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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.

Matt Tifft Grabs 13-Race Opportunity

JGR Confirms 2016 No. 18 XFINITY Series Schedule for Rookie Driver

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (February 5, 2016) – “Names are Made Here” in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and young Ohio-native Matt Tifft will be doing just that in 2016 with a 13-race schedule behind the wheel of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota Camry.

The 19-year old driver has 16-career starts in NASCAR’s top-three racing series over the last two seasons, while running a limited schedule in both the XFINITY Series and in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. In these early stages of his career Tifft has successfully earned six top-10 finishes in the Camping World Tuck Series and a top-10 result from 2015 in the XFINITY Series. Additionally Tifft has raced competitively in NASCAR’s K&N Pro West, K&N Pro East and ARCA Series, as well as the X-1R Pro Cup Series.

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Cody Coughlin Fights to a Solid Finish in Bud St. Amant Memorial at Columbus

The “fight” in a man can reveal true character. The resiliency of Cody Coughlin and Team JEGS was tested several times over Sunday at Columbus Motor Speedway in Ohio. Not once did they back down. Their “fight” turned out a seventh place performance, which was impressive after having to go to the rear of the field early in the Bud St. Amant Memorial 125 for the ARCA / CRA Super Series.

The 19 year-old was fast in practice and found himself in the top-five early in the race after starting eighth. That’s when the test of character began.

Contact from another competitor forced Coughlin to pit road near the one-third mark in the race. After making repairs to the No. 1 JEGS Toyota Camry, the Delaware, Ohio native rejoined the field at the rear. Methodically, he picked off spots in traffic and with 25-laps to go, the Joe Gibbs Development Driver found himself 7th.

There was another challenge that lied ahead. The gap between he and sixth was significant and by the time the caution he needed came to fruition, the sun had baked a glaze over the 4/10′s of a mile track and frozen the advancement of most competitors.

Coughlin and his team never wavered in their effort, which resulted in a seventh place finish.

“Track position is everything at racetracks like this and we lost it after having to come to pit road to fix the car,” said Coughlin. “We fought hard, but by the time I got within striking distance the track lost all grip and we were all just hanging on.

“It’s tough because I know we could have won this one, but my guys (Team Manager Kevin Hamlin, crew chief Nick Easton, spotter Scott Wimmer and crew-member Dave Holt) never backed down. They made changes to the car that helped, but the car lost grip under these conditions.”

Coughlin’s sister, Kennedi, was the honorary starter for the Bud St. Amant Memorial. She threw the green flag to begin the race.

“It was really cool to have her do that. It was really nice to have her, my mom (Di) and dad (John), plus my grandfather (Jeg Sr.) here at the track today. So many family members, friends and employees from JEGS came out to support us and I really appreciate that.”

Cody Coughlin will now travel to Indianapolis, Indiana in just a couple weeks for another Super Late Model race. He will compete in the “Fall Brawl” at Lucas Oil Raceway on September 26-27 with the ARCA / CRA Super Series.

For more information on Cody Coughlin and Team JEGS, visit www.teamjegs.com and follow Cody on Twitter, @cody_coughlin. You can also follow Team JEGS on Twitter, @TeamJEGS and “Like” JEGS Performance on Facebook.

Denny Hamlin Suffers Torn ACL in Right Knee

Joe Gibbs Racing announces today that driver Denny Hamlin suffered a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in his right knee while playing basketball Tuesday night.

Hamlin had a MRI this morning to confirm the diagnosis and has been evaluated by the medical team at OrthoCarolina. He has received the medical clearance necessary to continue racing activities and is expected to race the remainder of the season and through the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. Hamlin will require surgery to repair the ACL damage following the season.

Hamlin is scheduled to address the media on Friday at 2:55 PM in the media center at Richmond International Raceway.