Coming off his first top-five finish of the season, Matt Tifft qualified for the third round of Xfinity’s Dash 4 Cash program when he placed fourth at Richmond Raceway last Friday night. This is Tifft’s first time qualifying for the program, in which he now has a shot at earning a $100,000 bonus if he is the highest finisher of the four participants after Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.
“I feel like that in qualifying for Dash 4 Cash with our fourth-place finish from Richmond, we showed that we really earned it,” said Tifft. “We hadn’t been able to put together a complete race weekend like we had at Richmond this year, where we earned stage points and a solid finish, so accomplishing that this past weekend really set us up to be able to qualify for this round of Dash 4 Cash.
“It’s almost like it’s a nice added bonus to be able to go after it this weekend at Talladega,” he said. “We were able to accomplish all our goals at Richmond, so now we get to go compete for an extra $100,000 thanks to Xfinity.”
Tifft has had a solid start to his debut season with Richard Childress Racing. In the first eight races of the 2018 Xfinity Series season, the 21-year-old driver has collected one top-five and four top-10 finishes. Tifft has placed outside of the top 20 just once when a wreck took him out of contention early at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Heading into Talladega Superspeedway this weekend, Tifft will need to finish ahead of Elliot Sadler, Christopher Bell and Austin Cindric to claim the $100,000 bonus.
With a race as unpredictable as the one at the 2.66-mile superspeedway, Tifft and his No. 2 team are sticking to their original plan of action for the race weekend and not letting the pressure of Dash 4 Cash change anything.
“As far as the race goes, I don’t see making the Dash 4 Cash really affecting our strategy or efforts,” Tifft said. “We’ve talked about some situations we may be in during the race and what to do in each one. For me personally, I’d like to focus on trying to stay in the front of the pack during the race. Every time I’ve dropped back in one of these races, it seems to get pretty ugly.
“I’ve been to Talladega a few times more than I’ve been to Daytona so I’m a little more comfortable there with how wide that place is,” he said. “I feel more confident going there this time since we’ve been running well lately. It’s not like a make-or-break weekend for us.”
In addition to racing for the $100,000 bonus, Tifft is also racing for the chance to have a $10,000 donation made by Comcast Xfinity to the local community on behalf of their Internet Essentials program. The program has connected more than 4 million low-income Americans to low-cost, high-speed internet at home to help give every student the opportunity to succeed.
“It’s awesome that not only do we get to race for the $100,000 for ourselves and our teams, but we also get to potentially help give back to the community,” said Tifft.
“I think it’s great that Comcast Xfinity does that, and it’s important for our sport that we are giving back to these communities we visit. It’s important for us to bridge that gap.”
Tune in to see if Tifft can bring home the bonus on when the Xfinity Series hits the track on Saturday, April 28 at 3 p.m. E.T. on FOX.