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Matt Tifft driving JGR’s No. 19 Xfinity car, will be sponsored by Tunity at Daytona

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Matt Tifft will take over for Daniel Suarez in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 19 Xfinity Series car this season and will be sponsored by Tunity for multiple races, beginning with the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.

Tifft will be JGR’s only full-time Xfinity driver this season. Joe Gibbs Racing’s website lists Suarez and Kyle Busch as driving the No. 18 car and Erik Jones as driver of the No. 20.

Tifft replaces Suarez after his unexpected promotion to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series following Carl Edwards‘ departure from the sport.

Surface Sunscreen and BrainGear will also be full season partners on the No. 19 car as associate sponsorship roles at Daytona and in primary sponsorship roles that will be announced later.

This season will be Tifft’s first full-time campaign in a national NASCAR series after three part-time seasons in the Camping World Truck Series and two in the Xfinity Series.

The Ohio-native climbs into the No. 19 less than a year after he missed a large portion of the 2016 season recovering from surgery that removed a low-grade brain tumor.

Tifft will look to defend the No. 19 team’s Xfinity championship.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to compete full time in NASCAR, so the chance to drive for the best team in the industry and coming off the No. 19’s championship run is pretty cool,” Tifft said in a press release. “Already (crew chief Matt) Beckman and I have gone to work and I’m really looking forward to getting started this year. I think it’ll be an incredible opportunity and I can’t wait to get rolling.”

Beckman is entering into his first season as a crew chief in the Xfinity Series.

“To date, the off-season has been pretty hectic, but productive at the same time. We have expended considerable energy assembling a great group of guys to compete in the Xfinity Series with Matt Tifft,” Beckman said in a press release. “Ultimately, our goal is to live up to the standards of the No. 19 JGR effort from 2016 and compete for the Championship, once more, as the season winds down in Homestead later this year.”

In 36 starts in the Xfinity and Truck series, Tifft has one top five in each series, both coming last season. His best finish in Xfinity was fifth at Kentucky and in Trucks he finished fifth at Charlotte.

Tifft makes his debut in the No. 19 on Feb. 25 in the Powershares QQQ 300.

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NASCAR on NBC podcast, Ep. 90: Roger Slack

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Eldora Speedway general manager Roger Slack joined the NASCAR on NBC podcast to discuss his track’s past, present and possible future with NASCAR.

Slack detailed the run-up to the initial “secret” test with Tony Stewart and Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon that led to scheduling a Camping World Truck Series race that recently completed its fifth edition.

Slack also discussed the storied history of Eldora, which opened in 1954 and was bought by Stewart 50 years later.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking on the AudioBoom embed below or download and subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts by clicking here. The free subscription will provide automatic downloads of new episodes to your smartphone.

It also is available on Stitcher by clicking here and also can be found on Google Play, Spotify and a host of other smartphone apps.

NASCAR America: How Daniel Suarez found out he was replacing Carl Edwards (video)

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On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America, Daniel Suarez recalled the moment he got the call that he was being promoted to replace Carl Edwards in the NASCAR Cup Series at Joe Gibbs Racing.

Suarez was at dinner back home in Mexico with family and friends when JGR officials called and him to be ready for a teleconference in a few moments.

Suarez stepped away, telling his dinner partners he’d be back shortly — which ultimately lasted 40 minutes.

When he returned to the dinner table, he couldn’t tell anything about the phone call — JGR officials swore him to secrecy — but he eventually revealed that he had been promoted to the NASCAR Cup Series to replace Edwards, who had decided to take a hiatus from his racing career.

Check out the video above.

 

 

NASCAR America: What Joe Gibbs Racing teammates really think of each other (video)

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Daniel Suarez appeared on Wednesday’s live broadcast of NASCAR America from the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina,

One of the funniest segments of Suarez’s visit was a video and verbal collage of how much he and his fellow Joe Gibbs Racing teammates really think of each other — all in good humor, of course.

Check out the video above where Suarez, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch answer the “tough questions” about themselves, as well as how they feel about their fellow teammates.

NASCAR America: Daniel Suarez’s journey from Mexico and VW Beetles to NASCAR champion (video)

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In winning last year’s Xfinity Series championship, Mexican native Daniel Suarez became NASCAR’s first international champion.

It was the culmination of a journey that began with his father and, interestingly enough, Volkswagen Beetles.

Check out Suarez’s story and the thoughts about his success and prowess by our NASCAR America analysts in the video above.

Speaking of VW Beetles, Suarez’s father sold his restoration shop to fund his son’s racing dream. Years later, Daniel repaid his father by purchasing a new restoration shop for him. See the video below.