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Matt Tifft – Finally Cashing in his Winning Lottery Ticket

Tifft headerMATT TIFFT

Finally Cashing In his Winning Lottery Ticket

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 12, 2015) – After inking a six-race deal to drive for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) in 2015 last November, 18-year-old Matt Tifft will make his long-awaited debut behind the wheel of the No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra in Friday night’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

Knowing that the KBM deal was in the works late last year, Tifft began building his resume in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in an effort to be approved to run all the tracks on his schedule this season, which includes the Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway race in October. He registered an impressive eighth-place finish in his Truck Series debut last October at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and posted an average finish of 16.3 across his three 2014 starts. The Ohio native also competed for Ken Schrader Racing in the ARCA Racing Series last season, collecting five top-five and seven top-10 finishes across 10 starts, including a runner-up finish at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

While his primary focus in 2015 will be on his KBM schedule, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte business student knew that he needed to complement those races by running for other Truck Series teams and in other racing series in order to keep his skills behind the wheel sharp. The Ohio native has competed in three of the four Truck Series races this season with Venturini Motorsports, producing a season-best ninth-place finish at Martinsville. He also has made two starts for Ken Schrader Racing in the ARCA Racing Series, opening the season with a sixth-place finish at Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway and following it up with a runner-up finish at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tenn.

One-hundred and eighty days will have passed between the time that it was announced Tifft would drive for KBM last November and his first start for the team this Friday night. When he signed to drive for the winningest active team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series he felt like he had just scratched off a winning lottery ticket, now the talented youngster is finally getting to cash that ticket in – fittingly enough in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200.

Matt Tifft, driver of the No. 51 NCWTS ToyotaCare Tundra:

It’s been over five months since you signed to drive for KBM, how hard has it been to have to wait this long for your first start?

“It’s like having to wait to cash a winning lottery ticket or a kid that got a present for Christmas and hasn’t been able to open it until now. I’ve been anticipating this weekend and trying to get some track time before this time came — now it’s here, so I have to go out and perform.”

You have six races scheduled in the No. 51 Tundra this season; have you set any goals for those races?

“I think the most important things are to go out there an impress people, work well with Kyle (Busch, owner) and try to get some wins.  At the end of the day, that’s why we are here and what this organization is built on.”

 

You had a chance to test with your team at Charlotte in February, how beneficial do you feel that will be this weekend?

“That is really important — any time that you can go to a track and you’ve already had a chance to get comfortable there ahead of time, that’s definitely beneficial. It would be a whole different story if I was going there for the first time and just getting in the truck and trying to work up to speed. Now, I know what we did at the test and I can try to get even faster from there — being able to go out and work on race runs and work on how our truck handles around other trucks with the aero packages and see how that responds, instead of me having to learn all the different aspects of Charlotte.”

 

Jerry Baxter, crew chief of the No. 51 NCWTS ToyotaCare Tundra:

How did the rookie test at Charlotte go earlier this season with Matt?

“Matt was able to make about 30 laps during our rookie test earlier this year at Charlotte and got up to speed really fast. It was good for him to be able to test since he doesn’t have a lot of experience on mile-and-a-half tracks and it was good for us as a team to get to know him a little bit and work on our communication. We’ll also have a couple hours of extra practice time on Thursday, which will be a good thing for us since it’s his first race and we are bringing a brand new Tundra. That will give us an extra set of tires and give Matt extra laps to get a feel for our trucks compared to what he’s been driving for the other teams and extra time to get acquainted with the track.”

Have you done any wind-tunnel testing with your new Tundra?

“We took it to the wind tunnel and to the seven-post machine and from everything we’ve seen so far it’s been really good. It’s our newest build at KBM and we put everything we could possibly think of into this Tundra.”

Matt Tifft’s No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra:

 

KBM-29: The No. 51 ToyotaCare Racing team will unload a brand new chassis, KBM-29 for Friday’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

 

Notes of Interest:

 

Matt Tifft 2015:

  • Has registered one top-10 finish in three NCWTS starts      for Venturini Motorsports, a ninth-place finish at Martinsville (Va.)      Speedway
  • Has posted an Average Start of 5.0 and Average Finish      of 4.0 across two ARCA Racing Starts, including a runner-up finish at      Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tenn.
  • Recently completed his freshman year at the University      of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he is majoring in business

Matt Tifft NCWTS Career Stats:

 

