Matt Tifft / No. 19 Tunity Toyota Camry Preview
PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway
No. 19 Tunity Toyota Camry News and Notes:
* TIFFT AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: Matt Tifft heads to Daytona International Speedway (DIS) in his first full season at Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR). For the first race of the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) season, Tifft will make his second-career start at the superspeedway behind the wheel of the No. 19 Tunity Toyota Camry. In his lone start in the XFINITY Series at the 2.5-mile track, Tifft finished 21st, one lap down. Tifft is entering his first season working with new crew chief Matt Beckman atop the pit box.
* JGR AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has a total of 76 starts at Daytona International Speedway. Of those 76 starts, JGR has four wins, eight poles, 19 top-five finishes, 31 top-10 finishes, an average start of 10.3 and an average finish of 16.5. Drivers Tony Stewart (2008), Denny Hamlin (2008), Joey Logano (2011) and Matt Kenseth (2013) each have scored a win at the 2.5-mile track.
* THIS WEEK ON THE NO. 19 TOYOTA: This week the No. 19 JGR Tunity Toyota Camry will be on display for the PowerShares QQQ 300. As a sponsor of Tifft’s No. 19 Camry, this will be the first race that Tunity is represented as the primary sponsor for the 2017 season. Surface Sunscreen and BrainGear will be featured as associate sponsors at DIS.
* WELCOME TO THE TEAM: Matt Beckman moves from race engineer on JGR’s No. 11 Cup Series team with Denny Hamlin to assume his new role of crew chief for Tifft. The rookie power house duo will be one to watch this season as they have their eyes set on the prize of capturing the 2017 NASCAR XFINTIY Series Championship.
* XFINITY SERIES POINT STANDINGS: Entering Daytona, Tifft will be the only full-time NASCAR XFINITY Series driver competing for the Series Driver’s Championship for JGR.
* ROOKIE SEASON CAMPAIGN: Tifft, running a full season schedule in 2017, qualifies to compete for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award. Tifft will race among other rookies throughout the season battling for the coveted award which will be presented at the season-ending banquet.
* RACE INFORMATION: The PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 3:30 p.m. ET. Watch and listen live on Fox Sports 1, Sirius XM channel 90 and MRN Radio.
* AIRING TONIGHT: NBC Sports airs “The Matt Tifft Story” February 21st at 6:30 pm following NASCAR America. A short video segment that covers Tifft’s return to racing after overcoming the discovery of a brain tumor.
From the Cockpit:
Matt Tifft: “Obviously heading into the new season, I want to start off strong in Daytona. We had a really good test with the team in Phoenix, and with this being my first full season I can’t wait to get rolling with it. Daytona is such a special place for our whole sport so I look forward to going down there and gaining some experience. With this being my second XFINITY Series race there, first one with Joe Gibbs Racing, I feel like it will be good to capitalize on what I learned last year. It will be fun and a great way to kick off our season.”
From the Pit Box:
Matt Beckman: “The No. 19 team is looking forward to getting the season rolling. We spent a couple days testing at Phoenix to start to get in the groove of being at the race track, and hope to hit the ground running at Daytona. The group seems to work well together and I can only see it getting better. While we have high expectations, we are also trying to set realistic goals of trying to learn every week and to make incremental improvements.”