Matt Tifft Scores Top-10 at Talladega
Matt Tifft capped off a stout weekend in his second appearance at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway with a ninth-place finish in the fred's 250, his third top-10 finish of 2016. Tifft led his first-career laps in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on his way to advance Red Horse Racing's No. 11 Toyota Tundra to the Round of 6 in the NCWTS Owners' Chase. The Ohio native drove his BrainGear/Surface Sunscreen Toyota Tundra to the second round of qualifying on Saturday morning, and began his afternoon from the 12th position. A delicate balance of patience and aggression kept Tifft in contention for the lead all afternoon, in addition to several strategy calls by crew chief Scott Zipadelli to preserve track position. After a fuel only stop on lap 16, Tifft continued his steady effort inside the top 10 until he had to return to pit road under yellow on lap 39 for a wedge wrench in the left rear, left after a pit stop the previous lap. Tifft restarted 27th, and rapidly returned to the top 10 by avoiding a pair of wrecks on lap 44 and 52. A fuel only pit stop under the lap 52 caution put Tifft on the front row for a restart, where he would find his way to the race lead on lap 57. From a restart on lap 69 through the final stages, Tifft would valiantly lead the outside lane, but a lack of drafting help thwarted a bid for his first-career victory. Tifft took the checkered flag in ninth after a two-lap dash to the checkers, and advanced Red Horse Racing's No. 11 team into the Round of 6 in the NCWTS Owners' Chase.
Start - 12
Finish - 9
Owner Points Position - 6
Laps Led - 3
Matt Tifft Quote:
"I thought we had a Brain Gear/Surface Sunscreen Tundra that we could go up and lead laps and with. We could definitely contend up there. Unfortunately, I guess the No. 88 (truck) lost a cylinder and we just lost our help in the outside lane. We got ourselves back outside the top 10 there, and it's just so hard to make those spots up. The Red Horse Racing guys did an awesome job. I thought when we were up front, given the right circumstances, we could have stayed up there with the No. 24. I thought he and I could battle up there pretty equally. It's a positive day to come out and get this truck to the next round of the Owners' Chase and head on to Martinsville, which is my favorite track. I'm excited about it. It's good to come out of Talladega leading laps and finish in the top 10."
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