Tanner Reif captured his best finish of the season on Saturday night with a third-place result in the NAPA Auto Parts / BlueDEF 150 at Irwindale Speedway. The podium finish gave the driver of the No. 16 BlueDEF / NAPA Nightvision Chevrolet SS his third top-five result in four starts at Irwindale and his third top-five of the 2023 ARCA Menards Series West campaign.
The Las Vegas native stopped the clock at 18.56 seconds in qualifying on Saturday evening, which placed him fifth on the starting grid. The 150-lap event was slowed by only one caution flag and rewarded consistent long-run speed. Reif held the fifth position for the first 25 laps by taking care of his tires which began to pay off the longer the race ran. He advanced into fourth position on lap 26 and showcased his long-run consistency by reeling in the lead trio.
On lap 88, the leader made significant contact with the Turn 3 wall to bring out the event’s only caution while Reif ran in fourth position. The lone restart of the event came on lap 95, and Reif was forced to persevere for three laps on the bottom lane. He settled into fourth position after the race leader was black flagged for a restart violation. Over the final 40 laps, Reif continued to advance forward and claimed the third position on lap 117. He maintained the podium position through the final 33 laps to secure the best finish of his sophomore season.
“We had a really fast BlueDEF / NAPA Nightvision Chevrolet tonight,” Reif said. “I got to thank everybody at BMR for a strong car tonight. We were a little tight most of the night, but that’s what we needed to make speed on the long run once we got singled out. I was able to save my tires and we slowly picked off people as the run went on. We got behind on that restart, but our car held on really well over a long run and we were able to drive back up to third. It was a really good night for our NAPA team, everybody at BlueDEF and NAPA Nightvision, and hopefully this is the run we need to get back on the right track.”
Start / Finish: 5 / 3
Points Standing / Total: 6th / 256 pts. (-35)
Next Race: Saturday, July 29, Shasta Speedway, Anderson, California
How to Watch or Listen: 11:30 p.m. ET on FloRacing (live) or CNBC (August 12)
Bill McAnally Racing (BMR) holds the ARCA Menards Series West record with 11 championships and eclipsed the 100-win mark in 2022. The team has piled on six titles in the last eight seasons with four different drivers since 2015. Second-year driver Tanner Reif takes control of the No. 16 NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet for the 12-race campaign in 2023 and looks to improve on his runner-up finish in the 2022 drivers’ standings to build on BMR’s west coast legacy.