Year

Races

Win

Top   5

Top   10

Pole

Laps

Led

Earnings

AvSt

AvFn

RAF

Miles

LLF

2014

3

0

0

1

0

458

0

$30,400

21.7

16.3

3

430.2

2

2015

3

0

0

1

0

340

0

$49,830

17.7

19.0

1

322.7

1

Totals

6

0

0

2

0

798

0

$80,230

19.7

17.7

4

752.9

3

 

Matt Tifft 2014

 

*     Eighth-place finish in his NCWTS debut at Martinsville Speedway in October was his best result across three starts

*     Produced five top-five and seven top-10 finishes, including a runner-up finish at Kentucky Speedway in September, across his 10 ARCA Racing Series starts

*     Collected two top-10 finishes across six NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts

*     Finished 10th in his lone NASCAR K&N Pro Series West start

 

Matt Tifft 2013

 

*     Finished fifth in his ARCA Racing Series debut at Toledo Speedway in May

*     Collected one top-five and three top-10 finishes across four NASCAR K&N Series West starts

*     Recorded three top-10 finishes across 13 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts

 

Matt Tifft 2012

 

*     Earned Rookie of the Year award in the ARCA Midwest Tour after registering two top-five and six top-10 finishes across 12 starts en route to a fifth-place finish in the championship point standings

 

Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 51 Tundra:

  • The No. 51 team currently ranks fourth in the 2015      NCWTS Owner’s championship point standings, 21 points behind the      series-leading No. 88 team
  • The team has finished inside the top 10 in all four      events this year and has registered 13 consecutive top-10 finishes dating      back to last August’s event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in      Bowmanville, Ontario
  • The No.51Tundra team has compiled 17 of KBM’s 39 NCWTS      victories and are the two-time reigning NCWTS Owner’s champions
  • The next win by the No. 51 team will make it the      winningest number at KBM; the No. 18 has also registered 17 wins

KBM NCWTS Program

  • Has collected three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series      Owner’s Championships, 39 Truck Series victories and 19 poles across 213      starts since originating in 2010
  • 39 career Truck Series victories as an organization      ranks third all-time behind Roush (50) and Kevin Harvick Inc. (43)
  • 14 victories as an organization during the 2014 season      broke the Truck Series record of 12 set by Ultra Motorsports in 2001
  • Six different drivers have won a race for KBM, led by      owner-driver Kyle Busch with 26. Darrell Wallace Jr. collected five      victories, Erik Jones has posted  four wins, Denny Hamlin produced      two victories and Kasey Kahne and Brian Scott both collected one triumph
  • Has collected victories at 17 of the 21 tracks on the      2015 schedule, excluding Atlanta Motor Speedway, Canadian Tire Motorsport      Park, Michigan International Speedway and Pocono Raceway

KBM NCWTS @ Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS)

  • KBM drivers have collected four wins, two poles, 286 laps      led, five top-five and five top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish      of 12.1 across 10 starts at CMS
  • Owner-driver Kyle Busch has collected all four of his      team’s wins at the 1.5-mile track, including victories the last two      seasons
  • In last year’s event at the North Carolina track, Busch      started on the pole and registered a perfect driver rating (150.0) after      leading 130 of the 134 laps

The Book on Baxter:

Veteran crew chief Jerry Baxter is currently in his third season atop the pit box for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Under the California native’s guidance, Darrell Wallace Jr. finished third in the Truck Series championship standings in 2014 and led all series regulars in wins (4), laps led (623), driver rating (109.5) and fastest laps run (280). Combined in two seasons working with Wallace Jr., Baxter posted five wins, three poles, 963 laps led, 14 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes across 44 starts. In addition to his five wins at KBM, he boasts one other Truck Series win (Cale Gale, 2012) and one NASCAR XFINITY Series win (David Reutimann, 2007).

 

Baxter’s Truck Series drivers have compiled an average starting position of 10.7 and average finish of 24.0 across three starts at CMS.

 

Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 51 Toyota Tundra 2015 NCWTS Box Score:

 

Date

Site

Driver

Start

Finish

Laps

Laps Led

Status

Owner Pts./Pos.

Money Won

2/20

Daytona Suarez

30

9

100/100

5

running

36/9th

$20,786

2/28

Atlanta Suarez

4

4

130/130

1

running

77/4th

$21,261

3/28

Martinsville Suarez

11

6

258/258

0

running

115/4th

$16,574

5/8

Kansas Suarez

10

6

167/167

1

running

154/4th

$17,277

5/15

Charlotte Tifft

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-KBM-

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