Friday, August 30, 2019


For the past several years, Darlington Raceway has been celebrating their annual Southern 500 weekend by commemorating throwback paint schemes from the past. This year, Matt Tifft will be honoring two men who taught him pretty much everything he knows about racing today, his father Quinten Tifft and David Hilliker.

“You could say David Hilliker was my childhood dirt track hero,” Tifft said in a press release.

Hilliker used to drive for his father’s Dirt Late Model team when Tifft was growing up. A member of the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame, Hilliker was victorious over 125 times on dirt and asphalt.

“I’m really excited to recreate this paint scheme for Darlington,” said Tiftt. “When I was little, my dad would bring home this car in the offseason and we’d tear it down together. That was where I first learned how to work on a race car.”

Tiftt began racing go-karts at 11 years of age. Since then, he moved his way up to stock cars and eventually was able to run his first full-time year in the ARCA Menards Series in 2014.

Capturing his first career top-five finish in both the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series and Xfinity Series in 2016, Tiftt has had to overcome serious health issues before making his way up to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Doctors discovered later that year a brain tumor had formed; thankfully, after a successful operation, Tiftt climbed back in a race car 11 weeks later.

“My dad has been such a huge influence throughout my career, and I couldn’t have gotten to this point without him. I’m grateful for the opportunity to give him this kind of recognition and can’t wait to see his face when he sees the car in person for the first time” he said.

This weekend, Tiftt will make his first career Cup Series start at Darlington Speedway honoring two men who made in impact in his motorsports career.