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Matt Tifft says latest test ‘big step’ towards return

NASCAR XFINITY Series Sparks Energy 300 - Qualifying

TALLADEGA, AL - APRIL 30: Matt Tifft, driver of the #18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 30, 2016 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

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Matt Tifft hopes to return to a racecar soon as his recovery progress continues following brain surgery.

Tifft held a Q&A with fans Thursday on Twitter after saying he was bored while doctors continued to put him through tests. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver underwent surgery in early July to remove a brain tumor that doctors had found while he was being treated for a disc condition in his back.

Tifft has not raced since.

When asked how the recovery progress was going, Tifft replied “great” and said it was day 3 of 5 of his study.

The 20-year-old came into the season with high hopes as he was scheduled to make 13 Xfinity Series starts for Joe Gibbs Racing in the No. 18. Tifft started six races (as well as three in the Camping World Truck Series) early in the year and earned a season-best finish of eighth at both Talladega Superspeedway and Dover International Speedway. He also won the pole at Talladega.

Tifft will miss his fifth scheduled race this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with Owen Kelly filling in.

He remains hopeful, however, that he will be back behind the wheel soon although a timetable has not been announced. His next scheduled races were to be at Bristol Motor Speedway (Aug. 19) and Road America (Aug. 27).

Tifft said he would provide another update after the study was over on Saturday.

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