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Matt Tifft to undergo surgery for brain tumor

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Amanda Vincent is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or

June 29, 2016 | 446 views | Post a comment

NASCAR team Joe Gibbs Racing issued a medical update on driver Matt Tifft on Tuesday. According to the announcement, Tifft has a low-grade glioma -- a slow-growing tumor -- on his brain, for which he will undergo surgery to remove. According to the JGR announcement, the tumor was discovered during treatment for a disc issue in his back.

Tifft spoke of his medical status on "Sirius Speedway" on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Tuesday, clarifying that the tumor is not cancerous and is unrelated to his back problem.

Tifft was scheduled to drive the No. 18 JGR Toyota in Friday night's Xfinity Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. In his absence, David Ragan will drive the car at Daytona. Ragan is a regular driving in the Sprint Cup Series as a driver for BK Racing, another team in the Toyota stable. Ragan has a previous professional relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing, serving as a fill-in driver behind the wheel of JGR's No. 18 Sprint Cup entry early in 2015, substituting for then-injured Kyle Busch.

Tifft also was scheduled to drive the No. 18 Xfinity Series car recently at Iowa Speedway in Newton. In that race, Sam Hornish Jr. served as fill-in driver, and in doing so, won the race. Tifft also was scheduled to drive an entry for Red Horse Racing in the Camping World Truck Series race at Iowa the same weekend. In that race, German Quiroga filled-in. At that time, Tifft was sidelined by the back issue, as his glioma had not yet been discovered.

Tifft had been competing part-time in both the Xfinity and Camping World Truck series in 2016 since the start of the season. He expects to return to his racing career as soon as docotors clear him to do so.
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