After Brutal Bristol, Win-Tron Racing; Matt Tifft A Team With A Plan
GREENVILLE, South Carolina (March 20, 2013) – – The best way to sum up last weekend’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKPSE) event at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for Win-Tron Racing and rookie driver Matt Tifft? Heartbreaking.
After showing speed in their No. 89 DOC360 Chevrolet Impala during the first of two practice sessions at the 0.533-mile oval, Tifft fell victim to a tire failure which shot his automobile hard into the outside wall in “Thunder Valley.”
To add insult to injury, the team experienced problems with their carburetor during time trials and missed the starting grid for the DRIVE4COPD 125 by just a couple hundred tenths of a second. It was that close.
Despite feeling devastated about what happened, the rising teenager has tried to keep an upbeat demeanor knowing that if there is a time to bounce back in a season, it’s now.
“Even with the disaster of Bristol last weekend, we learned that we have an incredibly strong team and the capability of running up front,” Tifft said. “I was proud of what the team accomplished; I just wished we would have had the opportunity to show it.”
Luckily for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East team, they don’t have any time to linger on the misfortune at “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile”, as action resumes for the tour this Saturday at Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway, a place the 16-year old driver feels they can rebound.
“This weekend will be the polar opposite of Bristol,” he added. “From grip and banking to a flat track with literally no grip. It’s a very big track characteristic change, but I think it’s a track where we can prove our worth, so I’m excited.”
As for the goals this weekend, they remain similar to last weekend’s, but with a little more emphasis.
“My goal is to leave Greenville-Pickens with our No. 89 DOC360 Chevrolet Impala inside the top-10,” Tifft explained. “Unfortunately, we may behind the eight-ball compared to some of the other teams, so we need to get back on track, learn as much as the car as possible and continue to fuse the team together. Bristol is done and over with, so we’ll put a period on it and focus on what’s ahead. We know we have fast cars, so the results will come.”
Looking at the point’s situation, the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team knows there in the arrears, but right now, it’s not a huge priority.
“Shane (Tesch, crew chief) is putting some great equipment underneath me,” the Hinckley, Ohio native sounded. “Every race from here on out there will be more of a priority on stronger finishes after missing a race, but winning only comes with strong finishes. So, we need to be consistent to get back in the points hunt.”
With good finishes, the points will add up for themselves. Right now, we’re just focused on putting our No. 89 DOC360 Chevrolet Impala near the front and contending for wins. If we do that, everything else should fall into place.”
For Win-Tron Racing, owned by former racers Kevin Cywinski and Nate Thiesse, the expansion to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East tour opens the door for the team to continue and enhance their on-track product. The team will work vigorously with Tifft as part of their driver development platform. Currently, the team is tied for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship points lead with driver Mason Mingus after two races.
“Last weekend was unfortunate all the way around,” said Thiesse. “Matt and the team handled it very well though. That shows the maturity and focus of this team in a bad situation. We’re heading to Greenville-Pickens this weekend in attack mode, but we’re going to be conservative at the same time. We know what we have to do, so that’s our agenda to go out there and do just that.”
The 10th annual Kevin Whitaker 150 presented by G-Clean is set for Saturday, March 23 from the 0.5-mile oval. The 150-lap feature will lift off shortly after 8:00 p.m. The race will be tape-delayed on SPEED with a soon-to-be-announced planned air date.
Tifft tweets too, follow him @matt89tifft.