Story from ARCA Racing
ARCA rookie Matt Tifft finally in familiar territory on Madison short-track
(TOLEDO, Ohio - August 11, 2014) - It's not often that 18-year-old rookie Matt Tifft races in familiar territory on the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards tour, but the upcoming Herr's Live Life with Flavor 200 at Madison Int'l Speedway Sunday afternoon, August 24 will be a different story.
As it turns out, Tifft, who drives for Ken Schrader Racing, has already competed on the Madison half-mile oval.
"I ran there a couple years ago in the ARCA Midwest Tour and in one of their Triple Crown races...I think in 2012," Tifft said.
"We had a couple good runs...I think we finished fifth. It's one of my favorite tracks. It's kind of cool...older and wore out, which makes it more technical and more line-sensitive. If you miss the corner by three feet, it'll take three-tenths right off the top. Even though it's a short track, it acts like a speedway in that way."
While Tifft has already raced at Madison twice, his lack of experience on most of the tracks on the ARCA tour has not been a problem for the Hinckley, Ohio driver. In only his second ARCA appearance on the New Jersey Motorsports Park road course, he finished third back in early June. Then, in his first ever showing at Chicagoland Speedway, he also finished third in Schrader's No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevy,
Despite having already raced at Madison, Tifft acknowledges that the much heavier ARCA car behaves quite differently than the lighter template late model cars he steered at Madison in the past.
"I know the tendencies of the track, but the ARCA car acts so much differently. There is far less roll in the corners with the late model; it doesn't want to flop over as much as the heavy ARCA cars. The track's the same, but the way you drive each car is completely different. But, hey, I'll take my track time at Madison and hopefully use that to my advantage."
Tifft's career-best ARCA short track finish is also third at Toledo Speedway back in mid-May, one position ahead of his boss, Schrader.
Tifft is planning to finish out the ARCA year in Schrader's car at Kentucky Speedway and Kansas Speedway.
"We're planning to test at both tracks (Ky. and Kan.)," Tifft added. "We didn't get to test at Chicagoland and we came out of there okay, so I'm really looking forward to testing at Kentucky and Kansas."
ARCA's seventh trip to Madison Int'l Speedway
The ARCA Racing Series stretches out over five decades at Madison Int'l Speedway, having first raced there in July of 1970 - two-time ARCA champion Ramo Stott earned the victory. Tom Bowsher won the ARCA race at Madison in May of 1971, and Bruce Gould is in the history books as the 1973 ARCA victor. However, nearly 40 years would elapse before the ARCA Racing Series would return to Madison in 2011.
Modern-day ARCA winners at Madison spur ARCA champs/NASCAR careers
Last year, 15-year-old Kyle Benjamin made history as the youngest ARCA winner in history, dominating the race. 2012 ARCA Racing Series national champion Chris Buescher was the Madison victor the year before, and Alex Bowman was the Madison ARCA winner in 2011. Both Buescher and Bowman have moved on to fulltime careers in the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series.
Madison's ARCA race to be broadcast on CBS Sports Network
The Herr's Live Life with Flavor 200 will also be the third ARCA Racing Series race that will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network in 2014. CBS Sports Network ARCA racing coverage at Madison will be live at 2:00 p.m. local Central time.
Weekend schedule/On-track autograph session
Practice for the ARCA Racing Series at Madison is scheduled for Saturday, August 23 from 1-1:45 p.m., followed by a final practice from 2:15-3. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell is at 4:30.
Raceday Sunday gets started with an on-track autograph session from Noon - 1 p.m., followed by pre-race ceremonies and driver introductions at 1:30. The 200-lap Herr's Live Life with Flavor 200 at Madison begins at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon, August 24. The race will also feature live timing and scoring at ARCAracing.com.