It was a career day for Matt Tifft and his No. 2 Go Green Chevrolet team. A career day that almost landed him alongside his teammate Daniel Hemric in the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Tifft stayed within arm’s length of the lead throughout the entire race on Saturday (Nov. 10) and that kept him in the picture to make the playoffs.
“We knew it was going down to the stage points,” said Tifft. “The penalty hurt us and even in that first stage, we weren’t quite where we needed to be yet. We got the car better and better and there was one point there where we were the fastest thing on the track and the last run, we just didn’t need a caution there just tightened it up too much and I knew it was going to have to come down to a win once the No. 20 got out front. That’s all I had man.”
Both Richard Childress Racing teammates were battling at the end of the race to try and defeat Christopher Bell. Despite neither having success, it could’ve very well come down to the No. 21 and No. 2 battling for the victory. The thought never entered his mind at least at the time on what he would’ve done had that battle began and the number of laps got lower and lower.
“Not at the moment,” said Tifft. “Just trying to press and push him up as much as we could. We knew with restarts we were going to be together at some point going through turns one and two and with the new restart deal here, it gets kind of crazy. We were together which was good, we both needed another spot or two.”
Tifft has had a solid season tallying six top five and 18 top 10 finishes, along with his first career pole. The transition from Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017 to Richard Childress Racing this year has been very smooth with little to no bumps in the road. Tifft credited the chemistry that this team has before noting that we still have one race remaining.
“It’s been an awesome year, and it just goes back to those guys at RCR and this No. 2 team,” Tifft continued. “They have given me great equipment but the biggest thing is knowing the chemistry I need and the confidence I have in my guys and they have in me. I am excited to take this with me to next week, first and foremost, let’s get there because we have a race to go and win.”
Tifft has two Camping World Truck Series starts at Homestead with a best finish of 12th in 2016, his most recent career start in a truck. He also has two XFINITY starts at Homestead with a best finish of seventh last season. He has a strong chance at earning something big to take into 2018, just because he’s been eliminated he still shouldn’t be looked over.