Matt Tifft Opens up on Overcoming a Major Setback and Becoming the Youngest NASCAR Cup Team Owner

Published 12/14/2020, 7:45 AM EST
ATLANTA, GA – FEBRUARY 24: #36: Matt Tifft, Front Row Motorsports, Ford Mustang Surface Sunscreen / Tunity the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on February 24, 2019 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, GA. (Photo by John Adams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


At 23 years old, it is not often that a sportsperson is forced to rethink his/her entire career going forward. However, the newest NASCAR Cup Series owner, Matt Tifft was in a real dilemma in 2019 after he suffered a seizure on the morning of the race at Martinsville Speedway.

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What started off as an absence for that race, extended further, and Tifft is still not cleared to race. While it was quite challenging for him to deal with the situation, Tifft stayed connected to his passion for the sport.

He explored options as he wanted to stay in NASCAR in some way or another. “I explored all kinds of avenues. Whether that was being involved from a PR standpoint or sponsor standpoint. I looked at some driver coaching stuff, I couldn’t drive, so when you spend your entire life being a driver, it’s pretty hard,” Tifft said of the situation.

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CHARLOTTE, NC – OCTOBER 06: Matt Tifft, driver of the #18 AmrcnBrnTmrAssctn/tnty Toyota, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 6, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)

How Matt Tifft dealt with the sudden blow

Tifft gradually realized that making his return as a racer was going to be difficult. It was quite challenging for him to digest that news, as he worked so hard to become a Cup driver.

When you’re 23-years-old, you’re not thinking in your head, ‘Okay, this is it. I’m going to retire after this year,” he added.

“I went through several months in there. Where first, I was dealing with the health problems. And second, a dark space because I worked my entire life to get (to the Cup Series) and all of a sudden, that was gone,” he expressed.

As he worked to get better, Tifft soon found the perfect opportunity to stay in the NASCAR Cup Series. Earlier this year, Go Fas Racing decided to sell its charter. That gave Tifft and NASCAR driver/team-owner BJ McLeod a chance to field their own team.

HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA – JUNE 13: BJ McLeod, driver of the #6 KSDT CPA Chevrolet, waits on the grid prior to the NASCAR Xfinity Series Hooters 250 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on June 13, 2020 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Tifft is solely focused on NASCAR ownership

They thus established Live Fast Motorsports as co-owners and announced McLeod as the driver. While Tifft hopes to be fit to make a comeback as a driver someday, he is highly focused on his new job.

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Right now, my entire focus is on the race team. And hopefully, there is someday where I step back in the seat of a race car and make that happen. But right now this (team) is in its infancy and I don’t want to talk about getting in a race car. Because I honestly don’t care about that right now,” Tifft said further.

The new venture makes Tifft the youngest owner in the NASCAR Cup Series. Tifft, and everyone around him, would certainly hope to see him drive in NASCAR soon. However, the 24-year-old is excited to make the most of another huge opportunity.

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Aayush Majumdar

1006 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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