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Tifft Get Backup Car Out – Still Top 10 at New Smyrna

RACE REPORT

Brighthouse Networks Series, New Smyrna (FL) Speedway, Brighthouse 100 
No. 89 Malco Automotive Products Ford Fusion 

  • Matt finished 8th after going to a backup car after qualifying
  • First race after accomplishing the year’s goal of the ASA Midwest Tour Rookie of the Year
  • Returned to the BJ McLeod Motorsports team for this event

Matt returned to the Florida based BJ McLeod Motorsports team this weekend after achieving the ASA Midwest Tour Rookie of the Year title and finishing 5th overall in the point standings for the year. The event was the Brighthouse Networks Series 100 at New Smyrna (FL) Speedway.

After testing very well on Friday, Matt noticed the RPM’s of the motor reducing about 50 RPM’s each of the three practices on race day. Although this sometimes can be attributed to track conditions, something did not seem quite right.

During qualifying, the car seemed to not have much straightaway speed, and didn’t quite sound right. The qualifying time was off about two to three tenths from what was expected. After investigating, it was determined that at least one valve spring had issues and in order to not create more severe damage, the car was parked for the evening. Luckily, the BJ McLeod Motorsports team had prepared a backup car and it was unloaded and quickly changed over so that Matt could start the feature at the rear.

The backup car was capable of maintaining decent times, but not the speed of the primary car. Matt worked his way up to 8th place and maintained that position most of the 100 lap feature.

Matt will be back with the BJ McLeod Motorsports team October 27 at the Watermelon Capital (GA) Speedway for the ARCA/CRA Super Series event.

Matt’s Thoughts After the Race: “When we tested on Friday, it took me a few laps to get used to the four barrel carburetors they run down here, but I was really impressed with the car BJ had prepared, and I really thought we could get a win down here if it wasn’t for the engine issues. I think we will have something for them when we come back for the Governor’s Cup in a few weeks!”

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