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Matt Tifft Medical Announcement

Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced today a medical update on driver Matt Tifft, who will undergo surgery for removal of a low-grade glioma in the brain.

The slow-growing tumor was found during treatment and evaluation for a recent disc condition in his back. Tifft is expected to undergo surgery and rehabilitation soon and once cleared by physicians is expected to return to racing. The JGR rookie is anxious to return to the race track as soon as possible.

David Ragan has been enlisted to drive the No. 18 Surface Sunscreen/Rugged Maniac Toyota Camry XFINITY series entry for Joe Gibbs Racing on Friday at Daytona International Speedway.

Coughlin Scores Sweet Salem Win on Father’s Day Weekend

On Mother’s Day Weekend Cody Coughlin went to victory lane at Indiana’s Anderson Speedway. On Father’s Day Weekend Coughlin did the same, but this time on the high-banked half-mile of Salem Speedway in Indiana.

Coughlin set a track record in qualifying with a time of 16.96 seconds. He started from the 10th position after the invert, and quickly started coming through the field.

It took just one lap for the Joe Gibbs Racing Development Driver to gain four spots. After that he slowly and methodically worked his way through the top five before taking over the lead with about 20 laps remaining.

From there Coughlin stayed smooth on multiple restarts to score his fourth Late Model win of the season and first JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour win this year.

“This is the first time I’ve ever scored a second win at a race track,” said Coughlin. “It’s becoming one of my favorite tracks. This was awesome. We’ll just keep working hard and go on to the next one and try to do the same.”

The only moment that caused a bit of concern for Coughlin happened as he was coming to take the white flag. A lapped car just ahead of him had a rear tire come off the car right in front of Coughlin, though Coughlin was able to avoid it.

“I was beginning to think that this one wasn’t meant to be,” said the 20 year-old. “Thankfully we saved enough throughout the race that I was able to get it done on those late restarts and get the win.”

With the win on Saturday night, Coughlin has swept this year’s weekends honoring parents by winning on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day weekends.

“That’s really cool,” Coughlin said. “That didn’t even occur to me until someone said it, but to do that is really cool. My parents have given so much for me throughout my life, so to repay them in any small way with these wins means a lot to me and I know it does to them too.”

Coughlin, the dual CRA points leader, held off his crew chief Jack Smith, who was charging hard from the rear of the field.

“I knew Jack was fast, especially on short runs,” said Coughlin. “That was what we plan to do is run one-two when we come to these places.

“I’m so thankful to have Jack as my crew chief, and have my whole team behind me. My team manager, Kevin (Hamlin) works so hard and just celebrated a birthday yesterday, so happy birthday to him. Kevin, Scott (Wimmer, spotter) and Dave (Holt, crew member) are amazing guys and I’m glad they’re on my team. Of course I have to thank our Lord and Savior for the blessings he continues to give my family.”

Daniel Suárez Captures First Career Victory

Daniel Suárez earned his first career NASCAR XFINITY Series win on Saturday at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan, becoming the first Mexican-born driver to capture a NASCAR national series victory.

With the victory, Suárez clinches a spot in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase.

Suárez, a graduate of both the NASCAR Drive for Diversity and NASCAR Next programs, has a accomplished a long list of accolades since joining NASCAR in 2011. Last season, he became the first Mexican driver to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award, finishing fifth in the championship standings. This season, Suárez became the first foreign-born driver to lead the points in any of the three NASCAR national Series, topping the NASCAR XFINITY Series standings for six consecutive weeks. He is the current points leader in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, the series where “Names Are Made.”

Suárez, 24, has quickly climbed the NASCAR ladder system throughout his career, with full-time stops in the NASCAR Mexico Series and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East before joining the NASCAR XFINITY Series with Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2015 season.

During his four years (2011-14) in the NASCAR Mexico Series, Suárez won 10 races and finished in the top 10 in championship points in all four of his seasons, including a runner-up championship finish in 2013.

In two full-time seasons in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Suárez won three races and finished third in the final standings in 2013.

Suárez had scored six runner-up finishes in the national series prior to his win on Saturday.

With the victory, Suárez becomes only the fifth Latino driver to win a NASCAR national series race, joining Frank Mundy, Juan Pablo Montoya, Aric Almirola and Nelson Piquet Jr.

NASCAR Next is an industry-wide initiative designed to spotlight to best and brightest rising young stars in racing. NASCAR Drive for Diversity, operated by Rev Racing, is an academy-style development program for female and multicultural drivers and crew members who have the potential and determination to succeed at the highest levels of NASCAR.

Race Report: Charlotte

Denny Hamlin led Joe Gibbs Racing with a fourth-place finish in tonight’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. All four JGR teams spent a majority of the night racing inside the top ten although only Matt Kenseth would manage to join Hamlin in such a position taking the checkered flag in seventh, while two pit road speeding penalties resulted in an 18th-place finish for Carl Edwards and a late-race accident left Kyle Busch in 33rd.

Denny Hamlin started the No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota from the fourth position and was running third at lap 100. He would fall back outside the top five but was running seventh at lap 200. He would restart sixth on a lap 209 restart and was holding onto the eighth position at lap 250. The FedEx crew would gain him a spot during a round of green flag stops and he was seventh at lap 260. Hamlin was fifth with 100 laps to go following another round of green flag stops. A caution with just over 60 laps remaining would bring the field back down to pit road under caution and the FedEx crew would put Hamlin back out fifth for the restart. He would gain a spot to run fourth and managed to hold that position all the way to the finish.

