Embarking on his second year in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, Matt Tifft has joined Richard Childress Racing for the 2018 season, piloting the No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro. Randall Burnett will serve as crew chief for the Hinckley, Ohio native in his first year with RCR.
Tifft got his first experience behind the wheel in the fall of 2007 when he competed in a go-kart race at Barberton Speedway in Norton, Ohio. In the next two years that passed, Tifft was mentored by Gary Lawson and would go on to compete with Beasley Motorsports in both divisional and national go-kart races. After scoring two national level victories in 2009, Tifft began focusing on super late model racing on both asphalt and dirt surfaces.
In just his first year in stock car racing in 2011, Tifft collected two wins, four top-five and six top-10 finishes while competing in a super late model. He also competed in the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing under BJ McLeod Motorsports, collecting multiple top-five finishes and a top-10 finish in the point standing.
During 2012, Tifft competed in the ARCA Midwest Tour, earning a fifth-place finish in the standings and the series’ Rookie of the Year title. In addition to ARCA, Tifft also began dabbling in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in 2012 and 2013.
In 2014, Tifft joined Ken Schrader Racing in the ARCA Racing Series, earning six top-five and eight top-10 finishes in just 12 starts, including a career-best runner-up spot at Kentucky Speedway. Tifft also made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut, finishing eighth at Martinsville Speedway in September 2014. He would go on to compete in two additional Truck Series races before the end of year.
The 2015 season saw Tifft compete in 12 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races, capturing five top-10 finishes, along with a handful of ARCA events. The driver also made his NASCAR XFINITY Series debut with Joe Gibbs Racing at Kentucky Speedway, in which he finished 10th.
During the 2016 XFINITY Series season, Tifft captured one pole award (Talladega Superspeedway), one top-five and five top-10 finishes with Joe Gibbs Racing in seven races. He also competed in 10 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races with Red Horse Racing, earning one top-five and three top-10 finishes.
In June of 2016, Tifft was sidelined after being diagnosed with a low-grade brain tumor that was discovered during treatment for a disc condition in his back. Tifft underwent surgery to remove the tumor and made an extraordinary return to racing 11 weeks later in September 2016. Tifft has since become a spokesperson for the American Brain Tumor Association, helping the non-profit promote awareness and recovery processes.
Tifft competed full time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017. He collected two top-five and 13 top-10 finishes before making the Playoffs and finishing seventh in the standings during his rookie campaign.
Randall Burnett joined Richard Childress Racing during the 2017 season, taking over the crew chief from Justin Alexander for the No. 2 NASCAR XFINITY Series entry for much of the season. For the final five races of the year, Burnett switched to the No. 21 NASCAR XFINITY Series team and helped guide Daniel Hemric to the Championship 4, where they ultimately ended the season fourth in the standings.
For the 2018 season, Burnett will return to the No. 2 team with RCR's newest full-time XFINITY Series driver Matt Tifft.
Burnett has been around racing all his life. Growing up in Fenton, Missouri, he often built and raced his own late models in local events. He later attended UNC Charlotte, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering before getting started in the racing industry.
Burnett came to Richard Childress Racing after spending the 2016 season as the crew chief for JTG Daugherty Racing. During the 2016 season, he led the team to two top-five and nine top-10 finishes in his debut season as a crew chief in one of NASCAR’s national touring series.
Prior to JTG Daugherty Racing, Burnett spent 10 years with Chip Ganassi Racing. During his tenure there, he served in multiple positions including lead race engineer, 7-post analysis engineer, lead team engineer and data acquisition engineer.
While at Chip Ganassi Racing, Burnett helped lead Jamie McMurray’s team to wins at both the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400. He also assisted in securing eight top-five and 17 top-10 finishes for rookie Kyle Larson in 2014.