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Front Row Motorsports will expand to a third entry for the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season with Matt Tifft at the helm of the new No. 36 Ford Mustang, the organization announced on Tuesday in a live event at NASCAR.com’s Studio 3.
Tifft, 22, will make the jump from the NASCAR Xfinity Series to compete in his rookie Monster Energy Series season as Michael McDowell and David Ragan are set to return to the Nos. 34 and 38 Ford Mustangs, respectively. McDowell will compete in his second season with the organization, while it will be Ragan’s sixth go-around.
“Today is a huge moment in my career, announcing my move to the Cup Series,” said Tifft in a team release. “This has been a dream of mine since I was a kid, and I can’t believe it’s finally coming true.
“I’m so thankful to Front Row Motorsports for giving me the opportunity to drive the No. 36 next season. I’m looking forward to guidance from veterans Michael McDowell and David Ragan and am ready to take on the challenge of driving with 39 of the best drivers in the world.”
Tifft recorded six top-five and 19 top-10 finishes with Richard Childress Racing during the 2018 Xfinity Series season, finishing sixth in the final playoffs standings after advancing to the Round of 8.
In Tifft’s first full-time Xfinity Series season with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017, he earned two top-five and 13 top-10 finishes and made the playoffs with a seventh-place final ranking.
The expansion is all part of the plan for Front Row Motorsports team owner Bob Jenkins as his intent has always been to deepen the organization’s investment in NASCAR.
“Not only are we here to stay, we’re here to grow,” Jenkins said. “We already have two proven veterans in our lineup, and now we’ll get to add an impressive young talent and championship contender who will inject some new energy into the group. With the introduction of the Ford Mustang into the Cup Series, 2019 is shaping up to be an exciting season for us.”
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