Jeff Dennison

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Matt Tifft, Front Row Motorsports part ways so Tifft can ‘focus on my health’

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Front Row Motorsports and driver Matt Tifft announced Wednesday they have decided to end their agreement so that Tifft can focus on his health.

Tifft, a rookie in the Cup Series, said he can’t commit to racing in 2020 following his seizure at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 26.

Tifft has been replaced by John Hunter Nemechek in the No. 36 Ford for the last two races and this weekend’s season finale in Miami.

Tifft, 23, had surgery to remove a tumor in his brain on July 21, 2016. Tifft said on Nov. 3 at Texas Motor Speedway that scans of the area where the tumor was located looked good. Tifft has shared his process since the seizure on social media.

Jeff Dennison, senior director of sales and marketing for Front Row Motorsports, said then Tifft had a two-year agreement with the team and it planned to honor that.

Statement from Matt Tifft:

“I’ve made the decision to focus on my health and there is no rush or timetable to get back behind the wheel. Because of that, I can’t commit to racing full-time in 2020. I can’t say when I’ll be ready to race again, but I believe I will come back. I love this sport, the people, and I would like to be a part of it next year in some capacity.

“I want to thank Bob Jenkins, Jerry Freeze and the entire Front Row Motorsports organization for allowing me to live my dream of racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. They are great people and it’s been awesome to race there. I look forward to what’s next in racing when the time is right.”

Statement from Bob Jenkins, Owner, Front Row Motorsports:

“Matt has always shown us a lot of determination and courage. He’s a fighter and I believe, like him, that he’ll return to driving. For now, we support Matt and his need to focus on his health and his family. Racing will be there when it’s time. We want to thank Matt and his family for being a part of Front Row Motorsports and helping us continue to grow.”

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Matt Tifft wants to race again but must find answers to what caused seizure

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FORT WORTH, Texas — Matt Tifft, who suffered a seizure last weekend at Martinsville Speedway, spoke briefly with the media Sunday morning at Texas Motor Speedway, saying “I want to be back in a race car, but I don’t care about anything else right now other than finding out what caused this.”

Tifft will miss the rest of the season. John Hunter Nemechek will drive the No. 36 for Front Row Motorsports the final three Cup races.

Tifft, who had surgery to remove a tumor in his brain on July 21, 2016, said scans of where the tumor was looked good. Tifft said he will undergo additional testing, including an EEG, which measures the electrical activity of the brain. 

“I have been through this stuff before, and I know enough to be mature and smart enough to know that my health comes first,” Tifft said. “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.

“I will 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 stood outside the team’s No. 36 hauler as he spoke and noted he was standing about five feet from where he had his seizure last weekend.

“It is a little stressful right now and honestly just dealing with the anxiety of it,” he said. “I just have to take baby steps.”

Jeff Dennison, senior director of sales and marketing for Front Row Motorsports, stressed that Tifft has a place with the team.

“Matt came to us (this season) under a two-year agreement and we will be honoring that,” Dennison said. “We will still have Matt be here next year. That is our plan.”