Future Watch: Matt Tifft Rookie NASCAR Cards

Future Watch: Matt Tifft Rookie NASCAR CardsFuture Watch: Matt Tifft Rookie NASCAR Cards – In 2007, Matt Tifft had his first opportunity to drive Go-Karts. He was coached by Kevin Harter of CRP Racing. In 2009, Matt Tifft made his first divisional and national level go kart schedule with Beasley Motorsports. His coach was Gary Lawson. During the 2009 season he had two national-level victories and then in 2010 he transitioned from the Go-Karts to asphalt and dirt, super late model’s cars.

Tifft’s first full year was in 2011. With stock cars he compiled two super late model victories and had multiple top-5 finishes. Tifft also raced a significant number of races with BJ McLeod Motorsports.

In 2012, Tifft won the rookie of the year in the Arca Midwest tour and he finished 5th in points. Tifft joined Win-Tron racing in 2013 to race in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

A signing in 2014 with Ken Shrader racing, Tifft ran select ARCA and K&N East races. Also in 2014 he made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Martinsville Speedway, finishing 8th.

Tifft made his Xfinity debut in 2015 with Joe Gibbs racing, finishing 10th. He then signed by JGR to drive the No. 18 in 13 races. Tifft drove three races with JGL Racing driving the No. 24 in the Xfinity Series, before driving for JGR. Tifft also joined Red Horse Racing to drive the No. 11 in the Truck Series.

In 2016 Tifft sustained a disc condition in his back. On recommendation by his doctor he sat out the American Ethanol E15 250. Sam Hornish Jr drove for him and won the race. Tifft eventually underwent surgery for a low-grade glioma in his brain and on September 12th, 2016 NASCAR cleared him to race.

On November 4, 2016, it was announced that Tifft would drive full-time in JGR’s No. 19 entry in 2017, competing for Rookie of the Year. Tifft had not scored a top five, but on August 12, 2017 he finished a career best third place at the mid-Ohio sports car course.

On November 27, 2018, Tifft was announced to drive the Front Row Motorsports No. 36, Ford Mustang GT, in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and compete for 2019 Rookie of the Year honors. He personally selected the number 36 as his racing number to honor his mentor Ken Schrader.

Prior to the Martinsville race, Tifft was rushed to the hospital after suffering a seizure and blacking out in the team hauler, forcing Matt Crafton to take over the No. 36 for the race. As a result of the seizure, he missed the rest of the 2019 season and John Hunter Nemechek substituted in the No. 36 for the final three races. On November 13, he and FRM parted ways as Tifft intended to focus on his health and could not commit to a full-time 2020 schedule.

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Brad Jorgensen
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