• Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

Tyler Reif wins General Tire 150 at Phoenix Raceway

ByEvan McNelia

Mar 11, 2023
Tyler Reif performs a burnout

Photo courtesy of Adam Glanzman | ARCA Racing

AVONDALE, Ariz – Tyler Reif, driver of the Lowden Jackson Motorsports No. 41 Ford, won the 2023 General Tire 150 at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday at just 15 years old. 

Reif closed out a caution-infested race with a solid last-lap run on the backstretch to make a pass on McGowan Motorsports driver Landen Lewis who had jumped out to a lead on the final overtime restart. The race was the third of Reif’s ARCA career and it was his first National ARCA race.

“There’s no words to describe it if i’m being honest,” Reif said. “I think I was the first West driver to do it if I’m correct.”

Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 driver, 16-year-old William Sawalich, led a majority of the race after winning the pole in his ARCA Menards Series debut. However, on the first of two overtime restarts, he was spun out on the dogleg before entering Turn 1 by Bradley Erickson, driver of the No. 88 Naake-Klauer Motorsports Ford. Sawalich took damage to the rear of his car, knocking him out of victory contention for the last restart. And that was after he had worked back up from 20th after spinning out earlier in the race.

The race boasted a whopping 13 cautions as cars were spinning across the track throughout the night. Reif was even involved in a caution earlier in the race as he was spun out by Venturini Motorsports No. 15 driver Sean Hingorani on Lap 11.

Hingorani’s Venturini teammate Jesse Love, driver of the No. 20 Toyota, led at times throughout the race including at the Lap 75 “halftime” caution. However, shortly after the restart both Love and second-place runner Jack Wood, driver of the Rev Racing No. 6 Chevy, were wrecked after Conner Jones, driver of the Venturini No. 25, got into the back of Wood’s car, spinning him up the track and in front of Love.

It was noted during the mid-way caution that Landen Lewis had made the adjustments he needed under caution to put him near the front of the pack after running near the middle early in the race. Lewis finished 2nd after being passed by Reif on the final lap.

“I mean, I thought we had a restart box but I guess that means ‘second-place’ go when you hit the line,” Reif said on the overtime restart. “But that’s racing, got racing in Lap 10 and got turned no big deal, kept our head straight and fought back to the lead.”

In his second career ARCA race, Frankie Muniz followed up his 11th place finish at Daytona with a 6th place run at his hometown race in Phoenix. He is currently 2nd in the ARCA series standings behind Daytona winner Greg Van Alst who placed 10th in Friday’s race.

ARCA’s next National race is the General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, April 22 at 12:30 p.m. ET. However, if you can’t wait until then to get your ARCA racing fix both regional series run races sooner. On March 25, ARCA East will race at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. And on April 1, ARCA West will be at Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, California. Both races will be live on FloRacing and re-aired on CNBC.