prescription medication could be left in a vehicle without the driver realizing it. It happens and he has apologized.

It’s pretty obvious Dippel did something other than just changing lanes without a signal that attracted the trooper’s attention? Was he driving like he was chasing the checkered flag and going wide on the high side of the highway after leaving Orange County Fair Speedway? Since Dippel is from the area it isn’t likely the trooper just wanted an autograph. If that were the case, he’d find him around town rather than pulling him over, searching his car and presenting him with a little sheet of paper to appear in court. But, hey, he got that autograph.

Although we’ve made light of this situation, it is very serious and Dippel needs to take it as a wake-up call. He’s young. We were all there once. We’ve all done stupid stuff. For some of us, we’re just thankful it was before cell phones cameras, social media and the age of 24/7 news.

There is little argument Tyler Dippel is a good kid overall and just like when your mom whacked you with a wooden spoon for backtalking (oh, your mom didn’t do that, mine did), NASCAR engaged in a teaching moment. They sent Dippel a message. He missed a race, his career was in jeopardy and there is no doubt it got his attention. Now, for Dippel, have fun, race cars, go fast (on the track) but “You need to calm down.”

4 Comments

  1. Clint Baurichter

    August 30, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    Its very scary that Nascar jumped to a conclusion and did not allow due process to play out. Anyone can be accused of a crime at any time whether there are cogent facts to support it or not. A presumption of innocence is the basis of our legal system and it’s terrifying to think your career and future could be put in jeopardy because a friend left a bag containing their legal prescription in your car. Nascar has done irrepairable harm to this kid’s career and your article is flat out moronic. I wish anyone that covered Nascar didn’t feel the overwhelming urge to jump to Nascar’s defense of every single decision that they make. To be honest its a big reason the fan base has eroded over the years. All the gladhanding and sycophantic behavior by the motorsports media towards Nascar is frankly nauseating. Nascar made the mistake here, not Tyler Dippel and you jump to the ridiculous conclusion that he had to have been doing something more severe than what an official police report outlines. You quite frankly suck as an author and I see no reason in the future to read anything that you produce.

    • Jerry Jordan

      August 30, 2019 at 7:41 pm

      EDITOR’S REPLY: Since I own the company, I get to respond to your statement. First, thank you for expressing your opinion. I may not share your beliefs but I am glad you shared them. Second, I actually wish nothing but the best for Tyler Dippel and I hope his life is filled with success and happiness. Now, regarding the issue of disparaging Tyler Dippel, I think you have lost sight of the fact that NASCAR is not a democracy. It is a private business and the people in charge get to call the shots. There is a rule that basically states if you do stupid stuff from a behavioral standpoint, you can be suspended from the sport. This was NOT just dealing with the incident in New York. His suspension came after a series of bad decisions and illegal actions. He is lucky he didn’t go to jail in Martinsville and he is still not out of the woods on the issue in Pocono with using a fake ID at a casino. The reason he was pulled over was for speeding, according to law enforcement. Mr. Dippel is the one who stated it was for changing lanes without a turn signal. I don’t know what happened on that traffic stop but I can promise you that I am doing everything in my power to obtain a copy of the bodycam video. Once I have it, I will post it on the site to let the world see how things played out.

    • Jerry Jordan

      August 30, 2019 at 7:41 pm

      EDITOR’S REPLY: Since I own the company, I get to respond to your statement. First, thank you for expressing your opinion. I may not share your beliefs but I am glad you shared them. Second, I actually wish nothing but the best for Tyler Dippel and I hope his life is filled with success and happiness. Now, regarding the issue of disparaging Tyler Dippel, I think you have lost sight of the fact that NASCAR is not a democracy. It is a private business and the people in charge get to call the shots. There is a rule that basically states if you do stupid stuff from a behavioral standpoint, you can be suspended from the sport. This was NOT just dealing with the incident in New York. His suspension came after a series of bad decisions and illegal actions. He is lucky he didn’t go to jail in Martinsville and he is still not out of the woods on the issue in Pocono with using a fake ID at a casino. The reason he was pulled over was for speeding, according to law enforcement. Mr. Dippel is the one who stated it was for changing lanes without a turn signal. I don’t know what happened on that traffic stop but I can promise you that I am doing everything in my power to obtain a copy of the bodycam video. Once I have it, I will post it on the site to let the world see how things played out.

  2. Dehmitz

    September 1, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    I’m reminded of when NASCAR suspended Kurt Busch a few years ago, and people were wailing, “What about due process?” NASCAR isn’t the government, so due process doesn’t apply. They have to protect their brand. I hope they’ve since apologized to Busch, for what it’s worth.

    As for Dippel, I wish him the best as well. And I think NASCAR doesn’t want another Rob Moroso-type of situation on its hands.

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