JGR signs Matt Tifft to full-time XFINITY Series contract

Joe Gibbs Racing announced Friday that Matt Tifft will become a full-time driver in the XFINITY Series starting in 2017.

Over his three-year career in the XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series, Tifft has made 31 total starts, including nine in the XFINITY Series in 2016.

In June, Tifft’s racing career took an unexpected turn when he had brain surgery to remove a benign tumor. Almost three months later, he returned to NASCAR to race in the NWCTS race at Chicagoland Speedway.

"It has been an incredible year and I am honored to have the opportunity to continue working with Joe Gibbs Racing in the 2017 season," Tifft said. "I’ve always wanted the chance to contend for a championship with the Chase for the Championship program, I am thrilled to be with JGR and know they will be instrumental in my career."

Along with the announcement of Tifft becoming a full-time driver, JGR announced that Matt Beckman will serve as his crew chief in 2017.

Beckman currently works with the No. 11 JGR Toyota driven by Denny Hamlin in the Sprint Cup Series as the race engineer. Beckman has been with JGR since 2007 as an engineer on the team.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for me and I’m excited to work with Matt," said Beckman. "Joe Gibbs Racing has had incredible success for many years now in the XFINITY Series and I know the organization takes immense pride in those accomplishments."