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.
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.