By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
Three months ago, Matt Tifft was sidelined from competing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series as well as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series by a disc issue in Tifft’s back. During a routine test, it was discovered by Tifft’s doctors that he had a low-grade giloma, a brain tumor.
Tifft underwent surgery to remove the non-cancerous tumor. After about two months of rehab, Tifft was finally cleared by his doctors, as well as NASCAR officials to return to NASCAR competition on September 12, 2016.
Tifft’s first race back was in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race for Red Horse Racing at Chicagoland Speedway. Tifft started his No. 11 Brain Gear / Surface Sunscreen Toyota Tundra in the 11th position. Tifft finished the race in 12th.
Since Tifft’s return to competition, he has competed in two Truck Series races, one Xfinity Series race, and one ARCA Racing Series event. In both the ARCA Racing Series and Xfinity Series events at Kentucky Speedway, Tifft earned a top five finish.
In Friday night’s Xfinity Series Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Tifft will welcome the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) as the primary sponsor of his No. 18 Toyota Camry.
The ABTA was founded in 1973 and was the first, and is the only national advocacy organization committed to funding brain tumor research and providing education and information support for all tumor types and all age groups according to the organization’s website. The ABTA’s goal is to improve, extend, and ultimately save the lives of those who are diagnosed with brain tumors.
Tifft has competed in eight Xfinity Series races and has four top 10s. Tifft also has one top five and one pole in the Xfinity Series.
Tifft as also competed in 20 Camping World Truck Series races. In the Truck Series, Tifft has one top five and seven top 10s.
Tifft will now look to continue his impressive return as he and his Joe Gibbs Racing team will attempt to play the role of spoiler in the first ever NASCAR Xfinity Series Chase Elimination race.