By Toby Christie, NASCAR Editor
45 drivers will head to Daytona International Speedway vying for a place in the field for Friday night’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Subway FireCracker 250. One name that will be missing in action is 20-year-old rookie Matt Tifft.
Tifft was expected to compete after completing surgery to correct an issue with a disc in his back. Unfortunately — or forunately, actually — as Tifft was being treated for his back injury, doctors found a low-grade glioma in his brain.
A glioma, according to a team press release, is a slow-growing tumor. Tifft will once again undergo surgery, and once he is healed and rehabbed he is expected to return to racing for Joe Gibbs Racing. The team release reiterated that Tifft is, “anxious to return to the race track as soon as possible.”
Tifft has three top-10 finishes in seven-career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts.
Joe Gibbs Racing has announced that NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran, David Ragan, will substitute for Tifft this weekend at Daytona. Ragan is a restrictor-plate ace of sorts, as he has scored two-career wins at this type of race track in the Sprint Cup Series. Ragan also won at Talladega in the Xfinity Series back in 2009.