Matt Kenseth started the No. 20 DEWALT Toyota in the 27th position and patiently raced his way up to 15th over the first 100 laps. He would enter the top ten on lap 141. Kenseth would receive hard contact from the 3 car while on pit road during a stop on lap 166. Although there was some damage to the left side of his DEWALT Camry it wouldn’t cost him any significant track position and he continued to hold the 10th position at lap 200. Kenseth would line up eighth for a restart on lap 209 but got shuffled back to run 13th. He would climb back to 10th by lap 260 following a round of green flag pit stops. Kenseth was sixth with 100 laps to go following another round of green flag pit stops. A caution with just over 60 laps remaining would bring the field back down to pit road under caution and the DEWALT crew would put Kenseth back out sixth for the restart. He would go on to finish in seventh.

Carl Edwards started the No. 19 Subway Toyota from the ninth position and was able to hold it through the opening 100 laps. He would continue to run consistent laps and was up to sixth at the halfway mark. He would restart fifth on lap 209 and was able to gain one spot into fourth. Edwards was up to second following a round of green flag pit stops on lap 256. NASCAR would rule that the 19 was too fast entering the pits during a round of green flag pit stops just prior to lap 300 forcing him to do a pass through penalty. Unfortunately Edwards was too fast again while serving the penalty and had to return to pit road. He would fall a lap down to the leaders during the process. The Subway team would take the wave around to get back on the lead lap for a restart with 56 laps remaining. Edwards was 17th when he took the green again but unfortunately the caution needed did not come and the No. 19 would have to come to pit road for fuel with 30 laps remaining. That would leave him a lap down once again and with no further cautions he would go on to finish 18th.

Kyle Busch qualified the No. 18 M&M’S Red-White-Blue Toyota in the 16th position and was able to patiently work his way up to 12th over the first 100 laps. He would battle a tight handling race car throughout the first half of the race and was 18th for a restart on lap 209. Busch would jump up to 12th on the restart. The M&M’S crew would gain him additional spots during around of green flag pit stops and Busch was up to eighth by lap 260. Busch was ninth with 100 laps to go following another round of green flag pit stops. A caution with just over 60 laps remaining would bring the field back down to pit road under caution and the M&M’S crew would put Busch back out ninth for the restart. He was holding steady in the top 10 with less than 10 laps remaining when the M&M’S Camry slid up the track and into the outside wall. Busch would take the car to the garage and he would officially be scored in 33rd.

Toyota teammate Martin Truex, Jr. of Furniture Row Racing captured the win, followed by Kevin Harvick in second, Jimmie Johnson third, Hamlin fourth and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top five. There were four cautions for a total of 19 laps and nine lead changes among four different drivers.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads north to the tricky triangle at Pocono Raceway next Sunday, June 5. Live coverage on Fox Sports 1 will start Sunday, June 5 at Noon (race starts at 1 PM ET). The race will also be carried on Sirius NASCAR radio channel 90.

Coughlin Scores a Hat-trick With Win at Baer Field

When someone scores three goals in a hockey game, fans litter the ice with their hats. It’s known as the “hat-trick.” While nobody threw their hats onto the racing surface at Indiana’s Baer Field Motorsports Park on Saturday, Cody Coughlin scored himself a hat-trick with his third consecutive ARCA/CRA Super Series victory in a row. It’s a feat that is rare in racing.

The Joe Gibbs Racing Development driver had to work extremely hard for this one as he started in the ninth position in his No. 1 Toyota Camry and had to chase down the leaders from a deficit of more than six seconds.

Coughlin was told throughout the race by his crew chief, Jack Smith, and his spotter, Scott Wimmer, to be easy on his tires and the leaders would come to him. That’s exactly what Coughlin did and that’s exactly what happened.

The Delaware, Ohio native cut down the large gap in just 15 laps to move into second-place. A caution with about 20 laps to go set up a shootout for the win and Coughlin was able to capitalize.

“This feels great,” said Coughlin. “I really had to earn this one. This one was tough. Terry Fisher and Scott Hantz were really good and it was a struggle to get around them. It was definitely challenging, but that makes it so much more rewarding.”

By virtue of another win, Coughlin’s points lead continues to grow as he cements himself as the frontrunner for the ARCA/CRA Super Series championship.

“We’re getting good results, and winning lets it take care of itself,” said Coughlin. “If we do this more often then the points will keep coming.

“I just really have to thank my crew for giving me another awesome race car and keeping me calm,” said Coughlin, who also competes in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with Kyle Busch Motorsports. “Working with Jack this year has been awesome. Scott keeps calling great races, and Kevin (Hamlin, team manager) and Dave (Holt, crew member) have been working extremely hard as well. The Lord has blessed us all. Of course, none of this would be possible without the love and support from my parents, Di and John, and the support from my little sister, Kennedi. I’ve been really blessed to have such a great family. I also really want to thank Betsy Meyer for her support. She’s real close with Jack and she’s been in the hospital recently and I just wanted to let her know that we’re all thinking about her.”

Coughlin’s next race is a JEGS / CRA All-Stars Tour Pro Late Model event on Saturday, May 28 at his home track of Columbus Motor Speedway in Columbus, Ohio, just a few minutes away from his house in Delaware.