After missing his last scheduled race at Iowa Speedway for Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR Next driver Matt Tifft will be sidelined yet again for the Subway Firecracker 250 due to surgery to remove a brain tumor.
The 20-year-old was kept out of the seat of his No. 18 Toyota at Iowa because of a disc injury in his back. The disc injury, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise, was what helped doctors discover the tumor while he was being treated and evaluated for his back.
Tifft is scheduled to undergo surgery and rehabilitation for the slow-growing low-grade glioma. Joe Gibbs Racing confirmed Tifft will return to racing once rehab is complete.
Tifft was replaced by veteran driver Sam Hornish, Jr. at Iowa, who later won that weekend. This time, two-time NASCAR XFINITY Series race winner David Ragan will be in the seat of the No. 18 Surface Sunscreen/Rugged Maniac Toyota this weekend at Daytona International Speedway.
In six XFINITY Series starts this year, Tifft has a best finish of eighth twice, and a pole at Talladega Superspeedway.