Tifft sidelined for remainder of 2019 Cup season

Image by Kinrade/LAT

Tifft sidelined for remainder of 2019 Cup season


Tifft sidelined for remainder of 2019 Cup season


Matt Tifft will not finish the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season after the seizure he suffered at Martinsville.

Tifft and Front Row Motorsports sent updates Tuesday morning with Tifft offering details of what happened over the weekend. John Hunter Nemechek will drive the No. 36 Ford Mustang in the season’s final three races at Texas, ISM, and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Nemechek is a full-time competitor for a GMS Racing in the Xfinity Series, and Texas will be his debut in the NASCAR Cup Series.

While sidelined, Tifft will “consult with his doctors” and work with the NASCAR medical team to earn clearance to race again.

“This isn’t the way any driver wants to make their Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut,” Nemechek said. “I am hoping that Matt feels better and can get back in his car as soon as possible. That is what is important. Hopefully I can learn a lot and make Matt, the Front Row Motorsports team and its partners proud.”

Saturday morning before practice at Martinsville, Tifft was taken from his team’s hauler on a stretcher and later transported to a local hospital. Matt Crafton drove his car in both practices sessions, qualifying, and in the First Data 500 as Tifft returned home.

“We want to thank John Hunter for filling in Matt’s seat as he continues to recover,” said Jerry Freeze, general manager of FRM. “Our thoughts are still with Matt and his family. We feel that John Hunter can step up and do a great job for us as Matt heals.”

Tifft posted a video on Twitter explaining that he’d suffered a seizure, the cause of which is still being determined.