Tifft will be out for the rest of the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season; John Hunter Nemechek will fill the seat
Matt Tifft unloaded in the No. 36 for Front Row Motorsports at Daytona International Speedway in February. That was his first career MENCS start as he set out on a full-season campaign in his rookie year.
Along the way, Tifft collected one top-10 for the team in the July Daytona race, finishing 9th.
Tifft arrived at Martinsville Speedway on Friday for the rookie practice. Shortly before the session began, Tifft was transported to a local hospital without climbing into the car.
Matt Crafton jumped into the seat for both Friday practice sessions. On Saturday morning, Tifft notified fans that he had been released from the hospital and gone home for the weekend.
Matt Crafton remained in the seat for the rest of the race weekend.
Now, we’re learning more about what happened to the driver. Tifft suffered a seizure inside his team hauler.
Matt Tifft provides medical update
“I wanted to give you an update of everything that happened over the weekend,” Matt Tifft opened.
Tifft explained what took place Friday morning, “I actually arrived on Saturday morning and I went into the hauler. I was getting ready for the rookie meeting and making my morning coffee.”
“I felt my tongue cramp up. Next thing I knew, I blacked out. My crew guys helped me down and got EMT’s. Next thing, I woke up in the ambulance, getting transported to a local hospital.”
“I was actually out of the race because I suffered a seizure. Luckily, my test results with a CT scan and my MRI on Monday show that there’s nothing there as far as my brain tumor.”
“I’m trying to find out some answers as to what exactly is going on. I appreciate your support and will let you guys know more, as I learn more.”
“Unfortunately, because of this, I will be missing the rest of the 2019 season. I want to wish Front Row Motorsports and the No. 36 team, the best of luck.”
“I hate that I have to miss out the rest of my rookie season. But, the most important thing is my health and figuring out what is going on. With the seizure and everything going on, it’s not a safe spot for me to be competing right now.”
John Hunter Nemechek to Front Row Motorsports
As he continues to seek medical answers, John Hunter Nemechek will climb behind the wheel of the No. 36.
Currently, Nemechek competes full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with GMS Racing. Additionally, he runs select Truck races for NEMCO Motorsports.
The race at Texas Motor Speedway will mark his first career NASCAR Cup Series start. Previously, Nemechek collected a NASCAR Xfinity Series win at Kansas Speedway in 2018. He’s also won 6 NASCAR Truck Series races.
“Excited for this opportunity to gain some valuable experience,” John Hunter Nemechek stated shortly after the announcement. “Hate that Matt Tifft is going through everything as I wish him a speedy recovery. Prayers out!”