Matt Tifft doesn’t know if the seizure he suffered last weekend will end his career, but he’s focused on finding answers and trying to return to racing.
Tifft will not compete in the final three races of the NASCAR Cup Series season but arrived at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday to support his team. He spent some time with the media outside his hauler, just feet from where he suffered the seizure at Martinsville Speedway.
Matt Crafton was the team’s substitute driver last weekend. John Hunter Nemechek has been tabbed as Tifft’s replacement to end the year.
“I’ve been through this stuff before, and I know enough to be mature and smart enough to know that my health comes first,” said Tifft. “My goal is to get back in this race car, and I want to be back as soon as I possibly can, but these next few weeks are going to be dedicated to finding answers with doctors to why this happened. It’s crazy, but the racing part is going to come back, and I’ll get back in a car one way or another, I do honestly believe that. But I have to get my stuff figured out and see what sparked this to happen.”
Tifft said he does not know what the parameters would be to get back in the car, and right now, he said he is not even allowed to drive a passenger car. However, Tifft noted this is the first seizure that he’s had, and that the brain scans he underwent of where a tumor was removed in 2016 looked good.
“So the next step is getting an EEG, where they hook up the probes to your head and figure out what is going on with the brain waves and see if that’s it,” said Tifft. “If that’s not it, then we go down the next chain of command to see what could have sparked it.
“I had parked my truck 15 to 20 minutes before (the seizure happened). I was extremely fortunate that I was in the infield and not driving the car or anything that happened leading up to that morning. It’s crazy, but I feel fortunate to be here in good health and talking to you guys. I don’t know if I would have expected that fully after last Saturday.”
In a statement Front Row Motorsport said it has a two-year agreement with Tifft and would be honoring it.
“We will still have Matt here next year. The plan is for Matt to drive for Front Row Motorsports until Matt tells us anything else, but right now we are committed to having Matt back in the car.”