Nemechek to make Cup debut with Front Row Motorsports at Texas

Nemechek to make Cup debut with Front Row Motorsports at Texas
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

John Hunter Nemechek will make his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.

The 22-year-old second-generation racer will finish the 2019 season in the No. 36 Front Row Motorsports Ford after Matt Tifft suffered a seizure last Saturday at Martinsville Speedway.

Speedy Cash, a financial services provider, will join forces with the team’s sponsorship effort this weekend.

"I am looking forward to making my Cup series debut with Speedy Cash this weekend at Texas, but I wish it had been under different circumstances," Nemechek said. "Speedy Cash is really going 'all-in' with FRM on this partnership, and it's a testament to the team's focus on creating successful programs for our sponsors.

“I look forward to making them proud on Sunday and giving Speedy Cash an awesome experience at track.”

Nemechek has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the NASCAR ranks. Although he honed his craft with his family-owned Nemco Motorsports, Nemechek far exceeded the expectations of the team.  In 98 truck starts, Nemechek has posted six wins, two poles, 28 top fives and 49 top 10s. He qualified for the Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs in the two full seasons he competed for the team.

In a partial Xfinity Series 18-race schedule last year with Ganassi Racing, Nemechek won in his 15th-career start at Kansas Speedway. He captured the pole at Phoenix and has collected six top fives and 11 top 10s. Nemechek signed on with GMS Racing this season for his first full-time NXS experience. He’s scored four top fives and 16 top 10s in 30 starts.

"We want to thank John Hunter for filling in Matt's seat as he continues to recover," said Jerry Freeze, General Manager, Front Row Motorsports. "Our thoughts are still with Matt and his family. We feel that John Hunter can step up and do a great job for us as Matt heals.”

Tifft, 23, is in his third-full season of NASCAR competition. He was competing for rookie honors in the Cup Series prior to Saturday’s incident and was 30th in the overall standings. His sole top-10 finish of ninth came in the July Daytona race.

In 2016, Tifft underwent brain surgery to remove a low-grade tumor. On Tuesday, the affable driver took to Twitter to discuss his condition.

“I was not able to partake in the race on Sunday at Martinsville,” Tifft said during a video tweet. “I arrived on Saturday morning, I went into the hauler. I was getting ready for the rookie meeting, making my coffee and felt my tongue cramp up. The next thing I knew I blacked out, and my crew guys helped me down and helped the EMTs. The next thing I knew, I woke up in the ambulance getting transported to a local hospital. I was actually out of the race because I suffered a seizure this weekend.

“Luckily, my test results with the CT Scan and the MRI, on Monday, showed there was nothing there with my brain tumor. Trying to find out some answers as to what is going on. Appreciate your guys’ support and certainly will let you guys know more as I learn more, too, but unfortunately, because of this, I will missing the rest of the 2019 season.

“I want to wish Front Row Motorsports and the whole 36 team the best of luck the rest of the year. I hate that I have to miss out the rest of my rookie season but right now the most important thing is my health and figuring out what is going on and hopefully get to the bottom of this soon…obviously, with the seizure and everything going on, it’s not a safe spot for me to be competing in right now. So I’ll focus on getting better and getting healed up and hopefully be back in the car sometime soon.”

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