Matt Tifft to miss remainder of NASCAR Cup season after suffering seizure at Martinsville
Tifft had surgery to remove a brain tumor in 2016
Matt Tifft will miss the remainder of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season after suffering a seizure on Saturday at Martinsville Speedway.
The 23-year-old driver of the Front Row Motorsports No. 36 was replaced over the weekend by two-time Truck Series champion Matt Crafton. John Hunter Nemechek will make his Cup Series debut this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway and complete the remaining races at Phoenix and Homestead.
Meanwhile, Tifft will continue consulting with his doctors to plan a pathway to return to active competition.
Tifft revealed what happened in a Twitter video posted on Tuesday morning. He was taken to infield care on Saturday morning after blacking out.
“Next thing I knew, I woke up in the ambulance getting transported to a local hospital,” Tifft said. “I was actually out of the race because I suffered a seizure this weekend. Luckily, my test results with the CT scan and my MRI today on Monday showed that there’s nothing there as far as my brain tumor. Trying to find out some answers of what exactly is going on.”
Tifft underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor in July 2016. He returned to active competition later that season.
“Appreciate your guys’ support and certainly will let you guys know as I learn more too,” Tifft said. “Unfortunately, because of this I will be missing the rest of the 2019 season. So, I want to wish Front Row Motorsports and the whole 36 team the best of luck the rest of this year. Hate that I have to miss out the rest of my rookie season. The most important thing right now is my health and figuring out what is going on.”
Nemechek, currently contesting his inaugural full-time Xfinity Series season with GMS Racing, needed approval from both Chevrolet and Ford to take over for Tifft.
“This isn’t the way any driver wants to make their Cup Series debut,” said Nemechek in a team statement. “I am hoping that Matt feels better and can get back in his car as soon as possible. That is what is important. Hopefully I can learn a lot and make Matt, the Front Row Motorsports team and its partners proud.”