Matt Tifft Comes to Richmond to Share His Racing Experience with Students
Joe Gibbs Racing Driver Mentored Students at Three Richmond Area Schools
Matt Tifft poses for a picture with the world champion robotics team from Deep Run High School.
From mini race tracks to robots to rebuilding cars, Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Tifft had a day to remember with students at three schools in the Richmond region. Tifft made an impact with Richmond area students by mentoring and sharing his racing knowledge and experience at Holman Middle School, Deep Run High School, and Henrico Career & Technical Center-Hermitage. He even picked up a few skills for himself from these bright Richmond area students.
Tifft, driver of the No. 19 Toyota Camry in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, is running full time this season as well as for rookie of the year. He has competed in the XFINITY Series since 2015, and has collected one top-five and seven top-ten finishes and one pole award. When Tifft returns to Richmond next weekend, it will not be his first trip around the ¾-mile D-shaped oval. He has previously made starts at Richmond in April 2016 in the XFINITY Series as well as starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series.
The day began at Holman Middle School where Tifft joined Richmond President Dennis Bickmeier to speak to an assembly of students. He guided students as they tried to predict times and length of car finishes in a mini-car hill race, and even joined in on the action for a short race. Tifft also took students outside for a tour of the Richmond Toyota Camry pace car to share the aerodynamics behind a race car.
“Matt is a young, up-and-coming driver in NASCAR, and it’s a great opportunity for us to be able to share his knowledge with students at area schools,” said Richmond President Dennis Bickmeier. “Who knows, Matt could have met one of his future crew members or engineers today. He certainly made some new fans. We thank him for coming to Richmond, and look forward to hosting him next weekend for the ToyotaCare 250.”
On Tifft’s second stop, he met with the world champion Robotics Competition Team 1086 Blue Cheese from Deep Run High School. The team of students showed Tifft their 2016 FRC World Championship winning robot, and how it moves and picks up and throws a ball. Tifft even got behind the controls and took the machine for a spin, which was his first time driving a robot.
The final visit of the day was with students in the Automotive Technology program as part of the Henrico Career & Technical Center at Hermitage High School. Tifft took a tour of their garage and met with instructors to learn how the program aligns students with future careers in the automotive industry. Tifft, who is a car enthusiast, explored the garage and connected with students by sharing his experience and interest working on cars.
"It was awesome seeing the excitement coming from the kids at each school towards NASCAR,” said Tifft. “It was an honor to represent Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota and Richmond as a spokesman for next week’s ToyotaCare 250. I hope we encouraged the local students interested in a career in motorsports. I look forward to seeing some of those bright minds again next week at Richmond."
After an exciting day with students in the Richmond area, Tifft now looks to return to Richmond next weekend for the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash4Cash race on Saturday, April 29. Tifft could put a few of the skills he learned from the students today to use out on the track next Saturday afternoon.
NASCAR racing returns to the Capital of the Commonwealth on April 28, 29 and 30. The action starts with Practice and Qualifying Day on April 28, followed by the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash4Cash race on Saturday, April 29 at 1 p.m. Kids 12 and younger are free in general admission seating areas for all NASCAR XFINITY Series races. Richmond’s spring weekend concludes with the fan-friendly Track Takeover driven by AAA from 10 a.m. to noon followed by NASCAR’s best in the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 30.
Richmond’s fall race weekend, presented by Who’s Your Driver, will crown the inaugural Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular season champion over Fan Appreciation Weekend on September 8-9. Witness history in the Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Saturday, September 9 as a regular season champion will be crowned. On Friday, September 8, the rising stars of tomorrow will compete in the Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race.
Tickets are on sale now. Visit rir.com or call 866-455-7223 to purchase.
- Kyle Larson Takes the Checkered Flag at the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series
- Daniel Hemric Takes the Pole Award for ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series Race
- Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs Named the Official Hot Dog of Richmond International Raceway
- Matt Kenseth Will Lead the Field to Green in Sunday’s TOYOTA OWNERS 400
- Nick Meeson Wins Inaugural Checkered Flag 5K Sponsored by Bon Secours & Midlothian Athletic Club at Richmond International Raceway