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Nov 07, 2013 - 06:32 AM
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On A Roll, Matt Tifft Readies Phoenix International Raceway Debut
Posted by: newsla on Nov 07, 2013 - 06:26 AM
On A Roll, Matt Tifft Readies Phoenix International Raceway Debut

Matt Tifft’s 2013 racing season will come to an end on Saturday afternoon, when he competes in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West (NKNPSW) season-finale at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway (PIR) for the running of the Casino Arizona 50.


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The 17-year old has spent this year competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, as well as selective races on the West tour. As his rookie year has progressed, the teenager has matured into a bonafide contender and he plans to live up to that assessment in his fourth NKNPSW race of the year this weekend.

Despite his limited K&N West experience with RTD Motorsports, Tifft has delivered three top-10 finishes in as many attempts, including a stout fifth-place finish on the road course at Miller Motorsports Park in September. This weekend though, Tifft will face adversity once again as he heads to PIR for the first time.

“I’m excited to go to Phoenix this weekend,” said Tifft. “It’s pretty cool to go to a track where I’ve gone and watched races as a kid and now I get to race on it. Obviously, with it being such a short trace at only 50 laps, things are going to get pretty crazy in a hurry, as it’s pretty much just a sprint to the finish.”

For the second race in a row, IMC Marks will return as the primary marketing partner on Tifft’s No. 89 Chevrolet entry this weekend.

Based in Medina, Ohio, IMC Marks manufactures and sells lead and xylene-free industrial paint markers, paint sticks, tire markers, lumber crayons and chalks. IMC Marks recently created a revolutionary new paint stick, the No. 1X.

“I’m thrilled to have IMC Marks back on board with us this weekend,” added Tifft. “We should have had a better run at Bakersfield, but we persevered with a top-10 finish in their debut. The finish without a doubt gave us some momentum for Phoenix this weekend.

“I don’t have any experience at Phoenix, so for at least a little bit, I’m going to have to rely on my video game knowledge to start with,” Tifft laughed. “I had to rely on this for New Hampshire and Dover and I faired pretty well, so I’m not too worried about it. I plan to talk with some of the other drivers after practice though.”

Knowing that the race on Saturday will be filled with the typical NASCAR K&N Pro Series West entourage, the field will also be sprinkled with competitors from the East division too. Tifft feels the diverse field will put on a great race, which he hopes equals a good finish for him.

“It’s going to be a strong field and with (again) 50 laps to get the job done, you can’t be a slouch,” he sounded. “We have to dial in our No. 89 IMC Marks Chevrolet by the time qualifying rolls around, so when the green flag drop, we can hammer down. I’m aiming for a top-five finish, but if we can finish inside the top-10, I’ll consider it a great way to head into the off-season.”

The Casino Arizona 50 (50 miles / 50 laps) is set for Saturday, November 9 with the green flag scheduled to fly shortly after 5:00 p.m. MST. The event will be tape-delayed on Fox Sports 2 with an air date of Sunday, November 17 at 11:00 a.m.

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