ThatsRacin

NASCAR driver Matt Tifft to have surgery on brain tumor

Xfinity Series rookie Matt Tifft stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 30, 2016 in Talladega, Ala. Tifft won the pole for that race.
Xfinity Series rookie Matt Tifft stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 30, 2016 in Talladega, Ala. Tifft won the pole for that race. Getty Images

Xfinity Series rookie Matt Tifft will have surgery to remove a low-grade glioma in his brain, Joe Gibbs Racing announced Tuesday.

Tifft, who is also a finance major at UNC Charlotte, is expected to undergo “rehabilitation soon and once cleared by physicians is expected to return to racing,” according to a JGR statement.

The tumor was discovered when Tifft, 20, was being treated and evaluated for a disc condition in his back. The disc condition was the reason given for why he missed Saturday’s race at Iowa Speedway, a race won by his replacement driver Sam Hornish Jr. David Ragan will drive Tifft’s No. 18 Toyota in Friday’s Xfinity race at Daytona International Speedway.

Tifft, who is from Hinckley, Ohio, had consecutive eighth-place finishes recently and won the pole at Talladega Superspeedway in May. He is a member of this year’s NASCAR Next class.

New Chase rule

NASCAR announced that a driver on an “open” team who makes the Chase will be guaranteed a spot in each race of the postseason. Open teams, who are not part of NASCAR’s new charter program, must qualify for each regular-season race on speed, while charter teams are guaranteed spots. Rookie Ryan Blaney, who drives for the Wood Brothers Racing open team, is close to a spot in the Chase. He’s 17th in the standings but doesn’t have a win.

  Comments