NASCAR Monster Energy Cupâs Matt Tifft grew up rooting for Midland driver David Hilliker.
âYou could say David Hilliker was my childhood dirt track hero,â the 23-year old Tifft said in a release.
Tifft, a native of Hinckley, Ohio, is paying tribute to Hilliker during Sundayâs Bojangesâ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Tifftâs No. 36 Front Row Motorsports Ford Mustang will feature a special throwback paint scheme replica of the cars Hilliker raced during the 1990s.
Tifftâs father owned a dirt Late Model stock car that Hilliker raced, and the Tiffts would travel to Michigan to watch him compete on weekends.
âIâm really excited to recreate this paint scheme for Darlington,â Tifft said. âWhen I was little, my dad would bring home this car in the offseason and weâd tear it down together. That was where I first learned how to work on a racecar.
âMy dad has been such a huge influence throughout my career, and I couldnât have gotten to this point without him. Iâm grateful for the opportunity to give him this kind of recognition and canât wait to see his face when he sees the car in person for the first time.â
Hilliker is a member of the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame, and he has competed at over 30 tracks across the state, Ohio and Canada dating back to 1980, and it is estimated that he has won races at 18 of them. He has won five track championships at Merritt Speedway, as well as titles at Tri-City Speedway and Mount Pleasant Speedway.
Hilliker continues to compete this season. He finished runner-up to son Derrick Hilliker in a Late Model race at Tri-City this past weekend.
The green flag will drop on Sundayâs Southern 500 at 6 p.m. on NBCSN.