Joining the RCR NASCAR XFINITY Series program to pilot the No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro for the 2018 season is 21-year-old Matt Tifft. With Tifft new to the RCR driver lineup, here are five things you may not know about him.
Matt’s from Northeast Ohio and loves Cleveland sports teams
Tifft grew up in Hinckley, Ohio, a town of approximately 3,000 people just a little bit south of Cleveland. Tifft grew up racing go-karts and super late models on both dirt and asphalt tracks around the northeast Ohio area before moving up to the ARCA Midwest Tour. His Ohio roots also make him a Cleveland sports fan, rooting for the Cavaliers, Indians and Browns.
— Matt Tifft (@matt_tifft) March 18, 2017
He’s a brain tumor survivor and awareness activist
In 2016, Tifft was sidelined from racing after it was discovered he has a low-grade brain tumor that needed to be removed. After making an extraordinary recovery, he was back to racing 11 weeks later. Tifft now acts as a spokesperson for the American Brain Tumor Association and helps the non-profit promote brain tumor awareness through events and lobby for federal funding for research and awareness campaigns.
— Matt Tifft (@matt_tifft) May 9, 2017
Tiff loves Rock and Roll!
Growing up relatively close to the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio and it influenced Tifft’s music preferences. Tifft loves rock and roll and some of his favorites include Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, and the Artic Monkeys.
— Matt Tifft (@matt_tifft) February 10, 2017
He’s currently participating in the Keto diet
Since his brain tumor surgery, Tifft has turned to the Keto diet, a low-carb diet, that helps with different areas of his health. He recently has gotten into trying out new Keto recipes at home and following a podcast called Keto for Normies.
“After doing some research, I went on the Keto diet to help with my overall brain health,” said Tifft. “I knew it was a lot healthier for your brain and your overall body to be fueled by fat rather than sugar. That is the opposite of what you would think, but it actually works. I eat mainly meat and cheeses, which are really high in fat. Once you start the Keto diet your body adapts and you actually lose a bunch of fat. It provides you with a sustainable energy source and it’s almost like an alternate fuel for my body and mind.”
He’s working on improving his Mandarin
In high school, Matt was required to take a foreign language class. The class offerings for Spanish were full so he ended up in a Chinese language class and learned Mandarin instead. Though he’s not fluent, Matt keeps up with the language and has a strong vocabulary.