After two seasons in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series, Matt Tifft is making the leap to the Monster Energy Cup Series. Front Row Motorsports announced the deal on Tuesday. The organization will expand to a three car operation in 2019, fielding a No. 36 entry for Tifft.
Both David Ragan and Michael McDowell will return in 2019.
“Today is a huge moment in my career, announcing my move to the Cup series,” said Tifft in a release from FRM. “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 finished sixth in the Xfinity Series points standings in 2018, earning six top five finishes with Richard Childress Racing.
This move frees up another spot in the Xfinity Series for RCR, who will add 2018 Xfinity Champion Tyler Reddick to their 2019 lineup. Nothing else has been announced, but Shane Lee finished the season during the playoffs driving the iconic No. 3 entry.
Daniel Hemric is moving to RCR’s No. 31 Cup Series entry in 2019, which likely muddied Tifft’s path to NASCAR’s highest level with his current team.
Tifft’s move to Front Row is a risky one, considering the level of equipment. However, FRM has shown improvement over the last two years and should benefit from NASCAR’s 2019 rule package, which will should bunch up the field a bit.
Front Row Racing won the bid to buy BK Racing this year, which included all assets and the charter for the No. 23 entry.