If this was a fight then Matt Tifft wouldn’t be on the ground, but he wouldn’t be winning. The WinTron Racing development driver has been all over the place in 2014, racing in the K&N East and West Series as well as lower local divisions. 2013’s in the rearview mirror for Tifft though and he’s preparing for a breakout season in 2014.
“The main thing in 2014 is to go out and prove I can win.” Tifft explained to me. “This year was definitely a transition year from late models to full bodied stock cars, so next year will be very important to show what I can truly do in a racecar now that I’m comfortable in these types of cars.”
Most recently Tifft scored a 16th place finish in the K&N West Pro Series season finale at Phoenix Raceway this past weekend. The 16-year-old explained to me his expectations coming in to Phoenix, disappointingly they weren’t met.
“I was really hoping to finish in the top ten, or at least run around there and try to go for a top five. It’s such a short race that it’ll be all out from start to finish.”
Nevertheless, 2014 is approaching for Tifft and he’s definitely eager to get it going. The Hinckley, Ohio driver explained to me funding will be key for his 2014 plans. I also asked the young driver did he expect to take Mason Mingus’s, his teammate, spot in the ARCA Racing Series.
“Obviously we’re both looking to make our way up through the NASCAR ranks, but ultimately it comes down to funding to be able to run a full ARCA season or even think about trucks, so I wouldn’t say “taking” his spot would be the right word.”
Tifft has been switching between the K&N East and West Series through 2013 and I asked him if he was buckled down to compete for a championship in just one of those series.
“At this point our schedule isn’t finalized, but we’re going to try to run as many of the NASCAR tracks as possible to gain experience.”
Matt Tifft is ready for 2014 and the young man is most certainly a contender for a top spot in NASCAR for future years to come. Watch out for this 16-year-old because when this gentleman breaks through to the top ranks you’ll have seen it coming.
About Matt: Matt Tifft is a student and race car driver from Hinckley, Ohio. He has followed racing for most of his life being a devoted race fan, especially of NASCAR. He grew up attending many dirt late model stock car races with his father’s team, primarily in Michigan.
In 2011, his first full year in stock cars, Matt compiled two super late model victories and qualified in the top ten more than three out of four times on average, half of those strong starts being from the top five. More than seventy percent of his season’s finishes were in the top ten, and roughly a third of the time in the top five. Along with continuing to work with Tim Schendel and Benny Gordon, Matt raced a significant amount of races with BJ McLeod Motorsports. Highlights with BJ included a top ten points finish at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing (Speedweeks) and several Top 5 finishes at the New Smyrna Speedway in Florida.
In 2012, Matt achieved his goal of winning the Rookie of the Year title in the ARCA Midwest Tour with NASCAR Nationwide Series driver TIm Schendel led Iron Eagle Racing team. In addition, Matt finished the year an impressive 5th place in overall series points. He also raced a significant number of super late model races in the southeast with BJ McLeod with many Top 5 finishes. Matt was also able to test a NASCAR K&N Series car at the end of the year on a road course.
2013 marks a big step in Matt’s progression. He will be running the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East with Win-Tron Racing. He may also race in a few ARCA Series events with Win-Tron. In addition, there will be select super late model races added with Iron Eagle Racing in the ARCA Midwest Tour and with BJ McLeod Motorsports in the South.