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Matt Tifft in ‘good spirits’ after undergoing tests; will miss race

Matt Tifft is sidelined for the day in the final practice at Martinsville with a health scare, handing the baton to Matt Crafton.

Matt Crafton practiced the No. 36 Ford for Front Row Motorsports at Martinsville Speedway in place of ailing Matt Tifft.

NASCAR on NBC pit reporter Kelli Stavast said No. 36 crew chief Seth Barbour told her that Tifft underwent tests at a hospital Saturday morning. Barbour told Stavast that he had been texting with Tifft. Barbour said the driver seemed in good spirits, but there were still some unknowns about his condition.

In a statement Saturday afternoon, Front Row said Tifft was evaluated and released from a Martinsville hospital after suffering “a medical condition.” The team said Tifft returned home.

A team spokesman confirmed Crafton would drive the car Sunday after practicing and qualifying Saturday.

Tifft sent a tweet on his condition Saturday night.

Stavast said the team learned about 30 minutes before practice that Crafton would replace Tifft, who was seen at the infield care center before being taken to the hospital.

Tifft is ranked 30th in the Cup points standings with one top 10 during his rookie season. He underwent surgery July 21, 2016 to remove a brain tumor and returned to race full time in the Xfinity Series in 2017.