The Checkered Flag


Matt Tifft’s #20 UNC Charlotte Toyota

Driving the No. 20 UNC Charlotte Toyota Camry, 19-year-old UNC Charlotte student Matt Tifft raced to a top 10 finish in the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway Saturday, Sept. 26. And he made his allegiance known: the car was decked out in UNC Charlotte logos, and the driver and crew wore UNC Charlotte-branded suits. Perhaps that gave Matt a competitive advantage?

“I think tonight went really well for my very first XFINITY race. Wheels (Mike Wheeler, crew chief) made some really good calls to make our UNC Charlotte Camry even better, and we were really good on long runs,” said Tifft. “I’m really proud of the guys and all of the hard work they put in to come out with a top-10 finish. Thanks to everyone at JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) and UNC Charlotte for this opportunity."

The UNC Charlotte branding package was accomplished with no University funds being spent; both were arranged between the racer’s management group and University Communications. Branding materials were provided by UNC Charlotte’s marketing department, which promoted Matt and the car through social media – making it the most popular post of the month. 

Student Matt Tifft secures a top 10 finish in his NASCAR XFINITY debut--  in a UNC Charlotte-branded car.

Many members of the University community were excited to see UNC Charlotte on the track. “Having a national television audience se the UNC Charlotte car, driven by a UNC Charlotte student, racing for 300 miles is great exposure for the University,” said Stephen Ward, executive director for communications at UNC Charlotte.

A business management major from Hinckley, Ohio, Tifft currently runs a part-time schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports. He also competes in a limited number of ARCA Series events throughout the year. Read more about Matt’s journey.