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Matt Tifft to drive Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 in Xfinity Series for 13 races


during qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 15, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Jerry Markland

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.”

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