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Tyler Reif Overcomes Early Spin to win ARCA race at Phoenix

Tyler Reif celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the General Tire 150 at Phoenix Raceway, 3/10/2023 (Photo: Amy Henderson)

In his first career start, 15-year-old Tyler Reif completes the spin and win, taking the checkered flag in the General Tire 150 from Phoenix Raceway, after making an impressive last lap pass on Landen Lewis

Reif joins Todd Gilliland, Myatt Snider, and Christopher Bell as the only drivers to win in their main ARCA division debut, per ARCA communications manager Charles Krall. 

Behind Reif, Lewis took second-place for team owner Steve McGowan. Bradley Erickson finished third after running most of the race inside the top 10. Andres Perez de Lara and Kyle Keller rounded out the top five.

Further back, Frankie Muniz finished sixth, already eclipsing his career high finish of 11th from the season opener at Daytona. Behind him, Conner Jones, Leland Honeyman, Trevor Huddleston and Daytona winner Greg Van Alst rounded out the top 10.

After starting the race from fourth, Reif was involved in a lap 12 spin with Sean Hingorani, who spun him out after driving hard into turn 3. Reif nudged the outside wall and ended up going two laps down getting repairs. He would work his way back to the lead lap by virtue of the free pass, thanks to the various cautions throughout the race. 

The race really turned over on its end on lap 84 as leaders Jesse Love and Jack Wood were taken out in an incident after contact from Jones. 

After the caution, William Sawalich held control of the race, but after Bobby Hillis stalled on track due to a mechanical issue, a late race caution was brought, bunching the field back up together. 

After the restart, with four laps to go in the race, Honeyman made contact with Toni Breidinger, sending the Venturini Motorsports driver hard into the outside wall. The wreck ultimately resulted in a red flag. DL Wilson and Christian Rose made contact further back and piled in to the incident as well. Wilson was a bit gingerly exiting his Fast Track Racing No. 12, but was uninjured. 

Once the red flag was lifted, Erickson made contact with Sawalich, who was the leader at the time, spinning the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota out, after he dominated the latter half of the race. 

On the final restart of the race, the younger of the two Reif brothers laid back, allowing Lewis to get a large gap on himself and Erickson, who was running second. Reif made quick work of Erickson, and caught Lewis out of turn two on the white flag, passing him for the lead, and ultimately, winning the race. It’s Reif’s first…

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