Tanner Reif delivered his best result of the young ARCA Menards Series West season on Saturday night with a fourth-place finish at Kern County Raceway Park (KCRP) in the NAPA Auto Parts / BlueDEF 150. The driver of the No. 16 BlueDEF / NAPA Nightvision Chevrolet SS equaled his track best finish at KCRP in his second start in Bakersfield, Calif.
Reif turned in his best qualifying effort at KCRP by posting the third-fastest lap and lined up on the inside of row two. The 17-year-old fell into line in a podium position in the opening laps before inheriting the runner-up spot on lap five as the No. 15 car was black flagged. Reif consistently ran in the second position for the balance of the first half and was reeling in the race leader when the first caution flew just shy of the halfway point.
Crew chief John Camaleri and the No. 16 team armed Reif with a fresh set of right side tires during the halfway break and made minor adjustments to help him rotate in the center of both corners. Reif lined up second for the race’s second half and stayed within touch of the race lead. After relinquishing the second position, Reif tracked down the top two cars in heavy lapped traffic and mounted a charge the lead before a caution waved with 26 laps to go. The event came down to a three-lap dash, and Reif took the checkered flag in the fourth position for his second top-five result of the season.
“We had a real strong BlueDEF / NAPA Nightvision Chevrolet tonight,” Reif said. “We were definitely a top-three car all night, but just got too tight at the end. I’m proud of all the guys on our BMR team for making gains on our Chevrolet since Irwindale. We made a lot of progress and it showed with the speed we had tonight. We’ll take a few weeks off and hopefully have as much speed when we go road course racing at Portland.”
Start / Finish: 3 / 4
Points Standing / Total: 2nd / 126 pts. (-5)
Next Race: Friday, June 2, Portland International Raceway, Portland, Ore.
How to Watch or Listen: FloRacing (live) or CNBC (June 11)
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.