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Hinckley native Matt Tifft joins NASCAR Cup Series

  • NASCAR-Phoenix-Auto-Racing-2

    Matt Tifft drives during a NASCAR Xfinity Series auto race on Nov. 10 in Avondale, Ariz.

    RICK SCUTERI / AP

  • MG-A1-color-3cols-mgrail-jpg

    Hinckley Township native Matt Tifft in his days racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Tifft was promoted to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

    PROVIDED PHOTO

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STATESVILLE, N.C. — Hinckley Township has produced big-time athletes such as NFL players Jim Ritcher and Connor Cook.

Another name was added to the list Tuesday, when Matt Tifft was promoted to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the pinnacle of the sport.

Front Row Motorsports and Bob Jenkins announced the signing of Tifft in a press release. Tifft will drive the No. 36 Ford Mustang and join veterans Michael McDowell and David Ragan for his rookie season.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the announcement today of my move to the NASCAR Cup Series,” Tifft said on Twitter. “This has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid and I can’t believe it’s finally coming true. I’m so thankful for Front Row Motorsports for giving me the opportunity to drive the No. 36 next season.

“I’m looking forward to the guidance from Cup Veterans Michael McDowell and David Ragan and am ready to take on the challenge of driving with 39 of the best drivers in the world.”

Tifft is no stranger to NASCAR after finishing sixth in the Xfinity Series this summer. He earned six top-five finishes with Richard Childress Racing and made it to the quarterfinals of the playoffs.

In his four Xfinity seasons, Tifft had nine top-five finishes and 38 top 10s. He also won the pole twice.

Highlighted by a runner-up finish at Road America on Aug. 25, Tifft finished this season strong.

He was eighth at Darlington Raceway and sixth at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in his next two races to complete a streak of five top-10 finishes.

After sixth- and seventh-place finishes at Kansas Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway, Tifft was third at ISM Raceway in his second-to-last race of the season.

“I also want to thank Richard Childress Racing for everything they’ve done for me this season,” Tifft said.

“My time at RCR has been incredible and I’m thankful for what I was able to learn there and the fun we had competing for wins. It was an experience I will never forget.”

Contact Brad Bournival at bournival929@gmail.com.


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