Most tourists are familiar with Chicago's "Magnificent Mile" of shopping down Michigan Avenue, but Matt Tifft is more interested in the magnificent mile-and-a-half located southwest of downtown Chicago in Joliet, Ill. That is where Tifft will be shopping for his first win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Friday night at Chicagoland Speedway.
Although he has never raced a truck there, Tifft has two top-five finishes in the ARCA Racing Series at Chicagoland. He was fourth earlier this year and third in 2013. He lists Chicagoland as one of his favorite tracks on the schedule and has high expectations for the truck race. Tifft has made eight starts in the Truck Series this season with three top-10 finishes.
The Kyle Busch Motorsports' (KBM) No. 54 NASCAR '15 Victory Edition team has high expectations as well. In eight starts at Chicagoland, KBM teams have posted three wins, four top-five and six top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 7.0. Owner-driver Kyle Busch has claimed all three wins for his team, including the past two years and 2010.
Tifft will be racing the same truck he finished eighth with at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway last month. KBM-012 also ran at Dover (Del.) International Speedway and Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway this season, but was rebuilt after extensive damage in the Dover race. The chassis has one win in 15 starts. Erik Jones took the checkered flag in it last year at Iowa Speedway in Newton.
Tifft is headed to Chicago with a very specific shopping list, but it's nothing that can be bought with a credit card on Michigan Avenue. His list includes a large American Ethanol 225 trophy, adding his name to the record books as a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series winner and truly making his Tundra a NASCAR '15 Victory Edition.