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NASCAR Cup: Matt Tifft steps away from racing to focus on health

CHARLOTTE, NC – SEPTEMBER 19: Matt Tifft speaks to the media as one of the 12 remaining drivers eligible to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs Media Day at Embassy Suites Charlotte Uptown on September 19, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

As a result of Matt Tifft’s ongoing heal issues, he and Front Row Motorsports have agreed to part ways.

“I’ve made the decision to focus on my health, and there is no rush or timetable to get back behind the wheel,” Tifft said. “Because of that, I can’t commit to racing full-time in 2020. I can’t say when I’ll be ready to race again, but I believe I will come back. I love this sport, the people, and I would like to be a part of it next year in some capacity.

“I want to thank Bob Jenkins, Jerry Freeze and the entire Front Row Motorsports organization for allowing me to live my dream of racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. They are great people, and it’s been awesome to race there. I look forward to what’s next in racing when the time is right.”

Tifft’s 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season was cut short when the driver suffered a seizure at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway last month. NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series driver drove the No. 36 FRM Ford as a substitute for Tifft and Martinsville, and NASCAR Xfinity Series regular John Hunter Nemechek has driven the car in the races since then. Nemechek will finish the Cup Series season in the No. 36 in Sunday’s season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Tifft missed a significant portion of the 2016 Xfinity Series season as he recovered from surgery to remove a non-cancerous brain tumor. Testing has shown that his seizure at Martinsville was unrelated to the surgery, but, according to Tifft, the cause of his recent seizure has not been determined.

“Matt has always shown us a lot of determination and courage,” Front Row Motorsports owner Bob Jenkins said. “He’s a fighter, and I believe, like him, that he’ll return to driving. For now, we support Matt and his need to focus on his health and his family. Racing will be there when it’s time. We want to thank Matt and his family for being a part of Front Row Motorsports and helping us continue to grow.”

Tifft was a 2019 Cup Series rookie. In 32 races this season, he posted one top-10 — a ninth-place finish in the July race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

Tifft’s departure from the team leaves FRM with two vacant seats ahead of the 2020 season. Another FRM driver, David Ragan, will retire from full-time competition when the 2019 season concludes.

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Posted by on November 15, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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