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Matt Tifft to undergo surgery for tumor in his brain

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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Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Matt Tifft will undergo surgery for removal of a low-grade glioma in his brain.

The slow-growing tumor was found during treatment and evaluation for a recent disk condition in his back. Tifft, who turned 20 years old two days ago, is expected to undergo surgery and rehabilitation soon afterward and is expected to return to racing once cleared by doctors.

David Ragan will drive for Tifft in Friday night’s NASCAR Xfinity race at Daytona International Speedway.

Tifft did not drive in either the recent Xfinity or Camping World Truck Series races at Iowa Speedway. Sam Hornish Jr. won the Xfinity race at Iowa with Joe Gibbs Racing. German Quiroga drove in the Truck series race for Tifft.

Tifft had driven in three Truck series races and six Xfinity races. He won the pole for the Xfinity race at Talladega.

Ragan drove nine races for Joe Gibbs Racing last season in the Sprint Cup Series after Kyle Busch was injured. Ragan had three top-10 finishes, including a fourth-place result at Auto Club Speedway. He finished the season with Michael Waltrip Racing. Ragan is driving in the Cup series this year for BK Racing.

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