Matt Tifft will be one of the drivers who pilots Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 car in the Xfinity Series this season. The team announced Friday that the 19-year-old driver will be behind the wheel in 13 races.
Tifft competed in 12 Camping World Truck Series races in 2015, nine of them with Kyle Busch Motorsports. He earned six top-10 finishes with a best result of eighth in three races.
Tifft’s only Xfinity start so far came at Kentucky Speedway last year. The Hinckley, Ohio native started 16th and finished 10th driving for JGR’s No. 20.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to work with Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2016 season,” Tifft said in a press release. “I feel after our run last year at Kentucky that this is a great fit for me with an outstanding and well-respected organization, and I look forward to a very exciting and successful year driving the No. 18 Toyota Camry.”
Tifft’s first start will come on April 23 at Richmond International Raceway. His remaining 12 races are at Dover International Speedway (May 14), Iowa Speedway (June 19), Daytona International Speedway (July 1), New Hampshire International Speedway (July 16), Iowa Speedway (July 30), Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (August 13), Bristol Motor Speedway (August 19), Road America (August 27), Kentucky Speedway (September 24), Charlotte Motor Speedway (October 7), Texas Motor Speedway (November 5) and Homestead-Miami Speedway (November 19).
Tifft joins an Xfinity Series roster that includes Daniel Suarez in the No. 19 and Erik Jones in the No. 20. The remaining races for the No. 18 are expected to be filled by Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin.
“I am very excited to work again with Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones and Kyle Busch,” Tufft said. “Last year they helped me a ton with development, and I will continue to try and advance my career by drawing on the experience and talent of those around me. Hopefully I can also help them in some ways as well.”
Cole Custer went from fourth to first on the overtime restart when the top three cars made contact and went on to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Portland International Raceway. Custer is the 10th different winner in 13 races this season.
JR Motorsports took the next three spots: Justin Allgaier placed second, Sam Mayer was third and Josh Berry was fourth. Austin Hill completed the top five.
John Hunter Nemechek remains the points leader after 13 races. He has a 14-point lead on Hill. Nemechek leads Allgaier by 44 points.
Cole Custer held off Justin Allgaier at the finish to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race in overtime at Portland International Raceway. It is Custer’s first victory of the season.
JR Motorsports placed second, third and fourth with Allgaier, Sam Mayer and Josh Berry. Austin Hill finished fifth.
Custer went from fourth to first on the overtime restart when Parker Kligerman, who restarted third, attempted to pass Allgaier, who was leading. Sheldon Creed was on the outside of Allgaier. All three cars made contact entering Turn 1, allowing Custer to slip by. Creed finished seventh. Kligerman placed 14th.
Custer won the second stage when John Hunter Nemechek made contact with Creed’s car while racing for the lead on the final lap of the stage. The contact spun Creed and Custer inched by Nemechek at the line.
Early in the final stage, Creed gained revenge with contact that spun Nemechek, who went on to finish 10th. A few laps later, Nemechek and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Sammy Smith had issues. Smith spun Nemechek. After getting back around, Nemechek quickly caught Smith and turned into Smith’s car, damaging it.
STAGE 1 WINNER: Sheldon Creed
STAGE 2 WINNER: Cole Custer
WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Despite the contact on the overtime restart, runner-up Justin Allgaier managed to score his fourth consecutive top-three finish. … Sam Mayer’s third-place finish is his best on a road course. … Austin Hill’s fifth-place finish gives him four consecutive top-five results.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Daniel Hemric finished 33rd after a fire in his car. … Riley Herbst placed 32nd after an engine issue. After opening the season with six top 10s in a row, Herbst has gone seven races in a row without a top 10.
NEXT: The series competes June 10 at Sonoma Raceway (8 p.m. ET on FS1).
Grant Enfinger took the lead when the leaders wrecked in the final laps and held off the field in overtime to win Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway.
It is Enfinger’s second win in the last five races. He also collected a $50,000 bonus for winning the Triple Truck Challenge.
Christian Eckes finished second and was followed by Stewart Friesen, Carson Hocevar and Chase Purdy.
Ty Majeski and Zane Smith wrecked while racing for the lead with six laps to go. Majeski, running on the inside of Smith, slid up the track and clipped Smith’s truck. Both hit the wall. That put Enfinger in the lead.
Smith finished 20th. Majeski placed 30th.
STAGE 1 WINNER: Grant Enfinger
STAGE 2 WINNER: Stewart Friesen
WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Grant Enfinger’s victory is his fourth top 10 in the last five races. … Carson Hocevar’s fourth-place finish is his fourth consecutive top-five result. … Stewart Friesen’s third-place finish moved him into a playoff spot with four races left in the regular season. … Matt DiBenedetto‘s sixth-place finish is his third consecutive top 10. … Jesse Love finished ninth in his series debut.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Ty Majeski had a chance to take the points lead with series leader Corey Heim out because of illness, but Majeski’s 30th-place finish after running at the front most of the day, leaves him behind Heim. … Hailie Deegan finished 32nd after contact sent her truck into the wall hard. … After finishing a career-high third last week at Charlotte, Dean Thompson placed 34th Saturday due to an engine issue.
NEXT: The series races June 23 at Nashville Superspeedway (8 p.m. ET on FS1)
Sheldon Creed scored his first career Xfinity Series pole by taking the top spot for Saturday’s race at Portland International Raceway.
Creed, making his 50th career series start, earned the pole with a lap of 95.694 mph on the 1.97-mile road course.
Cole Custer will start second with a lap of 95.398 mph. He is followed by Josh Berry (94.242 mph), John Hunter Nemechek (95.127) and Charlotte winner Justin Allgaier (94.897). Road racing specialist Jordan Taylor, driving for Kaulig Racing, qualified sixth at 94.772 mph.
The green flag is scheduled to wave 4:46 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1.